DKU JUNE 2013
THE HOTEL ISSUE
HOTELS THAT ARE CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO
A LOOK AT THE NEW LEISURE TRAVELER
Issue No. 7
THE HOTEL ISSUE
How are hotels innovating and engineering experiences today to attract the growing class of Leisure Travelers? In today's world, consumers' choices of brands act as a reflection of themselves. As a result, as consumers change, brands must adapt to meet the desires of their consumers. We set out to discover how this dynamic has aﬀected the hotel industry in the last several years and discovered that, as the modern leisure traveler has evolved, hotels have been greatly aﬀected and begun to enact their own evolution, bringing about new trends and developments. How to diﬀerentiate has always been a central challenge in the industry. However, hotels today can no longer simply claim to have the best service, or the most comfortable beds, or even boast of having the more advanced services like a digital check-in or concierge, to set themselves apart in the minds of today's leisure traveler. ose elements are expected, not a novelty. Today, leisure travelers require some sort of personal connection, or unique experience to be provided by their hotel. ey seek more than simply accommodations, and as expectations and desires have changed, the hotel industry has had to follow suit. In this issue we explore the leisure traveler, and provide examples of hotels that have gone above and beyond to attract and engage the growing class of leisure travelers.
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THE HOTEL ISSUE
WHO IS THE NEW LEISURE TRAVELER? Today's leisure traveler is complex. ey value their vacation time and hope to develop a lifestyle that appropriately places travel as a priority and passion by seeking a true balance between work and leisure in their lives. ough this is not an insight unique only to leisure travelers, it is oen what initially develops their persona as a leisure traveler. ey are more willing to spend their disposable income on leisure activities and services, both out of town, or during a quick "staycation," and do not consider price to be the only marker of value. is is because leisure travelers are individuals looking to reward themselves and not only unwind, but experience the kind of trip that allows for "personal fulfillment, identity enhancement, and self-expression." As a result, the experience is the most valuable part of
the trip. ey want something memorable, out of the ordinary, adventurous and uniquely customized to their wants and needs. Whether or not they choose to satisfy this want at a hotel with an extravagant and over-the-top oﬀering, or somewhere more closely reminiscent of a "traditional" hotel experience, this choice is also an opportunity to express themselves. In addition, they have seemingly unlimited access to information, but, sadly, less time to make choices regarding their travel experiences. Consequently, leisure travelers look to hotels as a reflection of their choices and desires, and as "gatekeepers" for their experience, functioning as an integral part of their overall vacation to engage them, not just a place to sleep at the end of a long day spent elsewhere.
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THE HOTEL ISSUE
THE FACTS. A FEW INSIGHTS INTO THE HOTEL INDUSTRY, LEISURE TRAVEL & THE BOOKING EXPERIENCE
1.2% AMOUNT LEISURE TRAVEL IS EXPECTED TO RISE IN 2013
$813 BILLION AMOUNT SPENT ON LEISURE TRAVEL IN 2011.
CHOOSE THE MOST CONVENIENT BOOKING METHOD
CHOOSE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE BOOKING METHOD
3 OUT OF 4 DOMESTIC TRIPS ARE TAKEN FOR LEISURE PURPOSES
AVERAGE AMOUNT SPENT ON SUMMER TAVEL PER PERSON
18-24 YR. OLDS ENGAGE WITH HOTEL BRANDS ONLINE THE MOST
GAS PRICES WILL NOT HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON TRAVEL IN 2013
SOURCES: Mintel, IHS Global Insights / AAA Year-End 2012/2013 Forecast, trendwatching.com
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THE HOTEL ISSUE PRICE: $350-$500+
“ URBAN SPRAWL MEETS HISTORIC PRESERVATION. ” - BEATA L. SANTORA
THE STANDARD HOTEL With locations in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, e Standard Hotel is the perfect mix of urban chic, beautiful scenic views, comfort and class. Each location provides a lavish, yet intimate taste of the lifestyle and culture of each city or neighborhood it occupies. Between delicious restaurants, a variety of cozy or swanky lounging spaces, and assorted events, guests never have to leave the property to feel that they've had a well-rounded, exciting experience. In addition, each meticulous design choice gives the space character and makes the guest feel as though they've discovered a hidden gem around every corner. e experience is both invigorating and mellow at the same time.
