Now more than ever travelers are multi-dimensional people, posing a challenge in the hospitality industry. Not only are hotels, resorts, and alternative accommodations expected to provide exceptional quality, but also bespoke experiences to satisfy the individual’s unique wanderlust. The challenge allows the opportunity for brands’ personalities to shine through and for hotels to go beyond just heads in beds. With a need to please the taste buds of diverse travelers, Hawkins International Public Relations has projected the trends in the industry to look out for this year.
What’s Out: Gift Shops
What’s In: Shoppable Experiences
Gone are the days of postcards and keychains, as traditional gift shops become obsolete and guests can buy (or rent) a piece of their stay. Accommodations are offering personal touches with shoppable experiences, designed for assorted desires. An oasis in the heart of downtown, The Hotel Zags Portland (Portland, OR) welcomes guests to discover Portland in a new way with the Gear Shed, stocked with fishing poles, scooters, skateboards, hoverboards, digital cameras and more, which guests can borrow for their adventures around town. Domio Baronne St. (New Orleans, LA) is a new “apart-hotel,” catering to group travel. Take a piece of Domio home with the property’s shoppable room feature. Through Domio’s partnership with Society6, guests can shop Domio’s textiles and artwork to own their favorite pieces. Lifeafar is a real estate investment and hospitality firm that caters to global investors, digital nomads, millennials and discerning travelers, in Colombia and now, Puerto Rico. After enjoying the global salsa capital in Cali, or that South American Brooklyn vibe in Medellin (with a 3rd of the cost), or city-living in Bogota, guests can purchase a unit or a share of Lifeafar’s managed units where, unlike a timeshare, your investment grows in value every year. At Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris (Paris, FR), travelers can enjoy the height of Parisian luxury beyond their vacation with a variety of displayed artwork and décor available for guest’s purchase.
What’s Out: Doves in Weddings
What’s In: Dogs at Weddings
Historically speaking, white doves at weddings have added the picturesque, romantic touch to a traditional ceremony. Nowadays, brides and grooms alike are trading feathers for fur with canine bridal parties. Serving as ring bearers, flower girls, or a fun furry guest, Montage Deer Valley’s (Park City, UT) very own, canine ambassadors (Monty and Summit) will join your wedding party with a $500 donation to Big Dogs Huge Paws. Jekyll Island Club Resort (Golden Isles, GA) welcomes guests’ pets to be a part of their special day whether by walking down the aisle, bringing rings to the ceremony or posing in wedding photos with a miniature suit and tie outside the Jekyll Ocean Club. At Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa (Sausalito, CA) man’s best friend can double as the groom’s best man with dog amenities including a dog bed, bowls, leashes, collars, and more. Tucked along the scenic California coastline, Balboa Bay Resort (Newport Beach, CA) offers over 10,000 square feet of outdoor wedding space and The Ambassador, a pup-friendly 150 person yacht for brides, grooms, and dogs to walk down the aisle. When four-legged family members check into Balboa Bay Resort they receive a Charlie and Me bandana and toy, two collapsible dog bowls, and a homemade treat from locally based Just Food For Dogs and a dog bed waiting in the room. For guests looking to add a little bit of Awww to the Ooohs as you walk down the aisle, Montage Palmetto Bluff’s (Bluffton, SC) canine ambassadors, River, May, and Cooper will don your wedding colors, walk the aisle and pose for pictures, either before or after your wedding, for a $1,000 donation to the local animal shelter. At Brasada Ranch (Powell Butte, OR) four-legged groomsmen or bridesmaids will receive a Brasada Doggie Bowl filled with treats delivered to their room as they are VIP (Very Important Pups).
What’s Out: Drying Out in the Sun
What’s In: H2Well
Staying hydrated isn’t just about drinking water anymore. Spas are integrating water soaking into treatments for impactful, elemental wellness. Realize the potency of water wellness with the tradition of “Taking the Waters” in Santa Fe at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort (Santa Fe, NM) with a soul-evoking soak at the retreat’s new Repose Pools. Situated along the edge of the Tranquil Pond and overlooking the historic waters that flow through the resort, the gently heated, artesian spring-fed pools provide a soaking experience that immerses guests in the healing powers of nature. To soothe the mind and body before their treatment, guests at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort (Miami, FL) can unwind via the spa’s Thermal Experience – one of the country’s most expansive hydrotherapy circuits with stations ranging from the Crystal Steam Room, Experiential Rains, to the arctic inspired Igloo. To continue the H2Well experience, guests can book one of the spa’s water-centric treatments from soaking with Salt Float Therapy Bath, to having a massage on the cutting-edge Aemotio Spa bed with features that include a waterbed, Vichy shower with six jets and water-enhanced virbromassage. Grand Resort Bad Ragaz (Bad Ragaz, Switzerland) uses thermal water from the Tamina Gorge in almost everything they do – from making bread to serve in the restaurants, providing thermal drinking water stations throughout the property, in faucets of the Spa Suite building, and in its signature beer! To this day, the 36.5°C thermal water is used for a range of positive effects on the human body, such as boosting the metabolism and circulation and improving cardiac function and helps to alleviate rheumatic ailments, diseases of the nervous system, and lung and kidney issues.
