More tourists want authenticity in hotels

The trend has been a boost to Small Luxury Hotels
More leisure and business travellers, particularly the affluent ones, prefer the experience of staying in small hotels as they seek more authentic experiences. This trend has been a boost to Small Luxury Hotels, for example, which has 500-plus member properties with an average size of 48 keys.
A decade ago, hotel marketing was all about stressing double points, gift cards, soft mattresses, bath butlers and the types of marble in the bathroom. Celebrity chefs transformed stuffy restaurants. Press releases celebrated new toiletries. The spotlight was on the hotel and the brand.
But now the trend is for authentic experiences – and if it happens outside the hotel, that’s fine too. Concierges are recommending the kind of place employees like to go after work.
“At many of our hotels the owner is also the general manager, and many of our hotels have been passed down for several generations. So if you want to talk about authentic local experiences, that’s what we have always been delivering. Our hotels are embedded in the community,” says Filip Boyen, who has been at the helm of the company for just over a year.
Smaller size often means fewer facilities, but this can be an advantage. Visitors would rather bike along a canal or jog through the old town of a historic city than run on a treadmill watching the television. At the same time, properties in SLH often have or work with excellent restaurants, wineries, private golf courses, stables, spas, ski and safari lodges and rooftop bars.


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