20 Feb de 2017

Customised hotels: the Sol Hotels formula

The tourism sector is all about customisation, specialisation and personalisation of services. It happens both in the airlines with the complementary offers but it is more noticeable in the hotels with the birth of original hotel concepts designed for each type of guest.

The hotel customisation is a clear fact that has been emerging for almost a decade. The first steps in this direction were timid but in recent years the escalation has been such that we can already speak of a phenomenon that has come to stay and that no one, big or small, can turn their backs on.

It is true that, as always happens in sectors as varied as the tourism, not all agents involved in it move at the same pace:

  • The user and their demands change due to the internet and new technologies,
  • OTAS and tour operators adapt flexibly by offering new services to their traditional travellers
  • The most important groups and hotel chains follow the quickly thanks to their large investment capacity
  • The more modest chains and small hotels try to save the furniture by making changes that gradually define better each type of hotel.

It is not easy. Customisation requires transformation and occasionally on a large scale, when hotels have traditionally leaned towards more defined accommodations linked to a specific type of traveler. Hotels for couples, for young people, for children, for families, for sportsmen, for executives … The classification is practically the same from one to the other, the change is that hotels are configured completely and not only with small details – to attend to a traveller who pays and demands, a traveler who no longer wants the usual holiday, who wants more.

A case study that already serves as an example on many round tables in this sector is the transformation of hotels for families from the Melià Hotel & Resorts Group that were marketed under the Sol Hotels line: a series of the Mallorcan companies’ establishments were taken from areas on the island where the tourists tended to be more mature and they were completely reformed, changing not only the style and decoration but the whole concept of experience offered to the traveller.

Sol Hotels & Resorts

Today, Sol Hotels is synonymous with innovation and exclusive vacations thanks to hotels that have changed our understanding of the traditional sun and beach holidays. Sol House, Sol Beach House, Sol Wave House and Sol Kathmandu Park & Resort awaken curiosity among travellers from all over the world. The first thing that strikes you is the complete revision of the style and design of the insides: themed rooms, spaces completely customised and inspired by the most current fashion, pop up areas that change every season according to trends and tastes, Facilities where technology takes center stage, areas dedicated entirely to experiences tailored to the type of guest to which each hotel is aimed towards …

The large artificial wave pool stands out, in which you can surf in front of the Sea of the Sol Wave House, the amusement park that is part of the resort in the Sol Kathmandu Park – considered to be one of the most revolutionary hotels for families with small children – and the Solo Adult experience that is offered by the Sol Beach House is select, fresh, relaxed and full of sophistication.

With its hotels always dedicated to a different type of traveller, Sol Hotels has managed to concentrate on mass tourism to travellers from all over the world who choose this destination practically just to live the experience of staying in these hotels.

And there’s the key: you do not have to customise by segmentation, it’s about turning your hotel into a fundamental attraction in that destination, one more experience. At the same time, the strategy is aimed not only at the foreigner but at the same time trying to reach out and captivate national and, of course, local tourism, so that hotels are active and participatory agents in the social and cultural life of the community in which they are part of.

Sol Hotels is also an example of this, with the sponsorship of one of the biggest musical events of the island: the Mallorca Live Festival, which is in its 2017 edition – the second already – They have the international group Placebo as a headliner.

20 Feb de 2017

Hoteles segmentados: la fórmula Sol Hotels

El sector turístico está inmerso en una espiral de segmentación, especialización y personalización de los servicios. Sucede tanto en las aerolíneas como en la oferta complementaria pero se deja notar, sobre todo, en los hoteles con el nacimiento de novedosos conceptos de hotel más pensados para cada tipo de usuario.

La segmentación hotelera es un hecho patente que ha venido perfilándose desde hace ya casi una década. Los primeros pasos en este sentido eran tímidos pero en los últimos años la escalada ha sido tal que ya se puede hablar de un fenómeno que ha venido para quedarse y al que nadie, ni los pequeños ni los grandes, pueden dar la espalda.

Es cierto que, como suele suceder siempre en sectores tan variados como el turístico, no todos los agentes que intervienen en él se mueven al mismo ritmo:

  • el usuario y sus demandas galopan a la marcha que le impone internet y las nuevas tecnologías,
  • las OTAS y los touroperadores se adaptan de forma flexible ofreciendo los nuevos servicios a sus viajeros tradicionales
  • los grupos y cadenas hoteleras más importantes siguen la pauta con bastante agilidad gracias a su gran capacidad de inversión
  • las cadenas más modestas y los pequeños hoteles tratan de salvar los muebles programando cambios que poco a poco definen mejor cada tipo de hotel.