What’s Out: Finger Foods
What’s In: Bucket List Dining
Travelers’ appetites are on the rise and finger foods won’t satisfy. Bars and restaurants are aiming to impress with over-the-top, delectable dishes and drinks to check off your bucket list. £10 at Montage Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills, CA) is the first and perhaps only bar in California to feature The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique – The Genesis Decanter by the glass for $12k and $6k for ½ dram (or one-ounce pour). Enjoy a taste of New England on the Hudson River aboard the North River Lobster Company (New York, NY), the city’s only floating lobster shack, and take a bite out of the biggest lobster roll in New York City by sampling The “Shelly”($99), which measures well over two feet long! The true taste of Maine is just a cracked lobster claw, shucked oyster shell and fresh-picked vegetable away at Chebeague Island Inn (Chebeague Island, ME). This summer, the Inn has partnered with local specialists including Mike Robinson Lobstering, Chebeague Oyster Company and Second Wind Farm to offer packaged opportunities for guests to harvest their own ingredients for Chef Matt Ginn, winner of “Chopped” on Food Network, to cook up and serve for dinner just the way they like it. At Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris (Paris, FR) sushi enthusiasts can discover the all-new Omakase Bar Experience (250 euros per person) at Chef Nobu’s Matsuhisa Paris where and eight-course sushi feast will be prepared in front of their eyes.
What’s Out: Chasing Tornados
What’s In: Chasing Rainbows
Chasing tornados is dangerous and not nearly worth the trouble. It’s far better to follow photogenic and harmless rainbows to scenic destinations across the globe! Donegal is not complete without driving up the Wild Atlantic Way to view some of the world’s most jaw-dropping landscapes including Slieve League, three times the size of the Cliffs of Moher, and double rainbows at every turn. Lough Eske Castle, (Donegal, IRL) the only five-star property in the county, can arrange tours with local guides to take guests on this unexpected journey. The Bushcamp Company (Mfuwe, ZM) located in South Luangwa National Park and home to the walking safari, is the perfect destination to spot uninterrupted views of vast rainbows. The Emerald Season (November through May), are the summer months in Zambia, where the bush is an emerald green from the short rains clearing the air, resulting in lush greenery and vibrant rainbows. Located bright and vibrant Jamaica, The Tryall Club (Montego Bay, JA) is perfect for rainbow spotting. From spotting the edge of the rainbow over the sea at hilltop villa dragonfly to viewing magnificent colors across the sky while playing golf at The Club’s world-renowned golf course. At Carton House (Kildare, IRL) guests can climb to the top of Tyrconnell Tower overlooking the expansive O’Meara golf course to view the many rainbows known to form over the rolling hills of the estate grounds. The tower stands proudly, like a giant chess piece, at the top of a grassy hill. Located in the midst of Costa Rica’s cloud forest, nestled between the Juan Castro Blanco and Poás Volcano National Park, El Silencio Lodge and Spa (Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica) is a 500-acre private reserve with not one, but three waterfalls! With the expert help of the resort’s Eco-Concierge, guests can hike or zipline across the property in search for rainbows.
What’s Out: Hungover Hangouts
What’s In: Sober-Curiosity
While a night out on the town makes for good fun, the aftermath can lead to a nasty headache and – if done excessively – spoiled memories. Travelers are gradually tending more to their wellness on vacation by cutting out the booze and finding alternative methods of entertainment. Discover Miami’s empowering wellness scene at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort (Miami, FL) through the resort’s impressive lineup of monthly socials and events that are designed to inspire and build connections within the larger wellness community with topics ranging from expert-led health talks, fit-socials and wellness brunch parties (additional details on events here). In Santa Fe, Sunrise Springs Spa Resort (Santa Fe, NM) invites all to embrace the energizing culture and history of the destination through its selection of events and workshops that celebrate Native American traditions and rituals. This summer, locals, and guests can take part in transformative workshops centered around the moon changes and water and the Nahuli Ollin – Four Movement Dance. The Wigwam (Litchfield Park, AZ), a 440-acre desert oasis celebrating 90 years of welcoming guests this year, believes that even those exploring a “sober-curious” lifestyle can still enjoy the incredible fresh garden to glass mocktails while soaking in the warm Arizona rays. With alcohol-free takes on a blueberry mojito, strawberry raspberry limeade, and a watermelon ‘margarita’ there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. Sober curious travelers looking to enjoy a cozy night in can head to Boston’s favorite boutique hotel, XV Beacon (Boston, MA) where the property’s onsite steakhouse provides a selection of Mooo…. “Mocktails” to enjoy in-room.
