The Mews Blog > What is a lifestyle hotel in the hospitality industry?
A lifestyle hotel combines the personalization of a boutique hotel with the affordability of a chain hotel. Think of it as a fusion between a chain hotel, normally more standard in its design, combined with the personality and character of a boutique hotel. As a hotelier you can capitalize on the desire of guests for exclusivity and uniqueness while offering the benefits of being part of a chain: reliability, loyalty programs, and competitive prices.
Due to the fact that the hospitality industry is in constant evolution, definitions are constantly changing, and with this evolution emerge new trends like lifestyle hotels. But what are they, what can they offer, and what are the differences between a lifestyle hotel and a traditional hotel? We’ll answer all of these questions in depth in this article, so keep reading to find out more.
What is a lifestyle hotel versus a boutique hotel?
A lifestyle hotel and a boutique hotel are hotels that keep in mind current trends in the hospitality industry, including art, culture and design to offer a unique experience not available at other properties. While these unique experiences of course differ from lifestyle to boutique hotels, the main differentiator is the price.
Boutique hotels offer a more personalized experience that is targeted at a unique clientele who are less price-dependent, whereas lifestyle hotels target those looking for an incomparable experience but with the price and dependability of a chain hotel.
This relatively new hotel idea allows chains to compete with boutique hotels while attracting a new target audience. They can use unique selling propositions like reliability (being an already established brand) and their loyalty programs to set them apart from the competition.
What can a lifestyle hotel offer?
As a modern hotelier, it’s important to adapt to the market trends, continuously offering one-of-a-kind experiences that will keep guests coming back time and time again. Learn more about loyalty strategies. So what can you offer to set you apart? Let’s find out.
As in any hotel, one of the key elements that will set you apart from the competition is the ability to offer personalized service. When guests choose a boutique hotel, they are often looking for the added bonus of personalization. That is to say, they want to feel special and oftentimes it is your staff that can provide this added touch.
To do this, you can create guest profiles to automate the process. These profiles will help you understand guest preferences such as room temperature, common extra services booked, favorite amenities and booking behaviors so that you can give them what they want. A guest profile allows you to keep track of contact and historical information such as different types of guests, their actions, and their preferences in order to better customize the guest experience for future stays.
Understanding how your guests behave is key to personalization. As a chain hotel, you can take advantage of the fact that you have the necessary resources to invest in market research, creating guest profiles, and training your staff to be the best they can be. These three elements will help you provide incomparable guest experiences that will help set you apart from the competition.
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Since pricing is one of your key differentiators when it comes time to book, use this to your favor. You can create a comp set including not only those who are your direct competition (other lifestyle hotels) but also boutique hotels. Understand how you are pricing in comparison to other hotels of similar standards in your area, and make sure to set prices that are competitive.
You can use a variety of pricing strategies like dynamic pricing or forecasting-based pricing to boost occupancy. As a chain hotel, you have the added bonus of being able to offer more competitive prices and be able to experiment with pricing as you have the support of the already-existing hotel brand. Learn more about the most effective pricing strategies.
Incomparable loyalty programs
One element that a boutique hotel won’t be able to compete with you on is your loyalty programs. This is why you should leverage your loyalty program to attract guests that might otherwise be driven to book at a boutique hotel. You can do this by offering special discounts and incentives to book and come back regularly.
Nowadays, technology is not only important, it can also be one of the elements that can differentiate you from the competition. As a hotelier at a chain hotel, you have the advantage that you have the money available to invest in in-room technology such as voice technology, smart mirrors, keyless entry and more that can give you a competitive edge while at the same time boosting guest satisfaction.
A nod to local culture
One of the key reasons for booking at a boutique hotel is for guests to have an experience that is unlike what they could find in another place. With the standardization of a chain hotel, a guest could be in Tokyo or London and the hotel could have the exact same decoration and furniture.
One of the ways to differentiate your hotel is by creating rooms with a general look and feel for your hotel that give a nod to local culture. Work with local designers who can help you create this unique vibe. Not only will it be a good way to invest in the local economy, but is also great for storytelling and for brand recognition. In this way, you can create the unique experience that guests are looking for.
What are the differences between a lifestyle hotel and a traditional hotel?
The main differences between a lifestyle hotel and a traditional hotel are how their respective offers are focused. Lifestyle hotels focus on personalization, with a constant effort to stay on top of the hospitality trends in order to attract a more niche audience. Traditional hotels, while they can be highly targeted with a certain audience in mind, depending on their location, aim to appeal to a wider audience in order to maximize revenue potential.
In this article we’ve looked at lifestyle hotels, how they differ from boutique and traditional hotels, and what they can offer to set them apart from the competition. Lifestyle hotels present an interesting opportunity for chain hotels to target a niche audience that is less price-sensitive and is willing to pay for a one-of-a-kind experience. Your job as a hotelier is to design the kind of experience that your target guests won’t be able to resist.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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