One-of-a-Kind Experiences Create Unique Brand Stories for Families

Dr. Seuss, Ducks, Cookies, Art and the Freedom Trail

By Matthew Rosenberger Consultant & Publisher, ABC Travel Guides for Kids | August 03, 2010

My kids are still talking about a recent trip we took to New York. We had a great visit to Lincoln Center and the Big Apple Circus. We rode the Ferris Wheel at the Times Square Toys R' Us. We were fascinated by the World's tallest man and the "believe it or not" exhibits at the Ripley's Museum on 42nd street. We ate "out of this world food" at Mars 2112 restaurant on 51st and Broadway where we traveled in a spaceship to the red planet and were served by Martians. Although the kids aren't talking about these amazing experiences any more they are still talking about our trip. They are still talking about our hotel; a hotel that provided them with one-of-a-kind experiences through its design elements. A green escalator. A restaurant, featuring the most unusual seating any of us had ever seen-think fallen down tree with chairs built into it. A room that featured a sheer white curtain the length of the room. And while this exquisitely designed hotel, may not be on any list of the "most family friendly hotels" in New York, it's on ours, and our kids will never forget their experiences while staying at the Hudson. This is how unique brand stories are born.

Initiatives taken by hotels are featured in this article. These properties have created awesome one-of-a-kind experiences that create unique brand stories.

The Dr. is In

It's as if you have stepped right into one of the beloved Dr. Seuss stories. Upon entering the suite, colors and patterns are everywhere, from the vibrant blue carpet that is sprinkled with a pattern of lighter blue dots to the beds, which appear to be part of "Whoville" with Seussian forms inspired
from the Horton Hears a Who book. As the Cat in the Hat, Horton, the Grinch and the Sneetches are all smiling back at you the Seuss stories come to life to create a one-of-a-kind experience for the entire family. These are the Dr. Seuss kids' suites at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando®. "Every design element was purposefully chosen to reflect our vision of the books coming to life all around you", notes principal designer Kimberly Bewley.

This is one of the most exciting initiatives we have seen in recent years. Virtually every kid, for the past 50 years, has had some Seuss in the life. The idea for the suites was simply brilliant and brilliantly simple!

Ducks, Ducks, Ducks

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.