Connecting guests with local favourites
At Hyatt Centric — which is targeting the millennial-minded traveller and has 15 locations, with plans to nearly double that number globally by 2019 — staffers are encouraged to share their favourite local spots with guests.
“It’s no longer just the job of the concierge to give you recommendations,” says Sandra Cordova Micek, Hyatt’s senior vice-president of global brands. “Our colleagues are constantly being asked what their hidden gems are and what they would recommend.”
In addition, the hotel places original local guides in rooms (and publishes them on the hotel’s website). It also highlights local art and food; some properties offer area tours. At Chicago’s Magnificent Mile location, for example, guests are invited on neighbourhood and brewery tours, and a hotel manager leads guests on morning runs.
Residence Inn partnered with Under Armour Connected Fitness to offer its extended-stay guests at more than 700 properties at least one running map, via the MapMyFitness app.
“A lot of people like to run or walk because it helps them be in the place they are, even if they don’t get to be a tourist,” Mayer says.
On the social side, Residence Inn properties host events three nights a week, dubbed the Residence Inn Mix, which include visits from local food trucks; gatherings with appetizers, desserts and premium beer (Goose Island, Stella Artois, Leffe, Shock Top and some local offerings, depending on location); barbecues; and tasting and educational events that bring in chefs from local restaurants. Mayer says that those offerings were inspired by research Residence Inn conducted that found that millennials travelling for business were looking for fun, social events that connected them to the city where they were staying.