What’s Out: Wine Pairings
What’s In: Whiskey Pairings
Sober-curiosity isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and a cocktail with dinner can make for the ideal nightcap on vacation. While pairing wine with the appropriate food is standard, guests are all the time more exploring their craving for hard-liquor with whiskey popularity on the rise. The Shelbourne (Dublin, IRL) embraces what the Irish are known to do best, offering whiskey flights in The Horseshoe Bar, the hotel’s famous little nook tucked away from the lobby where the likes of Bono and other Irish legends are known to frequent. This signature Irish whiskey tasting flight consists of Midleton Very Rare, Bushmills 10, Connemara 12-year-old and GreenSpot. At the Nines (Portland, OR), the brand new, Westward Whiskey Experience is the perfect way to taste the quirky city of Portland’s craft distilling revolution first-hand. Featuring a distillery tour and tasting from House Spirits Distillery, guests can learn how grain and natural botanicals are transformed into spirits and sample the distillery’s award-winning products. At Carton House (Kildare, IRL) guests can enjoy exclusive whiskey tastings in the Whiskey Library, also available for an intimate dining venue, upon request. Guests can book a private tasting experience in the Whiskey Library in the Manor House to enjoy local whiskey in an intimate library room with décor inspired by Irish spirit. The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes (Orlando, FL) is home to an exclusive Single Barrel Knob Creek, sold at restaurant, Highball & Harvest that features a Cocktail Table experience with a five-course cocktail menu designed specifically with the party’s spirit preference and favorite flavors in mind when paired with H&H Signature Bar Bites. Anchored by over 200 bourbons and American whiskeys, Montage Deer Valley’s (Park City, UT) Burgers & Bourbon restaurant has been curated to showcase the nation’s finest producers of craft spirits. Whiskey aficionados have a full menu of signature bourbon cocktails, spiked shakes and whiskey flights to choose from.
What’s Out: Camping
What’s In: Gramping
For years, grandma and grandpa were homebodies that families visited at the holidays and maybe birthdays. With baby boomers in better health than generations before, grandparents are ready and willing to get in on the action, leading to a rise in multi-generational travel where grandparents take their grandkids on vacation. Grandparents and grandchildren at Jekyll Island Club Resort (Golden Isles, GA) can enjoy a robust selection of islands activities sans parents, including guided hikes with an official Park Ranger, turtle exploration at The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, an island bike tour, and daily History Tours in the Clubhouse where both grandparents and kids have something to enjoy. Carton House (Kildare, IRL) lets grandparents and grandchildren share memorable Irish experiences with activities such as Children’s Afternoon Tea in the historic Manor House, outdoor tennis matches and cycling on 9km of trails, as well as several archery and horse riding lessons. Balboa Bay Resort (Newport Beach, CA) is offering families a quintessential California summer experience with its newly launched First Mates Kid’s Package. With the First Mates Kid’s Package, families can cozy up and relax after an adventure filled a day in one of the resort’s recently renovated guestrooms and decorate their own iconic Newport Beach Balboa Bars, delivered to the room. The new Loews Loves Families focuses on the three pillars of Comfort, Imagination, and Exploration, aiming to provide engaging experiences that can be shared among different generations. Loews properties provide family activity guides to explore destinations and kids under 18 stay for free at select locations.
What’s Out: Ancestry Websites
What’s In: Ancestry Trips
The internet has resources to track lineage back to medieval times, but why stare at a screen when you can hunt down your ancestry on foot. Websites are a good start but travelers are starved for more intimate experiences and pilgrimaging to your roots allows for a personal discovery of heritage. Helen Kelly is one of Ireland’s leading genealogists and a member of Accredited Genealogists of Ireland. Guests at The Shelbourne (Dublin, IRL) can work with her directly to trace their Irish roots. Helen can develop personalized research plans, genealogical tours throughout Ireland, assessment reports and hosted trips to Dublin’s various genealogical repositories. Inspirato is the only hospitality company to exclusively manage a collection of branded luxury vacation homes all across the globe, and curate one-of-a-kind adventures for its members including ancestry trips. Launched in 2013 and inspired by the belief that memories are the best travel souvenir, Flytographer connects travelers with a community of hundreds of local photographers in 250 destinations around the world for fun, candid vacation photo shoots (about an hour) that capture the magic of travel. Visit places with ancestral roots/ties and cherish the moment with your loved ones and have it documented to inspire your great-great-grandkids years down the road.