If you’re sniggering at the back having read the title of this blog post, we should perhaps point out that by ‘specialist accommodation provider’, we’re not referring to the practice of offering hotel rooms by the hour.
However, the hoteliers promoting the use of their properties for such erm… endeavours… may well have a point.
Bear with us.
The modern hotel sector is driven by the desire to create unforgettable guest experiences, and property owners are finding ever more inventive ways to do so.
The key here is to create a hotel stay and experience that is memorable for the right reasons and inspiring enough to prompt guests to tell their friends. This can be achieved by focusing on any of following elements:
- food and/or drink;
- technology comforts;
- warmth of communications;
- on-site activities (or tie-ins with local attractions); and
- relevancy to the guest.
In this blog post, we’re going to focus on the latter, and look at three potential areas in which your hotel could specialise and appeal to a very specific audience.
1. The cycling pitstop
British cycling is booming.
Thanks to Bradley Wiggins and co, there appears to be more lycra-clad cyclists on the roads than ever before, and as a hotelier, that could present quite an opportunity.
If you happen to be placed conveniently on a common cycling route (and, let’s be honest, they’re rarely consigned to national cycle routes), your hotel could be the perfect overnight pitstop and respite for two-wheeled addicts.
By offering somewhere to securely store bikes, maps of alternative routes and high energy-based recovery meals, you’ll tap into a huge market that would otherwise have wheeled silently past your property.
2. The walkers’ retreat
It doesn’t matter where your hotel is situated, be it a busy city centre or tucked away in a pretty little hamlet - it probably resides either directly within or close by a common walking route.
A bit like cycling, the nation’s increased thirst for exercise has prompted many of us to head to our nearest outdoor clothing shop and stock up on rambling gear. And anyone who has gone one step further and actually used that gear will know how welcome the sight of a pub is during a long trek.
If your hotel has a bar - that’s your first route into this market, but you can go much further by following the cycling example.
Offer refreshments, restorative meals, maps and reasonably-priced rooms for the night and you’ll capture the eye of many a walking group. Make it clear on approach that you welcome dogs and muddy boots (in specific areas of the hotel, of course), and you’ll be amazed by how many people decide to take a break from their hike and drop in (or pre-book a room once word starts to spread!).
3. The classic car meet
Have you got a sizeable carpark or patch of grass that sits unused for long stretches of the year? If so, you have a brilliant opportunity to encourage car enthusiasts to regularly visit your hotel.
Classic car ‘meets’ are incredibly popular and take place all year round. What’s more, the organisers of these petrol-fuelled events are always looking for space in which to hold them, and your hotel could provide an attractive backdrop, plenty of room for the vehicles and beds for anyone who has travelled particularly far.
In a market as competitive as this one, you need to get creative in order to differentiate your offering from the bland, flatpack chain competition and more adventurous independents. Our tips above will hopefully inspire you to do just that!