How to make your hotel a magnet for the expat community
The Riviera, Marbella, Barbados. Everyone wants to visit, the lucky few get to stay forever.
Those who choose to make it their permanent home may come from all corners of the world, but they share a few traits. They tend to be on the affluent side of the spectrum and they may well have a little more time on their hands. They have been everywhere, have seen 'everything', and appreciate the finer things in life (which may well be the simplest ones!). They also tend to flock together - they need to make new friends in the new place. And that's often easiest done in the local Golf Club.
What may be even more important is that they have friends scattered all around the world. More on this later.
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 hub of this very exclusive community.
You can clearly see this in the experiences they sell to local residents. 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 masterclass, 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 you can easily buy a gift voucher online in a luxury hotel close to where they live? Perhaps a round of golf? A flower arranging workshop? 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. You could say the platform is a gift that keeps on giving.