With occupancy levels at around 70% in luxury hotels in California, many are now encouraging guests looking for extended stays to fill rooms. Historically, luxury chains such as Rosewood Hotels and Resorts shied away from encouraging long-term guests but now they are welcomed with open arms as business has yet to return to pre-recession levels.
The Surrey Hotel and Spa in New York added kitchens to its suites during a recent upgrade and has seen long-term stays increase by 50% year-on-year. There are many reasons guests are choosing to stay long-term in luxury hotels. Employees working on projects away from home, recent divorcees, those visiting a city for medical treatment or people finding themselves homeless after a disaster such as flooding are all likely to prefer a luxury hotel over a short-term rental. Relocating families unable to sell their home and those choosing to renovate rather than move up are also likely long-stay guests.
Although visitors staying more than 30 days may negotiate high discounts, they are likely to spend more on additional services, such as butler service, room service, dining and laundry, which all help keep staff gainfully employed. The Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, California added five villas in its grounds to accommodate long-term guests and it is certainly paying off. The Rosewood Crescent Hotel in Dallas accommodates long-stay guests by providing extra clothing racks and the Mansion on Peachtree, a Rosewood Hotel in Atlanta, is happy to hang guest’s artworks in their rooms.
One long-term guest finds staying at the Pelican Hill in Newport Beach extremely convenient. If he has had too many cocktails, he calls the concierge and requests a pickup in the hotel’s staff-driven Escalade. Pelican Hill struggled after opening in the depths of the economic downturn and has survived by offering discounts for stays over a month. Rooms regularly priced at $745 are $263 a night although turn-down and butler service are extra.
Once upon a time a 90-minute massage or day at the spa was the norm. Now less is more. Many luxury hotel spas have introduced new express services of 30 minutes or less and have found they are extremely popular with guests.
Business travelers generally find that time is a precious commodity, yet being away from home, working long hours and dealing with stressful meetings means they are more in need than ever of relaxation and a massage. Smart city center hotels are seeing the potential to serve stressed and time-pressed guests with speedy treatments.
According to the International SPA Association, about 75% of spas surveyed say they now offer express treatments of 30 minutes or less and the demand has skyrocketed. Another reason why the shorter treatments are popular could be the lower cost, with many business travelers and spa-goers watching their budget. Also, many business guests do not want to book a service ahead of time and shorter appointments mean more people can be accommodated on demand at peak times.
Studies show that even a 15-minute massage can reduce tension headaches, anxiety and stress making these express services well worth the modest cost. Of course, Virgin passengers with first class tickets can enjoy a 15-minute treatment free when passing through Heathrow Airport.
If you have recently stayed at one of the 800 Courtyard by Marriott hotels in North America, you may have seen the benefits of their redesigned lobby experience.
Hotel executives realized that the lobby area which was frequently used for serving a hot breakfast buffet was actually redundant space for most of the day. By redesigning the buffet into a modern bistro where guests can get food and beverages throughout the day, the space could be used to work and relax 24/7.
San Francisco based design firm IDEO were asked to design a new modern lobby experience around guests needs and desire for a more flexible space to work, relax, eat and drink. The results have already been implemented in more than half the 800 Courtyard hotels in the U.S. with the rest following during 2012 and 2013.
Many of these Courtyard lobby zone can be found in airports such as Phoenix Terminal 4, Houston Terminal E (near Gate 19) and Baltimore-Washington Concourse A. They offer an oasis to relax and work in an environment with comfy sofas and modern décor while passengers wait to board. The lobbies include laptop friendly work stations and a giant touchscreen TV for guests to look up the weather, news and local attractions.
The new GoBoard 4.0 provides guests with flight departure and arrival details and can send directions for local restaurants and attractions direct to their smart phones.
written by Gillian for Luxique.com