Cruise & Cruise Line
Celebrity Ascent Completes Its Sea Trials
FAA Reauthorization Is Like a Game
Bowman’s Travel Brief: New Caribbean Train Routes Coming
Hotels and Resorts
Receive Up to $2,000 Cash Back
Villas of Distinction
Greater Miami & Miami Beach Specialist
Travel Suppliers With the Best Commissions for Travel Advisors
Partner With Palladium and Sell as a Specialist
PHOTO: Novotel Virtual Concierge (courtesy Hawkins International PR)
The travel industry is always changing along with the world.
In that sense, it can be a very exciting and wondrous industry, as well as a representation of trends across the globe.
PR agency Hawkins International recently released its "Top Travel Trends of 2015," complete with some of the most eye-catching developments in the industry.
Here are some of TravelPulse's favorites, from activities for night owls to daycations to digital concierges.
Travel like you've never traveled before in 2015, folks.
What's In: Incentives to Stay Up All Night
Are you a night owl?
Then you're in luck in 2015.
For those of us who have a lot of energy at night and have grown more accustomed to the moonlight (like insomniacs, vampires, partiers and professionals who are on deadline), we now have several options.
Gstaad Palace, surrounded by the magical Bernese Oberland, arranges night skiing on certain evenings during the winter season (complimentary for kids 9 years old and younger), as well as mountain rides on a snow groomer.
The Spa at Westin Grand Cayman offers afterhours access for couples with the Hibiscus Night Spa Package, including use of the whirlpool, steam room and sauna. You can also book a 90-minute Lavender Dreams Massage with complimentary Champagne.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania hosts a Blindfolded Night Hike available for groups or leisure guests.
Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz. leads guests on a Full Moon Red Rocks Hike through illuminated red rock canyons.
And guests at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina can choose from Moonlight Yoga on the Mountainview terrace (complete with sun salutations) and Chandra Namaskara poses for renewal.
What's In: Signature Sounds
Sound can be a mighty powerful mood regulator.
In that sense (literally!), more and more hotels are using music to make guests happier about their properties.
In 2015, the Dolder Grand in Zurich will debut fairy tale-like signature music that will dance throughout the hotel.
La Compagnie, a new boutique, all-business-class airline with flights from Paris to New York City, offers an inflight playlist curated especially for the airline by famed Parisian DJ Fredelux of the Queen Club in Paris.
Global brand Sofitel Luxury Hotels collaborated with famous blues and pop singer-songwriter Micky Green to create "Town to Town," a special song exclusive to Sofitel hotels inspired by the glamor of travel.
What's In: Digital Concierge
Front desk agents are still valued, but more and more travelers are opting for technology instead of human beings.
Guests at Pullman Hotels can check in and check out via tablets in the lobby.
A Virtual Concierge-which pulls up local restaurants and activities, flight schedules, virtual post cards and more-is available on touch screens in the lobbies of Novotel hotels, as well as via a mobile app.
The TINT social media platform integrates social media posts and native ads from local tour operators, restaurants and attractions to create an interactive guest experience. It's being used by such brands as Loews Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons as a virtual concierge on lobby screens.
Monscierge is another technology company that has worked extensively with hotels. Guests of the new B Resort & Spa in Orlando and new B Ocean in Fort Lauderdale can tap a smartphone app or lobby Monscierge kiosk to send virtual post cards, check the weather, print boarding passes and more. Hyatt Regency Bellevue worked with Monscierge, Microsoft and Interknowlogy to install two 55-inch interactive touchscreen tables in its lobby. And Warwick Melrose Hotel, Dallas is using Monscierge's digital platform to allow hotel staff to communicate more efficiently with guests and meeting planners.
What's In: Daycations
You don't even have to book a hotel room to enjoy a hotel package these days.
More and more hotels are offering special day passes for visitors who won't be staying the night.
A $30 day pass from Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. grants visitors access to the Fitness Center, Spa Tranquility Pool and locker room where a plush robe and slippers will be waiting for them along with steam, sauna and Jacuzzi.
Le Guanahani on iconic St. Barth's offers a half-day pass (€190) for one spa treatment, one lunch and use of a beach chair, and a full-day pass (€220) that includes breakfast.