No es fácil. La segmentación requiere transformación y, en ocasiones, a gran escala de lo que son los hoteles que tradicionalmente se habían impuesto hacia unos alojamientos mucho más definidos y vinculados a un tipo de viajero concreto. Hoteles para parejas, para jóvenes, para niños, para familias, para deportistas, para ejecutivos… La clasificación es prácticamente similar a la que había antes, el cambio radica en que los hoteles se configuran -por completo y no solo con pequeños detalles- para atender a un viajero que paga y exige, un viajero que ya no se conforma con lo de siempre, que quiere más.

Sol Hotels & Resorts

Un caso de estudio que ya sirve de ejemplo en muchas mesas redondas del sector es la transformación de los hoteles para familias del Grupo Melià Hotel & Resorts que se comercializaban bajo la línea Sol Hotels: se tomaron una serie de establecimientos que la firma mallorquina tenía en una de las zonas más maduras turísticamente hablando de la isla y se reformaron por completo, cambiando no solo el estilo y la decoración sino todo el concepto de experiencia que ofrecían al viajero.

Hoy en día, Sol Hotels es sinónimo de innovación y vacaciones exclusivas gracias a hoteles que han cambiado la forma de entender las tradicionales vacaciones de sol y playa. Sol House, Sol Beach House, Sol Wave House y Sol Katmandú Park & Resort rompen esquemas y despiertan curiosidad entre viajeros de todo el mundo. Lo primero que llama la atención es la revisión completa del estilo y diseño de los hoteles en su interior: habitaciones temáticas, espacios completamente customizados e inspirados en la moda más actual, zonas pop up que cambian cada temporada en función de las tendencias y gustos, instalaciones donde la tecnología toma el protagonismo, áreas dedicadas íntegramente a experiencias diseñadas a medida del tipo de huésped hacia el que apunta cada hotel…

Así, destaca la gran piscina de olas artificiales en la que practicar surf frente al mar del Sol Wave House, el parque de atracciones que se integra con el resort en el Sol Katmandú Park -considerado uno de los hoteles para familias con niños pequeños más revolucionarios del momento- y la experiencia Solo Adultos que ofrece el Sol Beach House en un ambiente selecto, fresco, relajado y lleno de sofisticación.

Con sus hoteles de siempre dedicados a un tipo de viajero diferente, Sol Hotels ha logrado concentrar en una zona de turismo de masas a viajeros de todo el mundo que eligen este destino prácticamente solo por vivir la experiencia de alojarse en estos hoteles.

Y ahí está la clave: no hay que segmentar por segmentar, se trata de convertir tu hotel en un atractivo fundamental del destino, una experiencia más. Al mismo tiempo, la estrategia apunta no solo al extranjero sino que trata de llegar y cautivar también al turismo nacional y, por supuesto, al local, de modo que los hoteles sean agentes activos y participativos de la vida social y cultural de la comunidad en la que se integran.

Sol Hotels es también un ejemplo de esto, con el patrocinio de uno de los mayores eventos musicales de la isla: el Mallorca Live Festival que en esta edición 2017 -la segunda ya- cuentan con el grupo internacional Placebo como cabeza de cartel.

19 Ene de 2017

Why it’s best to go all-inclusive

All Inclusive by IBEROSTAR

Let no-one be fooled: all-inclusive triumphs over other board basis’ in hotels because it is the best for money and comfort. This, in the last few years, has made it possible to add more advantages to all-inclusive; a great reason for holidaymakers to be able to book a cheap holiday to Spain; a country with many mature tourist destinations.

Mature tourist destinations like Mallorca, the Canary Islands, the Levante or Southern Spain know all too well that the most in-demand holidays are those with all-inclusive board basis primarily because it means a stress-free holiday. Best known over the years for offering stays of rest and relaxation without having to worry about even the most basic things, all-inclusive, far from disappearing as was feared a few years ago, is now back on top, bigger and better than ever.  And with all the advantages it has to offer, no wonder it’s so popular in Spain and other holiday locations.

