Luxury hotels get creative for families as multi-generational travel returns
While family groups make up a large share of guests leading the travel resumption, upscale hotels are directing their creativity toward programs that all ages can enjoy together.
Ramesh Daryanani, Vice President, Global Sales, Asia-Pacific, said GTT Asia at ILTM Asia Pacific on Wednesday that families reunited over the post-lockdown holidays are “looking for programs to entertain and engage everyone.”
“Creating programs for families is now a priority for our hotels and Marriott as a company. Everyone is looking for the next new experience on their trip and wants to share their stories when they return. That’s our job to give them the experience they can talk about,” remarked Daryanani.
He pointed to various programs offered in the Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy collection that cater for all ages, such as activities at Turtle Shelter at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa; nature trails and sapling initiatives at Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa; Rehabilitation of Blue Swimming Crab at Sheraton Samui Resort; and volunteering with the St. John’s Gold Coast Crisis Centre, coordinated by JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa.
JW Gardens installed at JW Marriott properties around the world offer families the opportunity to see how herbs and vegetables are grown and used by the hotel.
The collection of Ritz-Carlton properties across Asia-Pacific will roll out Ritz Kids 3.0 later this year, a new program built around Leo the Lion that will take young guests on a journey to spark curiosity, instill a sense of responsibility and bring them closer to nature and local culture, regardless of the destination they visit.
These programs are not only fun, they also expose children to sustainable and regenerative tourism concepts, Daryanani said.
Minor Hotels, which has also witnessed a vigorous upturn in family travel demand, has properties all set to engage young and old alike.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas offers a kids’ club with a trampoline park, water park and slides as well as a full range of activities from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, giving kids little reason to stay home. inside.
Paul Counihan, the property’s sales and marketing manager, said there are a number of “very creative” activities that are a big hit with the little ones. One is a marine biology lesson at the SEA Underwater Restaurant, while another takes little pirates on a sailboat to “conquer” a sandbank.
Guests looking to bond can sign up for a date with grandpa and enjoy free cookies and milk. Families can also stargaze at the resort’s overwater observatory and interact with a Maldivian astrologer.
Andy Nightingale, Sales and Marketing Cluster Manager for Anantara Dhigu, Veli & Naladhu Private Island, Maldives, said the properties offer a unique mix of programs for children and for all family members because “while families can’t wait to go on vacation together after -lockdown, parents also go crazy after 24 hours with their children”.
“They need a break and we are happy to help them,” he said.
The properties under his care offer free programs for children, such as movie nights, so adults can enjoy a quiet drink or meal for a few hours.
Illustrating the warm appetite of traveler families, Marion Walsh-Hédouin, vice president of public relations and communications, Minor Hotels, said that the 15 residences of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort in Thailand are sold out even during the low season. . These units offer five to eight bedrooms each.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas’ five resorts with between two and four villas are also popular with family groups.
“We’re creating more facilities that cater to multi-generational groups,” Walsh-Hédouin said, adding that “there’s a greater focus on adapting experiences that are good for kids only and good for kids.” the whole family”.
“Before Covid, couples often traveled without the children. But when the pandemic separated the families, they missed each other and learned to appreciate the time spent together,” she said.
Walsh-Hédouin also found that families are now traveling longer – up to seven nights per destination – and staying in fewer places at once. Instead of packing Bangkok, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang and Phuket into a single Asia trip, for example, they choose to do just two.
“They also prefer to stay with the same hotel company in the different destinations they visit for a smooth trip. For example, families would stay in Anantara Hoi An for a few days and then take the Vietage (train) to Anantara Quy Nhon for another a few days. The train is a seamless travel option and customers can enjoy the view along the way,” she said.