As we ease into the busy second quarter of 2018, it’s the ideal moment to pause and reflect on the year’s hottest emerging trends for the boutique hotel industry. So, let’s look at how are things are shaping up both here at Costa Rica Hotels and the rest of the Americas too.
1. Guests Love Authenticity
Authenticity is now an established travel buzzword as guests seek to immerse themselves in local culture like never before. Think spa treatments and cocktails made with unique indigenous ingredients, typical regional decor and a gift store collection which mirrors the culture of Costa Rica and champions local artisans. Offer guests an opportunity to interact with that culture, too. Include excursions to coffee plantations, art centers and, of course, the breathtaking natural beauty you find in our rainforests, volcanoes and clear sparkling waters.
2. Personalization and Customization
These days personal concierges are expected at a luxury boutique hotel or resort. To stand out you need to exceed guests’ expectations. True luxury means discovering a guest’s passions and special interests are before they arrive so hotel staff are able to proactively suggest activities and experiences that reflect each guest’s individual needs and desires.
3. Exclusive Access and Unique Experiences
Taking customisation a little further, make an unforgettable impact on your guests’ by offering experiences they’d be unable to access on their own. The more interactive, exclusive and rare the activity, the more guests will want to rave about your hotel when they head home. Although these kind of activities aren’t easy to create, start by thinking about who you already know locally with a unique story or business and reach out to potential collaborators to see how you could work together.
4. Make Your Guests’ Journeys Easier
As travel becomes ever more complicated and uncomfortable, hotels that can make their guests’ journeys easier will build loyalty. Go beyond the strict hotel experience by organizing airport greeters and alliances with luggage shipment companies. You could even offer a personal shopper to prepare a hotel closet with clothes for a weekend getaway, eliminating the need for guests to pack and bring a suitcase. Also on the rise are dedicated waiting lounges for hotel guests in the airport which offer a comfortable space to relax before their flight.
5. Adventurous Family Travel
These days taking the kids to Disneyland just isn’t enough. Parents and their offspring want vacations that offer excitement, a sense of adventure and memories they will treasure forever. Where appropriate, try suggesting challenging activities that all the family can enjoy like whitewater rafting or horseback riding around Costa Rica’s volcanoes. Parents will love experiences that bring the family together and the kids are sure to tell everyone about their amazing trip on social media!
6. Embrace Social Media
Especially for younger travellers, a vacation is the perfect opportunity to try out something new and share their experience online through platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Over the past couple of years the usage of Instagram in particular has soared, with many choosing to browse the platform’s millions of images in search of travel inspiration and destination tips. Maintain updated social media platforms and encourage your guests to post images of your hotel and amenities to help spread the word. You may even want to consider working with luxury travel influencers who can help you to reach new audiences through social media marketing strategies.
7. Bring People Together
In an age dominated by technology and fast-paced living, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Provide guests with inviting communal lounges and patios equipped with comfortable furniture to encourage lingering and conversation. Consider hosting fun events open to both guests and non-residents which showcase Costa Rican culture like a restaurant pop-up or regular live music evenings. Guests will remember the sociable vibe and the new friends they met long after they leave, and they’re sure to tell everyone back home how welcoming your hotel was!