How to make your hotel a magnet for the expat community
The Riviera, Marbella, Barbados. Everyone wants to visit, lucky few get to stay forever.
Those who choose to make one of these places their permanent home may come from all corners of the world and all walks of life. But, they share a few traits and they tend to flock together. They need to make new friends in the new place, and that's often easiest done at the local Golf Club.
What may be even more important is that they have friends scattered all around the world. More on this later.
So how can you connect with them if you manage a luxury hotel in one of those glamorous, glittering, magical places? A good example is what Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa are doing.
Formerly the Spanish Royal Family Mediterranean hideaway, the hotel is now effectively the social hub of a very exclusive community.
And you can clearly see this in the experiences they sell to local residents via the online shop we created for them. These include the usual suspects such as gourmet F&B experiences and spa treatments, but also a few very unique treats like Yoga or Pilates masterclasses, Mindfulness courses and Kids Club day passes. Absolutely perfect for making new friends in a new place.
Now, going back to our expats' friends, scattered all around the world... We didn't think of this when we set out to build Hotel Treats, but it seems the platform is very often used to buy gifts for friends and family members living in far-flung places.
Buying and sending a physical gift for someone living abroad is the stuff nightmares are made of. I do it all the time, but it still beats me how to ensure the ribbon stays curly and the bow sufficiently fluffed, instead of becoming a squashed mess in transport.
But imagine if you could easily buy a gift voucher online in a luxury hotel close to where your nearest & dearest live? Perhaps a round of golf? A spa treatment? An extra special gourmet dinner for two? These can be easily mailed directly from the hotel to the lucky recipient or emailed to them on a pre-selected date so you never forget their birthday (extra handy for last-minute shopping too...).
It's one of those use cases we didn't think about, but it now seems so obvious. It's a gift that keeps on giving.