More High-End Travelers Crave Fuss-Free Upscale Comfort Food

By Nikheel Advani Chief Operating Officer & Principal, Grace Bay Resorts | August 27, 2017

Luxury travel and dining have always been associated with fine restaurants and over-the-top menus; however, more and more high-end travelers are craving fuss-free comfort foods, particularly those that use recipes and ingredients rooted in a destination’s heritage and culture. At Grace Bay Club, we remain committed to sharing the Islands’ unique culinary traditions that showcase the absolute best quality products, all while offering a dining experience that caters to our guests’ exact preferences.

Each of the resort’s restaurants are all-oceanfront venues with local, ocean-to-table ingredients on offer. Embracing our motto of understated luxury, the serene seaside setting of Grace Bay Club continues to provide guests with top-notch comfort and Caribbean cuisine in an upscale, yet relaxed environment.

Comfort: The New Luxury

Instead of crafting a dish using rich ingredients and oils, chefs now cherish a “less is more” motto, striving to create light, healthy and unique menu items to better accommodate the modern traveler’s palate.

We opened our Krave Restaurant just before the start of the decade, right as gourmet comfort food was beginning to gain traction. Offering guests an informal dining experience at The Estate, Krave serves Caribbean-inspired comfort food with a twist, serving dishes with unexpected ingredients in a relaxed atmosphere adjacent to the Estate Pool. The family-friendly restaurant offers eclectic lunch and dinner menus featuring dishes such as Caicos Crab Cakes, Estate Angus Burger, Island Vegetable Tempura, Chef`s Famous Honey Chili Ribs, Crab BLT Sandwich and Parmesan Fries.

We wanted to experiment in this area further, so we were among the first to launch a pop-up restaurant program in 2012, welcoming a toes-in-the-sand dining concept with dishes ranging from meatballs and beer to skewers and rose.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.