From restaurants, salons, co-working spaces, fitness classes and more, new hotel marketing strategies prove hotels aren’t just for travel anymore.
Hotel Marketing Strategies – Not Just for Travel Anymore
Hoteliers realize that today’s travelers are looking for more than a place to lay their head at night. Improving guest amenities makes them more competitive and turns hotels themselves into a destination not just for distant travelers, but local residents as well.
Hotel marketing strategies that create profit centers in the hotel can help bring in revenue during the off-season and provides the type of diversification that can help them weather economic lulls.
Previously we reported on the ways hotels were transforming public spaces in order to attract business professionals as well as travelers. Not only has that trend continued, but hotels are adding more and more guest amenities that can help them competitively with guests from both near and afar.
4 Hotel Marketing Strategies Turn Hotels into Destinations for Locals and Travelers Alike
- World Class Fitness Centers
Marriott brand is building a massive fitness facility in downtown Chicago as “proof of concept” before expanding to additional locations. The center will have high-tech, modern fitness equipment and offer classes for families and children, including yoga, Pilates and more.
- 90% + of luxury hotels have fitness centers
- 85% of mid-priced hotels have fitness centers
- 67% of economy hotels have fitness centers
- 35% of budget hotels even have fitness centers
The world class fitness center Marriott is building in Chicago represents an evolution, in an attempt to differentiate Marriott from the majority of hotels, since 84% of US hotels had a fitness center as of 2014. In 2004, only six in ten had fitness centers.
Why it works: The fitness center become a curiosity to people traveling to and through Chicago and a reason to prefer Marriott over other brands. The idea of offering classes and expertise also makes it a potential draw to local residents who want to join and enjoy the fitness center’s amenities year-round.
- Salons and Spas
Salons are practically recession-proof; after all, people will always need hair services. Hotels with thriving salons and spas have the advantage of a steady stream of revenue from services that take up a relatively small amount of space. Some hoteliers are taking the concept to the next level in order to create a competitive advantage, especially within the luxury hotel market.
There’s a new upscale, boutique hotel under construction in Buffalo, New York called the Curtiss Hotel that promises to do just that. Developer Mark Croce notes that the Curtiss Hotel “will be the most exclusive property in western New York… a full-service hotel in a boutique package.” In addition to its 68 rooms, the hotel will house a revolving bar, heated toilet seats and Roman baths. The spa will be the city’s first – and only – all-weather urban hot springs Roman bath facility, and will be located in a spa area near the entrance along with a fitness center, massage rooms and a men’s boutique hair salon.
Why it works: As an appeal to exclusivity and with only 68 rooms, the Curtiss Hotel offers guests an experience that few others will get to enjoy. Locating its Roman bath spa, massage rooms and a boutique men’s hair salon adjacent to public areas also makes it a desirable destination for local professionals.
- Co-Working Spaces
WeWork.com may be one of the most successful examples of co-working spaces done right in urban areas. Not only do they provide much-needed space for entrepreneurs, salespeople and startups, they don’t just provide co-working space, they sponsor events, publish resources and bring in expert speakers to inspire and mentor their members.
In the New Year you can expect more hotels in urban areas to build out co-working spaces, suites and meeting rooms to attract business travelers and local business professionals as well. In Predicting the Rise of the Smart Hotel on skift.com, Greg Oates describes this type of hotel this way:
“The Smart Hotel of the future adapts to any building, and it’s plugged into a city’s open data platform to provide a new and untapped hospitality user experience that prioritizes efficiency, connectivity and mobility.”
The article goes on to define the smart hotel’s use of the IoT (internet of things) makes it a natural urban sharer – from everything to restaurant openings, public barbecues, social and professional connectivity and – yes – co-working spaces.
The Workshop Café in San Francisco is an excellent example of the type of urban hotels that will emerge in the years ahead. Located on the edge of the city’s Financial District, people can pay $2 an hour on their stored credit card to use the half of the hotel restaurant dedicated for paying co-workers. Their app even has an opt-in community page that facilitates professional introductions and even paves the way for entrepreneurial partnerships.
Why it works: The smart hotel of tomorrow appeals to business travelers and local business professionals who need office space in the city where they can work, conduct sales presentations, connect with prospects or colleagues worldwide via technology, and so on. Hotels that develop co-working services can even book out unused hotel rooms as private offices or convert surplus rooms to co-working spaces, meeting rooms and small conference areas, thereby establishing new and consistent streams of rental revenues.
- Signature Restaurants and Eateries
Hotels and restaurants have always made for good partnerships; everybody has to eat and for travelers, having the option to eat without venturing out onto unfamiliar streets often makes the hotel restaurant a natural first choice. However, convenience isn’t enough, especially for hotels that want to draw in local residents for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, whether their appeal is more to business or non-business guests.
In New Jersey, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is banking on celebrity. Michael Symon, who appears regularly on ABC’s daytime talk show The Chew and the Food Network will be heading up a new Italian restaurant at the Borgata in 2016. Ostensibly, it works. Symon will be joining a superstar culinary lineup that also includes Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Geoffrey Zakarian as well as Wolfgang Puck.
Why it works: A signature restaurant has the ability to motivate travelers to stay and to attract local residents who are curious to find out what all the buzz is about. Having celebrities in the house also appeals to people who want to hobnob with the rich and famous or who are fans, personally.
That said, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to have the type of money a celebrity would need to build a signature hotel restaurant. What you do need is a buzz-worthy concept that is ground-breaking, unique, and has the ability to create intrigue. Many restaurants have become household names for travelers after appearing on travel and food shows, or being named as well-rated on travel apps and websites.
We offer hotel financing that can be ideal for renovating hotels and motels, or for adding amenities intrinsic to hotel marketing strategies like salons, restaurants and fitness centers to your list of restaurant guest amenities. In addition, we can partner with your hotel to create an efficient hotel credit card processing solution that boosts revenues through easy impulse buying and hotel loyalty marketing.
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