COOL STUFF + Desert Nights: Weekly free acoustic music event + Cozy hooded robes + You can bring your standard poodle + A variety of workshops are available each week June 2013 4
THE HOTEL ISSUE
“ ERUDITE OASIS IN THE HEART OF MANHATTAN ” - GARY INMAN
THE LIBRARY HOTEL e Library Hotel caters beautifully to those with a love for books and learning. It is an elegant, quiet, haven within the bustling city and it describes itself as "a thought provoking experience." e 10-story hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan just a walk away from Central Park, is organized by the 10 main categories of the Dewey Decimal System. Each floor is themed to match its corresponding category (ex. Literature, History, Social Sciences, Religion etc.) and the rooms on each floor contain a wide assortment of books that represent the category for guests to explore throughout their stay. Each of the communal spaces in the hotel are cozy, charming, comfortable and filled with books that guests can
peruse through and borrow as they wish. Guests are encouraged to spend a great deal of time on the premises and engage with the space, community, and atmosphere provided by the books. In selecting e Library Hotel, leisure travelers are able to express a part of their personality and indulge their love for reading, while also relaxing and experiencing something out of the ordinary. COOL STUFF + Over 6,000 books to check out + 3 unique reading rooms + Bookmark Lounge - an intimate rooftop bar + Wine & cheese receptions from 5pm-8pm
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THE HOTEL ISSUE PRICE: $500-$600
“ A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE WITH A STRONG ELEMENT OF SURPRISE. ” - LEVENTE BENEI
SLEEPING AROUND Sleeping Around is a "unique pop-up hotel" that has turned 6 shipping containers into a luxurious, mobile hotel. e hotel moves around Europe month by month, finding surprising, exciting locations in "vibrant cities or in the quiet countryside" to provide guests with spontaneity and delight wherever they go. With attention to design and amenities, guests do not need to sacrifice aesthetic or comfort, and are made to feel at home even within the confines of a shipping container. Leisure travelers are drawn to the hotel because of the authentic experience, the "element of surprise," and the thrill it provides once they are able to locate their accommodations via GPS. In addition, with such a cool, novel concept, the hotel is an irreplaceable, relaxing, adventure that guests are sure to appreciate for years to come as the most special part of a great trip.
COOL STUFF + Breakfast/Lounge Container + Sauna Container + All ecologically responsible material is used + e hotel moves to a new location every 2 months
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THE HOTEL ISSUE PRICE: $300-$350
JULES’ UNDER THE SEA LODGE
“ GREAT IF YOU LIKE TO BE LOOKING AT FISH. ” - MARTA WEEKS
Jules' Undersea Lodge began as a research lab in the 1970s, but today serves as an extraordinarily rare hotel with a maximum capacity of up to 6 people at a time. e hotel is the perfect niche experience for marine lovers, diving enthusiasts or even those with an aﬃnity for the outrageous given that non-divers are welcome to stay at the hotel as well following a short scuba class. While this represents an extreme on the spectrum for leisure travelers, the hotel was able to capitalize on the
adventurous spirit that oen characterizes leisure travelers and oﬀer an exclusive, once-ina-lifetime experience that allows guests to exercise their passions, or simply discover something truly unique. Located 21 feet underwater, guests must scuba dive down to the property for their stay. When they arrive, it's as if they've discovered a "secret underwater clubhouse." roughout their stay, guests enjoy many of the regular amenities of a hotel (meals, hot showers, heating/air
conditioning, TV etc.) while watching all kinds of exotic marine wildlife swimming by just outside the windows from the comfort of their underwater "terrarium." In addition, guests have the option of going on guided scuba diving tours led by staﬀ on-site. COOL STUFF + 42" viewport window + A marine radio + Custom made mermaid & merman tables + A better way to sleep with the fishes
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THE HOTEL ISSUE
“ SWISS EXCELLENCY ON THE FOOTHILLS OF THE ANDES. ” - FELIX K.
ENTRE CIELOS VINEYARD, WINE & SPA Entre Cielos is one of the first luxury hotels of its kind. Guest rooms are loed in cocoon-like pods several feet above ground overlooking hundreds of acres of vineyards in the Andes of Mendoza, Argentina. Each pod is beautifully furnished and has a panoramic terrace where guests can relax, take in the scenery and feel truly immersed in the vineyard experience. ere is fine dining onsite and access to various vineyard tours and wine tastings. Furthermore, the spa is state-of-the-art and allows guests to reach the height of indulgence. Leisure travelers are drawn to the allinclusive boutique hotel not only because of the luxury it aﬀords them, but because the pod experience is unique, delightfully private, beautiful and serene.
COOL STUFF + Two restaurants and wines + Hamam+Spa + 3.2 hectares of Malbec vines grow on the site + An annual harvest festival
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THE HOTEL ISSUE PRICE: $195-$500
“ EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND NOTHING YOU DON’T WANT. ” - TREVOR HALL
THE ACE HOTEL Ace Hotels have 5 properties around the country that each have their own special, eclectic personality that reflects the culture, design, and flavor of the city they occupy. No hotel is the same, nor are the rooms within them. ey pride themselves on having an organic, bohemian, comfortable, authentic feel and this resonates with guests seeking a unique, relaxing experience. Beyond this, they are eco-friendly, and generally described as hip and trendy, so they benefit from a modern, "place-to-be" vibe. Leisure travelers connect with Ace Hotels because of their ability to make the hotel experience "fresh, energized, and human,” while also providing a gateway to local
culture and a sense of community. Taking this a step further, the hotel serves as a hotspot for locals as well, as both a meeting place or event venue, or as a quick "staycation" locale. COOL STUFF + Full Moon Parties + In NYC, their lobby is a bar + Art Talk- guest speakers from the community + Interiors include: taxidermy, filament lighting, pharmacist bottles and plaid
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THE HOTEL ISSUE
We hope these examples have provided a picture of how hotels have evolved to meet the changing demands and desires of leisure travelers today. However, while this issue of DKU only explores the hotel industry, the idea that brands must create positive, memorable, original experiences for their consumers is a recurring theme across industries that will shape the future success of brands as they move forward in a more digital and experience-driven world.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES: travelmarketing.com, hotelmarketing.com, USA Today, â€œSeeking the Ultimate Hotel Experienceâ€? by Daniela Freund de Klumbis
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