You’ll see few remaining all-inclusive hotels in the 21st century built during the 50’s when there was a boom in the tourism industry making Spain the front runner of Europe as a holiday destination. Although you’ll still find all-inclusive hotels from this era, the ones at present continue to develop the two biggest advantages of going all-inclusive (comfort and competitive prices) as well as adding new values like more exclusive services to better accommodate the public’s specific needs, all whilst not excluding mass tourism.

All-inclusive allows you to pay for your holiday when you book it, choosing the most luxurious rooms at the best prices, with more varied services and access to most facilities in the hotel. Away from all-inclusive, the more innovative areas or those that offer different types of facilities like spa and hydrotherapy centres in their own or sister hotel, gourmet restaurants, terraces with chill out zones accompanied with drinks and cocktails will be charged as extras.

All inclusive hotels

However, the new All-Inclusive Plus and Premium packages include the best selective services with certain limited uses offering guests the option to try before they buy and if they enjoy themselves, they can easily pay the additional cost. One of the best benefits is the day-to-day gastronomy: the best quality, as much in their distinguished restaurants as in their buffets; drinks; desserts; snacks;

Also you can now book suites when you choose all-inclusive, opting for a luxury experience and not having to worry, knowing that everything has already been paid for back home and all that’s needed is for you to go to the hotel and enjoy yourself without worrying about any outstanding payments.

This wide variety is why all-inclusive is the most sought out board basis, especially for those travelling as a family as they are the ones who are in most need of full and versatiles packages so that every member of family, from the children to the grandparents can take maximum advantage of their holiday, from the hotel to its surroundings.

It’s less common for couples who go on city breaks to opt for all-inclusive as these types of trips are normally more for spending time outside of the hotel and so they would not benefit from lunch and dinner included. Certainly, there are times when breakfast included in the cost of the accommodation is reason to book instead of those not offering this option but it’s also more flexible and less complete than all-inclusive, meaning that, in the end, your spending will be all over the place.

All-inclusive has never received such luxury status as it has now, for some hotels. This is because some all-inclusive hotels, like IBEROSTAR Anthelia (south of Tenerife) are an authentic paradise for serenity and fulfilment. Other more modest hotels of the same chain (and one of the main ones in Spain that first established this form of all-inclusive) are, for example, that of Fuerteventura Palace, in Playa Jandía,. With the whole hotel being an all-inclusive hotel in Fuerteventura, all of its zones are designed for you to enjoy a truly relaxing high-quality experience at the price of a 4-star hotel.

The south of Tenerife is where you’ll find all-inclusive of the highest quality. All-inclusive hotels in Costa Adeje are a unique sample of variety and attention, making this part of the island a real sun and beach paradise. Apart from the climate allowing them to remain open all year round, they are making fast improvements to the care taken to their product and its facilities, as well as making every experience personal to their guest.

Mallorca is another example that we can’t forget to mention when it comes to all-inclusive holidays. Although the island has always been tied to mass tourism of a certain quality, this declined slightly over the past few years but now  has come back bigger and better than ever, offering state-of-the-art fully-facilitated hotels and better experiences in and out of the hotel. Some interesting examples can be seen in the north of Mallorca, in the hotel zone of Playa de Muro or in the all-inclusive hotels in Cala Ratjada, where, other than the enjoying the facilities of the hotel, you can also appreciate a charming fishing village full of tradition and life.

19 Ene de 2017

¿Por qué es mejor Todo Incluido?

All Inclusive by IBEROSTAR

Que nadie se engañe: el Todo Incluido en los hoteles triunfa porque es fundamentalmente cómodo y económico. A partir de ahí, sobre todo en los últimos tiempos, se le pueden añadir otra serie de ventajas que se han ido incorporando a este modelo de régimen de alojamiento que durante muchas décadas ha representado la fórmula para viajar barato en nuestro país. Destinos maduros de vacaciones .  

Destinos maduros como Mallorca, Canarias, el Levante o el Sur de España lo saben bien: el Todo Incluido en vacaciones es la opción más buscada porque es, ante todo, pura facilidad para el disfrute sin preocupaciones. Ligado históricamente al turismo de sol y playa que quiere que sus días de relax sean eso, relax y descanso sin complicarse con lo más mínimo, el Todo Incluido lejos de desaparecer como se temió hace unos años se ha venido arriba. Hay más y mejor. Y las ventajas que aporta son el motivo principal por el cual resiste con tanta fuerza en nuestro país y en tantos otros lugares de vacaciones.

