After a year of precaution against the pandemic, hotels are experiencing an upsurge in celebrations: Travel Weekly

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“We have seen a 25% to 30% increase in celebrations at the Peninsula Beverly Hills suites that we have been actively involved in planning. “

“The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has seen a 36% increase in the number of leisure guests celebrating milestones. ”

“We have seen a 150% increase in bookings for all types of celebrations at Shangri-La, the Shard [London] since the summer of 2019. We have also seen a particular increase in the number of proposals booked with us, with an increase of 232% compared to 2019, followed by birthdays, our most popular holiday, which increased by 146%.

After a year of closures, reduced capacity and a general sense of restriction, luxury hotels are experiencing an explosion of celebrations. Some are occasions that have been delayed due to the inability of people to gather during the pandemic, others seem to celebrate the fact that celebrations are even possible.

A survey by Affluent Consumer Research Co., commissioned by Strategic Vision for Travel Weekly, indicates that 88% of consumers with family incomes over $ 250,000 who reported staying in luxury hotels are also interested in arranging them. celebrations. And of those, 52% say they’re interested in spending more than they usually would on a celebration.

“There is a sure feeling that after going through the lockdown, guests want to make up for lost time and celebrate with a big party,” said Mike Bonner, Director of Sales and Marketing for Rosewood London. He estimated that there is a “spending increase” of 20%. “We are seeing more elaborate celebrations: more flowers, food, drink and entertainment.”

Across the globe, Christian Westbeld, Managing Director of Raffles Singapore, has faced capacity restrictions. But that may partly explain the “dramatic upward trend” – 30% to 50% – in average spending per person on celebrations that the hotel sees.

Westbeld cited a marriage proposal in which the Presidential Suite was decorated with 9,999 roses “symbolizing undying love, in an effort to ensure the happy couple can share the joy with friends and family on the media. social “.

A suite at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park decorated for an anniversary. Photo credit: courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

It turns out that this kind of sharing not only gives the couple bragging rights, but also benefits the hotel. The affluent consumer research survey found that when a wealthy consumer is aware that someone else is partying in a luxury hotel, there is an 81% chance that they will want to do the same. .

The Peninsula Beverly Hills is also seeing the benefits of social sharing guests, but combined with a trend toward smaller – but no less expensive – events.

“Instead of big parties, more and more people are opting for equally extravagant intimate celebrations,” said Christina Vu, director of digital marketing and branding for the property. “We’ve seen couples see firsthand, through our social media, how our team can organize a smaller-scale celebration without sacrificing greatness.”

Rather than tying small celebrations with restrictions, Vu attributes the trend to “customers adopting a mindset of quality over quantity.” offer a disproportionate experience to their loved ones by spending much more per person. Even with a lower number of guests, couples’ budgets seem to be similar to what we’ve seen in the past. “

“The closings must have brought a lot of couples closer together, as we have never seen so many requests for marriage proposals as in 2021,” said Calum Donoghue, public relations manager at The Dorchester in London.

Indeed, to follow the multiple proposals staged each week, Shangri-La of London, the Shard has teamed up with a company called the Proposers. “We can transform a room or a suite with candles, white balloons and ‘marry me’ signs. Or elegantly decorate our private Yi Dining Room for a ‘Dine in the Sky’ experience with flowers and personal touches dinner is served with a floor-to-ceiling view of London, ”said Managing Director Kurt Macher.

T1018SHANGRILARMRYME_C [credit: courtesy of Shangri-La--The Shard]

A room dressed for a marriage proposal by the Shangri-La Proposers, the Shard in London. Photo Credit: Courtesy Shangri-La, The Shard

Other customers may want more than balloons, flowers, and candles. Much more. At Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, the hotel asked a member of Girls Aloud to sing a Middle Eastern couple’s favorite song as the man asked the question.

While luxury hotels are supposed to handle over-the-top celebrations, even airport hotels are getting into the act. The Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park offers a two-night suite package that includes chauffeured car service, a nine-course dinner for two, a bottle of Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades brut gold champagne, a Roaring casino night ’20s – themed event for 20 guests, art deco jewelry, a bespoke costume with art deco cufflinks and a donation of $ 2,000 to the charity chosen by the guests. The price starts at $ 20,000.

Many of these extravagances come together in relatively short order. At the Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, the hotel recently hosted a group of friends from all over the world to celebrate the birthday of a Russian model, by booking more than 180 nights less than 10 days in advance.

A recent wedding was contracted and planned at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in just one month. The couple had booked elsewhere but were concerned about the understaffing at the other property. The event brought in $ 18,000 in room revenue and $ 80,000 in on-site food and beverages, according to Hadley Sullivan, senior director of public relations and communications at Accor.

And within two weeks, The Savoy in London hosted a circus-themed wedding with 100 U.S. guests totaling 445 overnight stays over a three-week period, said Virginia Webb, director of marketing communications.

While research on hotel celebrations only surveyed affluent guests, travel counselors shouldn’t limit offerings for a luxury celebration to wealthy guests only.

“The majority – 90% – of guests who stay to celebrate at our hotel are those who saved for the occasion,” said Amanda Hyndman, vice president of region operations and group director of quality and accommodations. for the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. . “These were stays for the first time.”


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