The Pop In, Pop Out package at Madeline Hotel and Residences in Telluride, Colo. (from $800) includes one spa treatment, choice of a half-day 15-mile Mountain Bike or Walk & Wade tour, a picnic lunch from Black Iron Kitchen and Bar and access to the hotel pool, hot tubs and steam room.
And Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah offers a $55 day pass to its Spa Montage, complete with steam rooms, whirlpools, saunas, classes, and dips in the mosaic indoor pool.
What's In: Treehouses, Boats and Small Planes (Africa)
In-vehicle safaris are cool, but more tour operators are going above and beyond the traditional African experience.
CW Safaris' fully-guided Mozambique: Ibo Island Dhow Safari island hops through the Quirimbas Islands, combining dhow sailing, kayaking and sleeping in mobile eco-fly camps as travelers explore uninhabited tropical paradises.
In Big Five Tours & Expeditions' Kenya: Kids, Cats & A Tree House, families climb up a Warburgia (Elephant Pepper) tree only to find "The Nest," a treehouse equipped with state-of-the-art, night vision cameras to capture all the action.
Wilderness Safaris just added Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to its safari camp portfolio. Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is a remote camp in Namibia that features a day-long scenic flight excursion showcasing the rocky, captivating Skeleton coastline. Keep on the lookout for seal colonies and shipwrecks.
What's In: Experience Booze
OK, I know what a lot of you are thinking: "I've already experienced booze plenty."
But I'm talking about experiential booze tours.
That's right, experiential booze tours are in. More hoteliers are inviting guests to learn the intricacies of crafting beer, wine and spirits.
Hotel Vermont in Burlington actually has a Beer Concierge that teaches guests about Vermont craft beer and takes them on a guided tour of local hops and malts. Guests can sample and take home well-known local beers such as Lawson's Finest Liquids, Heady Topper, Lost Nation and Hill Farmstead before ending their experience with an exploration of food and beer at a pub in Waterbury.
Guests will be able to see how rum is made (and sample it, too) when the Gates Hotel Key West opens this February. Through the hotel's partnership with nearby Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, guests can visit the original Key West Coca-Cola factory to experience the distilling process firsthand with Founder Paul Menta and sample local rums ranging from Key Lime to Vanilla Brûlée.
And be sure to do a little jig over to Ireland, where Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, Doonbeg offers a Guinness experience for travelers, complete with pouring tutorials and tours at Trump Bar and Restaurant.
What's In: Artisanal Ice
Those who stick close to the bartending and mixology scene know that there is an art to making the perfect cocktail.
That art extends to the very ice in your class.
At Montage Beverly Hills' Scarpetta restaurant, guests can gain access to reservation-only lounge "£10," which specializes in premier whiskey, The Macallan Single Malt. Featured in the package: four specialty ice options, including a custom ice sphere with a laser-etched £10 logo, served tableside in $400 Lalique crystal glassware.
At the recently re-opened Le Bar at Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, each cocktail is served with artisanal ice chosen specifically for that drink for its chilling/melting properties. Choose anything from large round spherical ice in an Old Fashioned to finely crushed ice in a Moscow Mule.
What's In: Playrooms Instead of Meeting Rooms
Meeting rooms are always going to have their place, but more hotels are offering activity-driven business settings these days.
Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta works with the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience to host competitive games such as field goal contests and agility tests on the Hall's indoor playing field.
Accor Hotels' upscale brand, Pullman Hotels and Resorts features Business Playground by Pullman (courtesy of designer Mathieu Lehanneur), which converts a conference table into a poker table and features Pullman Curiosity Boxes inspired by the living spaces of scientists and collectors.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort has a team-building ropes course on its 2,200-acre property in the Alleghenies of south-central Pennsylvania.
At Tides Inn in Irvington, Virginia, teams can grab a map and set out on the Carter's Creek Treasure Hunt, deciphering clues and riddles along the way.
At The Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia, certified N.S.C.A. shooting instructors guide groups through sporting clay courses, four skeet fields, trap and five-stand courses on the resort's top-notch sporting clay course.
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. Graduated from San Diego State with a B.A. in journalism. Worked for Bleacher...
the latest travel news, advice, updates, upcoming exclusive deals and more.
CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC
Can Las Vegas Survive a Hospitality Worker Strike?
Now Open - Newly Renovated Hotel Riu Palace Macao