Providing a bathroom stocked with high-end soaps and lotions is no longer enough. Today’s traveler demands that their hotelier provides them with the means to personalize their travel experience – exposing them to the best options when it comes to history, foods and attractions related to their vacation.
This new shift in concierge services is aimed at providing the “ultimate guest experience,” and the more responsive hoteliers will win this new brand loyalty battle. USA Today recently ran an article on this new trend and highlighted some winning examples of this next-generation concierge movement:
- The “Super Sophie Experience:” At the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York, young guests can get the “Super Sophie Experience” based on Kelly Florio Kasouf’s children’s book series, The Super Adventures of Sophie and The City. Armed with loaner iPad minis to follow Sophie’s virtual tour of favorite spots such as Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, and more, this package starts at $835 that includes a stay for two and gifts such as an Oscar de la Renta children’s dress inspired by the books.
- Behind-the-Scenes Tour of U.S. Capitol: At the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C., the concierge arranges a behind the scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol, during which guests can step out onto the balconies overlooking the National Mall. The hotel also offers exclusive tours of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, and pricing varies depending on timing and number of people.
Hoteliers can even create packages for guests with limited budgets. By being creative and providing an “off the guidebook” experience, hospitality providers can win long-term brand loyalty by providing guests new opportunities to learn about their chosen destinations.
We believe that the foundation for these experiences should be innovation. Much like the “Super Sophie Experience” can engage children with iPad minis, there are plenty of opportunities to use mobile devices to provide an interactive tourist experience at any location – whether it is tracking alligators in the Florida Everglades or a trip down Lombard Street in San Francisco.
In addition, this new trend further reinforces that providing a Frictionless Guest Experience™ is paramount. In fact, we would point out that this new approach goes beyond mitigating any friction a guest is experiencing to actually offering something that could enhance their personal growth.