El hotel Todo Incluido del siglo XXI es cierto que se parece muy poco al de los años 50 cuando se produjo aquel boom turístico que colocó a España al frente de Europa como destino vacacional. Aunque todavía se pueden encontrar Todo Incluido de los de antes, los hoteles que apuestan por este régimen de alojamiento hoy por hoy sorprenden al ofrecer un sistema de alojamiento que sigue permitiendo mantener las dos grandes ventajas del All Inclusive (la comodidad y el precio competitivo) y al que añaden valores nuevos: servicios más exclusivos, pensados para necesidades muy concretas de públicos específicos creando una atención más personalizada sin renunciar al turismo de masas.

Todo Incluido permite pagar las vacaciones en el momento de la reserva, eligiendo a mejor precio habitaciones de más lujo, con servicios más variados y con acceso a la mayor parte de las instalaciones del hotel. Quedan fuera de este Todo Incluido habitualmente los espacios más innovadores o que aportan un plus diferencial como son los centros de hidroterapia y spa dentro de los propios establecimientos o asociados a ellos, los restaurantes gourmet a la carta y las terrazas chill out lounge cuyas bebidas y cócteles sí se cobran como un extra.

All inclusive hotels

Pero con los nuevos Todo Incluido versión Premium o Plus sí hay opciones que integran estos servicios más selectos, al menos con un número de usos limitados dejando la opción al huésped de probarlo y que, si le convence, pueda abonar el coste adicional que suponen. Lo que sí se contemplan son la gastronomía diaria -de mayor calidad, tanto en los restaurantes temáticos como en los buffet-, las bebidas, postres y meriendas, los servicios de miniclub y actividades complementarias como deportes, fiestas, shows y bailes.

También se pueden ahora reservar suites con Todo Incluido, pudiendo de este modo optar por una experiencia de lujo sin renunciar a la tranquilidad de saber que todo está abonado desde casa y uno solo tiene que ir al hotel a disfrutarlo. Sin estar pendiente de nada.

Esta gran variedad es la que hace que los Todo Incluido triunfen sobre todo entre los que viajan en familia pues son los que necesitan alojamientos más completos y versátiles con el fin de que todos y cada uno de los miembros de la familia, desde niños a abuelos, puedan aprovechar al máximo la estancia, tanto dentro del hotel como recorriendo su entorno.

Es menos frecuente decidirse por un Todo Incluido para parejas que viajan a una ciudad: los viajes urbanos suelen exigir pasar mucho más tiempo fuera del hotel de modo que no compensa la opción de que el alojamiento incluya almuerzo y cena. Es cierto que sí hay una clara tendencia a que la inclusión del desayuno en el precio del alojamiento sea motivo de reserva frente a otros hoteles que no lo ofrecen, pero el Alojamiento y Desayuno es un régimen muy más flexible y menos completo que el Todo Incluido, de modo que la variación en el gasto que supongan al final las vacaciones puede ser mucho más incontrolable.

El Todo Incluido nunca ha tenido la etiqueta de lujo que quizás ahora, en algunos hoteles, merezca. Porque sí, hay hoteles Todo Incluido que son auténticos oasis de placeres y felicidad como es el caso del IBEROSTAR Anthelia, en el sur de Tenerife. Otros más modestos de esta misma cadena hotelera -una de las principales de nuestro país en diseñar este tipo de régimen Todo Incluido con más tino- es el Fuerteventura Palace, hotel Todo Incluido en Fuerteventura, ubicado en Playa Jandía y con espacios pensados para asegurar una experiencia de relax de alta categoría a precio de un 4 estrellas.

El sur de Tenerife es un destino donde proliferan los ejemplos de Todo Incluido con más calidad: los hoteles Todo Incluido en Costa Adeje son una muestra única en variedad y atención que ha convertido a esta zona de la isla en un auténtico paraíso de las vacaciones de sol y playa más selectas. Además de que tienen la ventaja de que el clima les permite funcionar todo el año, están avanzando mucho en el cuidado del producto y las instalaciones, así como en la personalización de las experiencias de cada huésped.

