Hard Rock is amplifying the hotel experience with new amenities, souped-up suites and new properties, making it so much easier for your clients to holler, “I want to feel like a rock star; sign me up.”
Just recently, the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando debuted all-new Future Rock Star Suites featuring in-room stage, lights and memorabilia, and the 200-room Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach opened its doors along the Atlantic shoreline in Florida. At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, the Robo Bar is now open, featuring a robotic bar system designed by the Italian company MAKR SHAKR, and next spring, the 350-room Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans will open in the city’s historic French Quarter. And late last year, the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya’s Camp Woodward debuted in Mexico, with a Ninja Obstacle Course, indoor skating and biking, and even a ParkSki indoor snowboard and ski zone.
Recommend took some time to chat with Danielle Babilino, senior v.p. of global sales and marketing at Hard Rock International to learn about new projects at the hotel company, how the company differentiates itself and the benefits for travel agents who book Hard Rock International.
Laurel Herman (LH): What experiences can travelers expect at Hard Rock that they would not get at other resort brands?
Danielle Babilino (DB): To begin with, Hard Rock as a brand has been the authority on music since first opening, always staying true to its musical roots and incorporating this into all of our unique guest experiences. Each property offers travelers an exclusive experience, infusing the signature rock star vibe of the brand with the individual character of the city or destination the particular property is in.
Every Hard Rock property is designed in its own unique way. Once a location has been determined for either a new build or renovation, the brand defines a specific concept for it that reflects the surrounding area and local culture of the city or destination, bringing in decor and design elements that fit that specific region. Additionally, being the world’s largest curator of music memorabilia collection, the walls of each Hard Rock property are adorned with authentic pieces of music memorabilia, which is one of the brand’s signature staples. The memorabilia is implemented in all design elements, carefully selected by a team of experts to best fit the local culture and destination (i.e. Shakira items in our Latin American destinations, Jay Chou memorabilia in Asia, etc). As an added bonus, guests can dive into the property’s featured moment in music history by experiencing a private memorabilia tour with the property’s VIBE manager.
As an experiential brand, a key feature of Hard Rock Hotels are signature experiences rooted in music available exclusively to guests. Some of the top experiences include The Sound of Your Stay, the Rock Spa’s Rhythm & Motion spa treatments and the brand’s newest program, Rock Om.
The latter delivers a customized yoga experience to guests from the comfort of their own room. Available at all Hard Rock Hotels, guests can order an in-room yoga kit consisting of a regionally inspired Yogitoes towel created by Manduka specifically for Hard Rock Hotels, a Manduka PROlite yoga mat and a Manduka Go Play carrier bag, allowing them to refresh, rejuvenate and re-energize the mind, body and spirit through the power of music. The program consists of three individual in-room yoga videos accessible through Hard Rock’s Video On-Demand TV channel, which are led by renowned producer, musical director and sound ambassador, DJ Drez,and his wife, musician and yogi Marti Nikko.
LH: What type of customers should agents focus on that would be best suited for your properties?
DB: We believe that all of our properties can be a great fit for any type of traveler, ranging from leisure and business, to honeymooners and multigenerational travelers. The brand offers unique experiences for all guests, including the Roxity Kids Club available at properties like Tenerife, Daytona Beach and Ibiza, to name a few. For those traveling on business, for example, each Hard Rock property offers onsite rock star services and VIP amenities throughout individual stays, and meetings and events, including Rock Royalty VIP services, complimentary cocktails, breakout sessions complete with Fender guitars and Crosley record players and/or stylish dining and drinking options.
LH: Will there be special packages available in categories such as romance/weddings, family, culinary or any other niche that your brand is targeting?
DB: Our brand is constantly exploring ways to target a variety of niches while amplifying our guest’s experiences. With that being said, most packages vary from property to property, as each location is unique; from urban to resort.
LH: Will there be any road shows in North America for agents to learn first-hand about the brand and, if so, which cities are your targets?
DB: The immediate focus at a global level is our MICE segment due to the longer booking window; however once those initiatives are in place, we will take a deep dive into the leisure segment and develop a full plan of action.
LH: Will there be any enhanced incentives for agents to consider when booking your properties for their clients?
DB: We feel this is too soon to address, but will definitely consider in 2019.
LH: Do you have FAMs or special rates for travel agents so they can experience the properties first-hand?
DB: At this time, we are focusing on building our global sales team; and once the key business owners are in place, we will then develop a full range of initiatives to engage the travel agent community including opportunities to experience our properties first-hand.
For more on the new Daytona property, click here, and for more on the new suites at the Universal Orlando property, click here. The New Orleans property gets the spotlight here. And if you want to learn about the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya’s over-the-top-fun Camp Woodward, do some flips over to this link.