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Hotels Craft Experiences, Hope for Social Media Buzz


It's not just the new "lifestyle" brands--Moxy, Canopy, Hyatt Centric--that lure guests by creating experiences. Marriott, Fairmont, and other major hotel companies as well as many luxury properties also pitch packages and options to remember, or rather, to Tweet about.

It’s not just the new “lifestyle” brands—Moxy, Canopy, Hyatt Centric—that lure guests by creating experiences. Marriott, Fairmont, and other major hotel companies as well as many luxury properties also pitch packages and options to remember, or rather, to Tweet about. Social marketing, after all, plays a major part in the drive to deliver post-worthy moments.

The experiences connect guests with a destination and often result from the kind of access that only a particular property or a special company can provide.

Here’s a guide to some new experiences crafted to create Facebook envy:

Marriott International: Marriott International sets its experiences to music in a big way. In a powerful bid to attract millennials, the company announced its partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) on June 25.

“Our new partnership with UMG reinvents the way we market to next generation travelers,” said Karin Timpone, global marketing officer for Marriott International. “We are bringing together the global traveler and the universal language of music in order to create and deliver unique experiences.”


These, of course, come with their own hashtag—#WithTheBand. Special performances by established and emerging artists, music downloads, and a video series bolster the Tweetable moments. The inaugural performance kicks off June 30, when the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel (pictured at left) hosts a live performance by pop artist Jessie J, a judge on “The Voice Australia.” Eventually, the music experiences will be available to guests at all 19 Marriott Brands.

The events also aim to make Marriott Rewards guests even more loyal. Among the benefits: such OMG moments as the chance to win VIP concert experiences and entry to after parties at The Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.

Barcelona Majestic

(pictured, right) uses its easy access to the city’s iconic La Sagrada Familia, the unusual and unfinished basilica by Antoni Gaudi, as the basis of the hotel’s 3-day Art of Barcelona experience. Learn about the cathedral on a private, guided tour with the project’s architect; visit 3 art galleries, escorted by a private guide; and savor a tasting menu of Catalan cuisine paired with wines at Petit Comité, the hotel’s restaurant overseen by Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany.

And did we mention transfer to the hotel in a Rolls Royce and lodging in the Sagrada Familia Penthouse with its unobstructed cathedral views? The Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. From $19,713.58 including taxes and daily breakfast for 2. reservations@majestichotelgroup.com.

Fairmont SoCal

On June 9, the upmarket chain launched “F-scapes,” billed as 42 “unique insider travel experiences.” With Fairmont Miramar Hotels & Bungalows SoCal Trifecta Adventure, you jet to Joshua Tree National Park for hiking, then fly to Big Bear Lake for mountain biking. Afterwards, you take a helicopter to a private boat for snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding. $55,000 for a 2-night stay for up to 6 people in a 3-bedroom penthouse suite. (See hotel photo at left) To reserve, contact Jacqueline.kerns@fairmont.com.

Not every experience breaks the bank. At Québec’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, create your own namesake cocktail as part of a 60-minute, private workshop with a hotel mixologist. The drink recipe becomes part of your Fairmont President’s Club profile so that you can request the cocktail at any Fairmont property. Shaken, Not Stirred, F-scape to Québec starts at $729 per night for 2 people.

Some of the experiences, such as private snorkeling trips, you could arrange on your own, so caveat emptor. Make sure it’s worth going through the hotel, whether for the convenience or the added attention and goodies. Seas the Day by Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda, for example, puts you in a private boat for a half-day of snorkeling, then adds lunch prepared by the hotel’s executive chef. From $589 per night for 2 people.

F-scapes are available now through September 30. Fairmont.com.

Which of these experiences sounds most exciting to you? Have you experienced other hotel-experience packages? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.

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