Mallorca es otro punto de referencia que no se puede dejar de mencionar cuando se habla de vacaciones Todo Incluido. Aunque la isla siempre ha estado ligada a un turismo de masas de cierta calidad, en los últimos años había perdido cierto pulso en este sentido pero ahora ha vuelto a recuperarlo, ofreciendo hoteles más completos, de diseño vanguardista y con experiencias más pensadas, tanto dentro como fuera del establecimiento. Algunas muestras interesantes se pueden encontrar en el norte de Mallorca, en la zona de hoteles de Playa de Muro o en los hoteles Todo Incluido en Cala Ratjada, donde además del valor del alojamiento se brinda el encanto de un pueblo marinero lleno de tradición y vida.

14 Dic de 2016

Catalonia Hotels or the personalized attention revolution

Urban accommodation, with services orientated for travellers of the 21st century and attention without intermediaries.

From the exact moment of the online reservation, there will always be somebody ready to respond to your requirements, your doubts or your suggestions. This is because travelling today is much more than a destination, it is global experience. Catalonia Hotels were able to see this long before anybody else. Although all the actual hotel industry in Spain are looking to advance in these aspects -that are directly linked with how the guest relates with his accommodation- it is remarkable and should be noted, that there are companies taking a foothold in this area which, more often than we would like, is tricky and complicated.

How and with what aspects of the hotel is our client most satisfied, what is most highly appreciated and valued of the establishment, for what is he prepared to pay more, what are the services and attentions that are missing. All these issues are those that should always be asked and, now more than ever, they should be addressed and treated with the upmost care. Why? Because the reputation of a hotel is at stake and once lost is extremely difficult to recover.

Internet has opened spaces for users where they can speak and comment, recommend or criticize and, if one really takes notice, the numerous debates that start and the points that are notified are nearly always about the same things, cleanliness, maintenance and state of the installations. To look after these three pillars is to guarantee a flow of satisfied clients, a good online reputation, more loyalty and better word of mouth.  This converts into more and better reservations.

Catalonia Hotels, in all their hotels in the centre of Barcelona and Madrid, have worked on these aspects very cautiously. Listen to the client, calculate his necessities and anticipate the same, monitor those issues where the hotel has failed and adequately compensate the errors or incidences that took place. A modus operandi that not only has been applied within the chain but has also been introduced in Barcelona and Madrid together with the beach resorts offered in Punta Cana.

This work, that has taken place during the last few years, has permitted Catalonia Hotels to grow as a referred quality hotel company and position themselves as one of the newest Spanish hotel chains, intimate, direct and personal. Not only in the offline world but also in their facet of online service.

Individual online attention for each hotel

The process of improving the online attention that Catalonia Hotels were looking for required a very solid system but at the same time it needed to be flexible and diversified for each hotel. The chain chose us as their partners and with them we could implement an integration project for each hotel which, altogether, make up the current network of care and management online of the direct bookings of each establishment.

For their highlighted hotels, a specific web site was developed where each hotel was clearly defined, with its individual characteristics, the values and philosophy and its advantages with respect to their competitors.  Every hotel was treated as a unique project but without separating it from the rest, so that the attention that each hotel affords the guests is direct and personal and incorporates the values of the chain.  This is the way to avoid distances that may occur with the management of a reservation with a large hotel chain with more than 55 hotels in Spain, and also others in other first class touristic destinations.

The guest can enter directly the web of the chosen Catalonia hotel and effect the reservation with the team of that hotel, who can easily resolve any doubts and can offer a personalized service which then during the stay at the hotel develops into a truly personal service.

This closeness facilitates in a direct way, without intermediaries, the booking and everything that this involves, permitting that the guest feels welcome and at home from the first moment, or even before arriving at the hotel he can enjoy the experience.

In the same way, this allows a better follow up at the end of his stay and the incitation of the customer loyalty programme. Offers and special discounts based on the information about the user and his valuations, periodic communications and personalizations etc. Everything works especially if it contributes to improve relations between the user and the hotel.  This is what Catalonia Hotels has seen and used to their and their clients’ advantage.

Catalonia Hotels is a family chain with base in Barcelona – a city where they already offer more than 3,000 rooms – with their policy of intimacy and being treated like one of the family even in their most urban hotels.  Actually, the chain offers not only hotels in the centre of Barcelona – such as the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza, the Catalonia Atenas and the Catalonia Sagrada Familia – but also in the centre of Madrid – such as the Catalonia Las Cortes – in Berlin, Brussels and including hotels in the Caribbean – such as the Catalonia Bavaro ResortAll the hotels can be reserved on the official hotel chain web site and some of them already have their own individual official web sites where reservations can be made with all guarantees.