Blog: The Rise of the Staycation
London Director, Tony Pleasants considers the potential for a rise in the staycation for the rest of 2020 with hotels, restaurant and bars reopening in a few days and overseas travel restrictions in place.
Let’s face it, we are all getting bored of living, working and exercising at home. A change of scenery within the UK could well be just the thing to boost our wellbeing.
What to look for in a staycation? A home away from home that allows you to visit somewhere different, a reliable brand experience or total escapism?
Hotels that have an edge in the market are the brands that focus on offering guests a fully tangible brand experience. A hotel provides a brand with a physical environment that can be specifically targeted to their audience and create an attainable brand lifestyle.
We have been working with Hilton, one of the most well-known international hotel brands, on the design of a new Hampton by Hilton in Ashford, Kent. Our design brief from our client Rees Mellish was to interpret the Hilton brand whilst ensuring the hotel retains its own local identity. Using the Hilton brand standards to offer guests the reliability of a brand stay, we then added touchpoints to highlight the local area through artwork, materials and finishes. This creates a unique feel and ensures that no Hilton is exactly the same. Rees Mellish has already opened up staycation packages at its existing hotels in the Surrey countryside and in Folkestone ready to meet the demand.
The recent Channel 4 documentary series, A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western, shows how Britain’s largest independent hotel chain seeks to celebrate the uniqueness of each venue rather than to unify them into a standard template.
Best Western recently acquired Marco Pierre White’s Rudloe Arms in Corsham, Wiltshire, which is a hotel as distinctive as its owner with saucy artwork and huge photographs of the chef himself adorning the bedroom walls. During the TV show, chef Marco explained why he decorated his hotel the way he did:
“When you go away, it should be like going to someone’s house, that’s what I believe.”
This longing for lifestyle experiences has been further confirmed by the huge rise in the popularity of Air-BnB. 91% of travellers expressing the desire to ‘live like a local’ according to Gensler’s research. Air BnB provides this experience, providing the opportunity to feel like part of something, to feel at home.
The Middleton’s Hotel in York is a great example of a home-away-from-home. The recently refurbished bedrooms in this historic hotel to create comfortable and contemporary interiors with a warm inviting edge. The detailing and placement of the artwork and accessories make you feel instantly relaxed and at home. This homely vibe is something that the House of Daniel Thwaites collection of hotels has developed a reputation for across its 21 properties.
Immersed in Luxury
Moving away from a homely feel, Grantley Hall Hotel and Wellness Retreat in Ripon, North Yorkshire provides an indulgent getaway.
Grantley Hall offers an immersive luxurious experience for guests specialising in indulgence and tranquillity. For a mini-break, guests may never leave the extensive grounds. This 47-bedroom hotel has four restaurants, three bars, a spa and elite training facilities to enchant and delight guests.
This magnificent hotel provides a lifestyle for guests to aspire to. Offering incredible experiences and opulent yet attainable spaces guests want to come back for more. So that when you are at the hotel, you feel like an elevated version of yourself.
The hospitality industry is changing to meet customer needs to ensure that they remain current in what has been the most unexpected past few months.
It is no longer enough for hotels to rely on crisp linen bedding, wrapped little soap sets and hotel slippers to get 5-Star Trip Advisor rating. The aim is to captivate people and create a long-lasting memory that people will want to relive.