We’ve already been seeing the trend of customising consumer products and it’s now moving onto a larger scale with hotels. As people move away from cookie cut-out hotel formats, these themed hotels are ready to serve an evolving array of specific needs to match personal values and travel requirements.
In 2015, Virgin launched its first ever hotel in the United States with a caveat – it was designed and marketed specifically towards the growing segment of female professional travellers. One year into its opening, it is receiving positive feedback from travel review aggregators such as TripAdvisor.
Hotel patrons love it for all its amenities that redefine modern luxury – high tech check-in process; central yet safe location; complimentary Tesla ride; spacious bathroom setup and free nightly happy hour drinks. The next Virgin hotel is already in the works to unveil in San Francisco next year. Further expansion plans in 2018 include hotels in other cities.
Non-hospitality companies follow suit.
Furniture stores such as Restoration Hardware and West Elm are taking the showroom phenomenon to new heights by launching their own hotels that will double as “live-in” showrooms. The upscale furniture company, Restoration Hardware, will be opening its 14-bedroom luxury hotel in the hip and fashion focused meatpacking district in New York adjacent to its flagship store. West Elm recently announced a similar foray into the hospitality sector by revealing its plan to launch its own chain of hotels in Detroit and Savannah by 2018. In both hotels, patrons will be able to buy everything they see in the furnished hotel setting. Not only do these boutique hotels heighten the in store experience, they have the advantage of furnishing the hotels at up to 40% reduced cost as traditional hotels.
Fitness club flexes its muscle.
New York based luxury fitness club, Equinox , is also exploring hotel expansions . Its first ever hotel is currently underway in Manhattan and 75 more are planned worldwide. The estimated $2 billion for the initial project will feature a 60,000 square foot gym as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools. As a natural extension of the brand, it will be tapping into its existing wealthy clients who value health and wellness.
By: Carol Lin