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Planning a visit to a big city this summer? Do not be surprised to see “Guests Only” signs popping up in restaurants and buildings that share space with upscale hotels. Seeking to attract new patrons and build brand loyalty with their guests, many hotels are carving out special areas that are off limits to the general public.

With promises of exclusive, high-end spaces that offer extra amenities and a relaxing atmosphere, away from the general public, these hotels seek to set themselves apart from the competition by going above and beyond. Hotel guests can enjoy private roof-top spaces in big cities such as New York or London, or they can enjoy a signature cocktail in a private bar in the hotel’s restaurant. The service provided and exclusive atmosphere help make hotel patrons feel special and appreciated. The memorable experience thus created also cannot be replicated elsewhere.

Hotels see a benefit from the new exclusive spaces as well. Their long experience has shown these service providers that travelers are often willing to pay more for rooms in locations where “guest-only” spaces and services exist. The extra amenities provided also help create brand loyalty among guests who have experienced and appreciated the special space. Hotels know that when that person next has to travel, the special, exclusive amenities, reserved only for guests, may help sway their final decision between that hotel and a competing option without such special treatment options.

Discussion Question:

  1. What is the perceived and actual value provided to the patron by exclusive “guest-only” spaces?

Source: Elaine Glusac, “Growing Perk for Hotel Guests: Private Bars and Rooftops,” The New York Times, February 4, 2017