While the average traveler is postponing trips for six months, a year or more, the resilient, affluent traveler isn't as quick to cancel planned trips, says Misty Belles of travel network Virtuoso, which reports that 66% of the demographic is ready to board a plane right now. High-end travelers are even creating "pods" of healthy relatives and friends to travel with and are eyeing resorts' separate villas, stand-alone properties or spacious hotel suites.
Impeccable service and thoughtful design are important in luxury hotels, but Colin Nagy asserts that immersing guests in an area's culture -- creating "a deeper emotional bond between the guest and the country" -- may be good business as well. He points to the Royal Mansour in Marrakech, Morocco, where about 1,500 artisans spent three years on the tiniest of details and employees were culled from locals and well-schooled in the premise.
Restaurants in Manhattan's Chinatown, which felt the effects of COVID-19 early on due to unfounded fears of Chinese-owned businesses, are slowly reopening with help from outdoor seating arrangements like a series of artfully decorated communal dining platforms from the Rockwell Group. The nonprofit project provides a dining solution for customers grabbing food at eateries like Wo Hop and Hop Kee.
Hyatt Hotels Corp. suffered an 89.4% year-over-year second-quarter plunge in revenue per room, as the pandemic ripped through the industry, but the chain found significant bright spots. Revenues reached $250 million compared to forecasts of $180 million, some hotels in the Americas saw positive results due to leisure travel, and occupancy in China rose to 65%.
Plans for a proposed dual-branded hotel near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta are on track, despite the pandemic's devastating effect on the travel industry, says developer Aziz Dhanani of Starlight Hotel Group. Dhanani says he hopes recovery is under way by the projected 2022 opening of the Home2 Suites and Tru hotel.
Hotels near US colleges and universities are alleviating some of their losses by booking rooms for students facing uncertainty about campus housing during the pandemic. "It's been really encouraging to talk to the parents and families because as nervous as everybody is, people want to come back," said Jeff Brainard of Southern Management Corp., which has registered about a dozen students at two properties near the University of Maryland.
Wisconsin's Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has joined other high-end hotels in offering guests a lineup of cars to drive during their stay, such as a 1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and a 1965 Ford Mustang. Broadmoor in Colorado offers Cadillacs, and Aspen's Limelight has Audis, along with a new drive-in theater.
Trustees in Hubbard, Ohio, are considering a bed tax on local hotel stays to create more funding, and they plan to discuss the matter Sept. 14. The county's fiscal officer said she has talked with other areas to find out how they managed bed taxes.
Dean and Julie Couchey report as "Two Fat Americans," and Jeff Jenkins writes "Chubby Diaries" -- sites and podcasts designed to help erase weight-related stigmas by creating a reflection for other larger people and encouraging them to travel more. Jenkins also organizes vacations for plus-size travelers.
Movie director Francis Ford Coppola's Hideaways Collection hotel brand will debut by 2022 on five floors of San Francisco's iconic Columbus Tower, thanks to a decision by the city Planning Commission. Argentina, Belize, Guatemala and Italy host six other Hideaways properties.