1) Prioritize Private, Distinctive Amenities that Make for a One-of-a-Kind Experience
For those competing with VRBO and Airbnb, combating the decentralized, seemingly ever-looming threats to hospitality may seem futile. Luckily, we have found this to be definitively untrue. As much as Millenials love the option, there are some experiences that a vacation rental share will never be able to accommodate. Having access to onsite restaurants, housekeeping staff, airport shuttle services, and other convenient mainstays of hospitality is still widely appealing to the new demographic. The other newer amenities this crowd is searching for have now become easily identifiable, and will become near-ubiquitous in successful future properties. A classic example of this – a distinctive and original swimming pool. Developments that boast a lazy river, infinity pool, swim-up bar, etc., will absolutely reap the rewards of enhanced social influence. A swimming pool is just a swimming pool. Unless it is also an irresistible photo-op, a thrilling right-up-to-the-edge experience, or a fresh and memorable feature that won’t be immediately forgotten.
Some classically lavish amenities can find a surge of renewed interest by becoming more personalized or private. Having access to a hot tub or sauna is luxurious. Having an in-room shower sauna or a hot tub on the balcony of your private room is next-generation luxurious. Some features which are relatively cheap and easy to implement in development, like heated bathroom floors, will absolutely make a difference to these travelers. Reviews, which are more important than ever before, are full of praise for all the “little luxuries” guests encounter. Think, adding an in-room craft beer tap. Yes, it is a thing. And, it’s a thing that garners loads of positive interest in your most important demographic.
2) Instagrammable Everything – Appealing to the FOMO Generation
In 2022, your competition is not just other similarly priced properties in the area. Your competition is potentially every other unique or quirky property featured by influencers and celebrities on social media. Seeing what everybody else is presenting on social media all the time has made the new class of travelers long for a truly unique experience among thousands.
The key is ensuring that amenities evolve to suit the preferences of a generation that prioritizes a unique, culturally-informed travel experience. Hotels have embraced this need to stand out by incorporating loads of eccentric amenities such as elevator bartenders, customized cosmetic and aromatherapy offerings, in-room plant menus, and more. Consider each feature, amenity, and piece of art in the property and ask, would this appear in a popular Instagram post? Urban area hotels, such as the Modernist Hotel in NYC, have a fantastic opportunity to offer guests a special taste of stylish city life. The Modernest provides visitors with truly breathtaking views of the city from their skyline terraces, and at the same time host their very own acclaimed Modernist Art Gallery.
3) The Importance of Location is Here to Stay, in a Different Way
The travelers of tomorrow are not interested in having the exact same experience over and over again, just in different locations. The unique location and experience of a place IS the draw. “Locally sourced” is a new mantra for all businesses, and it is the guiding philosophy of traveling millennials. This means your onsite restaurant must be a culinary expression of your unique location. Serving vibrant, authentic cultural dishes is a quick way to the heart of this demographic of traveler. If your hotel is located in a desert climate, there is no need to wax tropical in your decor. Opt instead for a celebration of native plants. Source the art found around your property from local artists (and offer guests the option to support the artists by purchasing the work). Team up with local ice cream and coffee shops to serve and feature their products.
Another important amenity consideration that is quickly becoming necessary? Rental gear. Many rental vacation shares include access to outdoor activity gear. If the draw of the location is a snowy, winter wonderland, there will be snowshoes available to use. If it is a rugged mountain retreat? You can bet there will be hiking poles and mountain bikes awaiting guests when they arrive. Artisan and boutique hotel the Trumbull & Porter give guests the opportunity to explore the area using city bikes provided by local partner, Detroit Bikes, that are always ready to be taken out on an urban adventure. Instead of purchasing gear for one or two experiences, these travelers would rather purchase zero gear, and instead pay to have all the experiences possible. ‘Rental’ is no longer synonymous with ‘economy’ or ‘budget’. These travelers want to ski without buying the skis, sail without owning a sailboat, do yoga everywhere they go without lugging around a yoga mat, and so much more.