Chains and entrepreneurs rethink spaces and services for new customers

A season that seems to never end, with bookings that last until the end of the year. A 2022 that gives positive signs of recovery and opens up new ways of traveling, new habits and an expansion of young customers, half of which come from the East.

To meet the demands of a tourist audience that is rapidly changing hotel chains but also family groups are reorganizing spaces and experimenting with new concepts.

"The new trend is wellness", confirmed Stefania Lazzaroni, general manager Altagamma Foundation, "and the luxury consumers who appreciate a more inclusive and 'casual' approach to hotel spaces and services".

According According to the latest data from Altagamma and Bain & Company research, the economic impact of luxury hotels reaches 25 billion in spending on the territory, which reaches 60 billion if the related industries are included (for one euro spent on hospitality, the luxury tourist spends 3 in the area); multiplier effect up to 9 times higher than the 'average tourist'.


The mediating space between tradition and innovation

A niche of virtuous excellence, widespread in the area, with a strongly international vocation. Approximately 2% of Italian structures generate 15% of the turnover of hospitality and 25% of tourist spending (approximately 80% of the shopping is generated by guests i89).

In this context, which has seen Italy confirmed as one of the favorite destinations of 2022, and with a stay that will go well beyond the summer period, the chains are reviewing their offer to update the proposal and respond to customers who are looking for uniqueness of the Italian lifestyle.

"We are witnessing a return of the Indian, Israeli and Arab markets, but European presences remain pre-eminent - about 80% - with an important prevalence of Scandinavian guests", confirms Luca Marinelli, area director of learning & amp; development Italy, Spain and Protugal Belmond.

In December 2018 LVMH, the luxury giant, bought all the hotels of the British Belmond Group which, in the same year, had acquired the Castello di Casole (Siena), bringing to eight structures in Italy: Hotels Cipriani in Venice, Villa San Michele in Fiesole, Splendido & amp; Splendid sea in Portofino, Caruso in Ravello (Salerno), Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant'Andrea in Taormina.

"For those who focus on exclusivity, the human factor, the quality and competence of the people who work in our hotels are crucial", says Luca Marinelli, "This year presences are once again important with a stay that will last until the end of the year, beyond the closing period, which we have moved".

"We are creators of memories", continues Marinelli, "The focus of our chain is therefore to keep alive the tradition of the individual structures, offering the latest generation of comfort and services.

For this reason, Belmond started in 2022 an international plan for the renovation of the 46 Group structures; Monsieur Arnauld has foreseen the allocation of a few billion dollars for this path that will take place over the next 10-15 years. It starts from October 1st with the Hotel Splendido in Portofino.

We will reduce the number of rooms to give more space to individual rooms, while also leaving the spa more comfortable. For Food & amp; Beverage we are starting to update the concepts of all our hotels.

At Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina we opened a restaurant on the beach, at the Cipriani in Venice the swimming pool area was revisited and the restaurant 'Il Porticciolo' opened, transformed into a Champagne bar".

No less important is the renovation work that will involve the shared spaces all dedicated to leisure, in addition to the outdoor areas - spa pools in the first place - places that will continue to be attractive even in the winter.

Outdoor and personalized services to welcome

The groups managed by families, which in Italy represent the majority of operators, are also at work.

R Collection Hotels is one of these, with an important presence on Lake Como. Here are the Grand Hotel Victoria in Menaggio, the Royal Victoria and the Villa Cipressi in Varenna, managed by the Rocchi family.

A family business that is also present in Milan with the Mentana, City Life Poliziano, and Hotel King hotels, designed for business customers. On the Ligurian Riviera di Levante, in Rapallo, the family owns the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa.

"The pandemic has profoundly changed the habits of guests and accommodation facilities", confirms Ludovica Rocchi, brand director of R Collection Hotels, "Le reservations are last minute for longer stays, with an average of four nights and with a greater demand for experiences both in the structure and in the area.

For this reason we have increased the number of dedicated professionals, such as the Butler Service for the Suites, a 'house master' who follows customers and fulfills requests and wishes ".

For the R Collection Hotels group, the most interesting markets of 2022 were the USA, Canada, Europe and Italy; the latter also for short stays or for the use of daily services - such as spa, swimming pool and restaurant - without overnight stay.

For 2023 the goal is to also focus on India and the Middle East, which are increasing bookings, with a strategic action on social networks to intercept a high-spending clientele, international, smart and young.

And with regard to hospitality spaces, Ludovica Rocchi confirms that all outdoor areas and dedicated services are increasingly appreciated: "We felt the need to extend the outdoor spas as well; in Rapallo we are building them a seafront.

The increasingly manifest desire for well-being finds an answer in the bathroom rooms: more important, spacious and multifunctional".

No less important are the shared and living areas: "In the Hotel Regina Olga in Cernobbio, which we are renovating to a design by the architect Cino Zucchi", concludes Ludovica Rocchi, "we have worked on a very spacious, fluid, inclusive hall that allows customers to stay in these spaces at different times of the day and always in a condition of maximum comfort and relaxation".