Luxury Travel, Lifestyle and Marketing Trends

Crafts: New Antidote for Stress Relief

New idea for meetings

Timberland coloring book

 

In a 24/7 demanding world,  even yoga and exercise don’t always work for stress relief. Enter crafting, the newest antidote not only to help rest the mind, but also to stimulate creativity in the workplace and a new idea for meetings. So no surprise that, as reported in Adweek,  adult coloring books are “taking the nation by storm”. They’re on Amazon’s list of best sellers, and cropping up in major brands such as Timberland’s marketing efforts. Even Vogue magazine has come out with its own entry. Coloring books also offer the benefit of being portable, inexpensive, appealing to all demographics and fun.

Michaels Craft stores now offer 150 coloring book titles along with other surfaces people can color on like T shirts, and canvases. And for the ultimate in stress relief, there’s the Meditation Coloring Book that combines calming thoughts with hands on craft activity.

Now how about this for a novel coffee break idea for a group meeting? Combine it with a juice bar and nutritious  snacks and voila. Or have a craft bar with easels for sketching or painting, day by day planners that you can personalize with stickers, and kits for making handstitched photo frames. All refreshing ,relaxing and creativity stimulating  options that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

New Hotel Revenue Models

the surf office

 

First it was business meetings that moved to Starbuck’s away from breakfasts at hotel restaurants or inking deals in a hotel lobby lounge. Then it was inroom movies, supplanted by laptops with streaming video or DVDs. And what about the legendary “power lunch”? As was reported recently in the New York Times, many millennials are skipping lunch for “crumbs on the keyboard”, viewing it as a waste of time.

What’s a hotel to do? Certainly the “Grab n’Go” concept manages to capture some revenue, provide a service, and appeal to a Starbucks budget and time-strapped business executives. In entertainment. Oz Eleonara,chief revenue officer for interactive content and connectivity provider Sonifi Solutions said there’s a greater movement in hospitality to combine entertainment, information and service to create new scenarios for digital interaction between hotels and guests.” In other words, turn a negative – movement away from current inroom entertainment models — to a positive – enabling hotels to connect with guests via technology. But, in the same article in Hotel Management, Scott Hansen, Director of Guest Technology for Marriott International said the company is looking it as a service and not a main revenue driver.

And now we’re seeing the beginning of the traditional hotel business/resort model under fire by offshoots of co-working spaces. In exotic locations worldwide, the countryside near urban centers, and beach destinations, properties are cropping up that offer communal work spaces, accommodations, and the opportunity to network, have fun and instant companionship.

What need does this address? Liz Elam founder of Link Coworking and executive producer of the Global Coworking Unconference said ,”More young people want work-life balance and maybe vacations completely unconnected are not feasible anymore; maybe people won’t take traditional vacations. But they can go to work in paradise for two months.” New centers described in the New York Times’ “A Desk in Paradise” have cropped up in Gran Canaria (The Surf Office), Turkey, and towns driving distance from Paris and Berlin. Right now they’re small in number and rooms and limited in facilities, but the appeal, especially to the Millennials is strong. They’re truly a new breed of “lifestyle” hotels.

The opportunity is there to expand the formula with new locations, more facilities, and ultimately, an upscale version of the concept. Let’s see who gets there first.

Hotel Shopping Takes a Leap

We’ve come a long, long way from hotel shops as just a place for guests to buy needed or forgotten toiletries and beach items. The first major change was the advent of  shops with curated fashion and jewelry that made a statement about guests’ style and budget as in what would a Peninsula Hotel guest wear? A “W” hotel guest? Later came fashion exclusively designed for the hotel or resort that made a statement about pedigree and the kind of company the resort keeps (as in Christian Louboutin’s espadrilles for One and Only Palmilla). For the Clinton Hotel in South Beach we came up with the idea of a room service lingerie menu which fit in  with our positioning of the hotel being sensual, seductive, with a French touch. Or for the former Regent Bal Harbour, we offered a fashion emergency button on a mobile phone where guests could dial up a dress or suit for the evening from Neiman Marcus. Now, according to the New York Times,  the St.Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach has taken this to the next level. When guests check into the hotel they find a closet stocked with clothing that personal shoppers have chosen with them in mind. The clothing is selected by a shopping team at Neiman Marcus based on an online questionnaire guests fill out specifying their  favorite style icons such as the “Mad Men” character Betty Draper. The James Hotel in New York offers something similar: guests find a box of accessories by New York designers chosen by celebrity stylist Mimi Lombardo. And payment? If an item is missing, it’s considered a purchase.

Cyber Monday Travel Deals

First it was Black Friday (which really started on Thursday in some places!), then Small Business Saturday, and now, today is Cyber Monday, which is quickly becoming one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Sales in the US continue growing – from $610 million in 2006 to about $1.3 billion in 2011.

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