Hotels are places to sleep, eat, socialize, relax and conduct business, but now they are taking on new roles as teachers. They want consumers to know they can come to them for intelligent, stimulating conversation.
Guests staying at the five-star Corinthia Hotel London, which is near Trafalgar Square, can have their very own futurist.
Over afternoon tea or at happy hour, the team of futurists sit down with guests and answer any questions guests might have about the future of everything from cocktails to cities.
Additionally, guests can attend breakfast briefings, evening cocktail soirees or “dare to know dinners” where futurists arrange panels and discussions on topics ranging from feminism to cryptocurrency. The team also leaves thought-provoking books in some guest rooms and maps of off-the-grid places to visit in London that will soon be new hot spots.
Since 2016 W Hotels has staged over 50 talks around the globe that highlight female entrepreneurs. The “What She Said” series has been held in New York City and Los Angeles — but also in Amman, Jordan, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where gender equality is less pronounced and the topic is more controversial.
One &Only Reethi Rah is a five-star resort in the Maldives where guests come to relax. The process includes a speaker series where healing experts offer information on Chinese medicine, acupuncture or meditation. The idea is that the hotel is helping guests restore themselves.
AC Hotels, a Spanish group with more than 140 hotels geared toward entrepreneurs, teach guests about the hotel they are in. “We call it ‘Unpacked’ because we are dissecting a beautiful hotel experience for you,” said Benoit Racle, the brand director. “It’s like we are taking every guest on a private tour.”
Guests can watch videos with a scent-maker talking about the hotel’s special perfume, its architect talking about its design or the chef talking about the special meat slicer he uses.
Kateland Turner, a 27-year-old senior account manager at an experiential marketing agency in New York City, said the speakers were so interesting, she took some ideas to work with her the next day.
“I know hotels are increasingly becoming more than places to just rest your head, but this was the first time I had seen something like this that was not just fun, but intellectually stimulating and additive to my work life,” she said.