20 new direct booking benefits for the age of social distancing
In the era of social distancing, travel will look very different. Even the direct booking benefits that hotels can offer and what travellers can do at their destinations will change.
To help you entice and entertain guests, the Hotelchamp team has brainstormed some outside-the-box ideas for you to use as a starting point for brainstorming*! Here are 20 ideas to get your creative juices flowing when thinking about packages and exclusive direct booking benefits:
Food & Beverage
Private dining experiences. If you can’t open your restaurant, offer private in-room dining experiences with some nice decor (candles, flowers) for the table. This could even be extended to a balcony, terrace or rooftop.
Happy hour cocktail trolley. Bring cocktail hour to your guests’ rooms with some simple to prepare cocktails that can be delivered to each room.
In-room wine or whisky tastings. Done virtually or privately, organise a special tasting session of local or favourite drinks, sharing some knowledge around pairings too.
Takeaway picnic hampers. Fill a basket with picnic food and a blanket, and share with your guests some nearby places perfect for picnics. A short hike to a beautiful lookout, a nearby canal or park. Perfect places for a picnic.
Private cooking classes. If you can’t open your kitchen to guests at the moment, could you run private cooking or cocktail classes? Guests can learn some secret recipes and then enjoy the chefs specials.
Exclusive restaurant bookings. Partner with local restaurants to secure table bookings for your guests. In some cities, restaurants are now able to open with restrictions, including a reduced capacity and mandatory bookings. Book tables in city favourites for your guests so that they don’t miss out during their stay.
Romantic room packages. With restrictions easing, couples (particularly some parents) might be in need of a romantic weekend away. Create romantic packages focussed on relaxation. A bottle of champagne, flowers, dining in-room, sleeping masks, free parking etc.
Free video games, board games or book use during stay: Offer these in-room activities for free to keep guests entertained. This could even be bundled into a package offer (Gaming Weekends?).
Virtual yoga and meditation. Thinking again about relaxation, can you partner with an instructor to offer virtual yoga and meditation to guests?
DIY Pamper Packs. If you can’t open your spa, create a spa pack including moisturising face masks, body scrub and moisturiser. Guests can pamper themselves and still experience a taste of your spa. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration, plus many leading skincare brands offer gift sets that could work well too.
Movie night packs. Bring the cinema experience to your guests. Offer in-room streaming services (Netflix, Disney+ etc.), plus a movie night pack including popcorn, candy and drinks. Even more outside of the box—do you have a shared space you could safely turn into a private cinema, such as a conference room that’s no longer busy?
Open-air cinema. If you have a rooftop or outdoor area, set up a projector, spread out loungers, beanbags or chairs and create an outdoor cinema experience for your guests.
Create your own pillow fort. Fun for families (and big kids), offer some extra pillows and sheets so that guests can create pillow forts in their rooms. A perfect rainy day activity, especially if you have some extra linen available at the moment. Pair this with movie packs or goodie bags for kids, it’s lots of fun and a great holiday memory.
Out & About
Complimentary face masks and hand sanitizer for each guest. Provided every day, for guests when they are in shared spaces in the hotel and for exploring around the city.
Private taxi tours. Consider partnering with a private tour or driving company to share the sites with your guests. Like the hop-on-hop-off style, but for private groups.
Virtual walking tours. Depending on your city, there might be free virtual tours available for your guests, such as Rick Steves Audio Tours & App. You can also create an exclusive tour for your guests with GPSMYCITY or Google Maps lists. Use your team’s knowledge of all the best places and must-sees in your city. Think historic sites, street art, the best places to get takeaway food and coffee. You could even partner with some food and coffee places to give your guests vouchers or discounts.
Private boat tours. If your hotel is near a river, ocean or canal, partner with a boat company to offer private boat tours to your guests. Bonus points if there’s a covered option for rainy days too!
Bike or car hire: Can you offer free bike hire or discounted car hire? Guests will still want to see the sites, but will most likely want to avoid public transport. You can help them to get around the city safely.
Scavenger or treasure hunts. Designed for around the hotel or city, create a set of clues for kids to look out for. When completed, the kids receive a little prize or goodie bag. You could set up the scavenger hunt using pen & paper, or use a digital option, such as GooseChase.