Con­nect­ing guests with lo­cal favourites

The Hamilton Spectator - - TRAVEL -

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.

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