In two years, people’s lives have been dramatically altered. Having to grapple with the very idea of mortality has made us thoughtful and appreciative of simpler, more fundamental things in life such as nature and human connection. Where many holiday makers have been focused on having fun in a manner that is tied to careless consumption before the pandemic, people now want to experience travel in a whole new light. By Juliana Chan
They have become more mindful and want to make the world a better place. They also want a chance to live new passions that they have discovered in the downtime of the pandemic, and they gravitate towards brands that recognise their new desires and share their values. They want to care and to be cared for.
And all this only means that only businesses that evolve together with the needs of their guests will be the ones that move forward.
These are some of the observations by Conrad Hotels & Resorts. Speaking with Augustman recently, Conrad’s VP Luxury and Lifestyle, Hilton APAC Nils-Arne Schroeder said, “When people start travelling again and deciding on a destination, their travel choices will be based on how they feel, and what they would like to experience. They want to discover the destination, its people, how the hotel remembers them, what the brand is doing for the community where it operates.”
Creating opportunities for satisfying experiences
Travel restrictions have changed the definition of luxury travel. It is no longer enough to have beautiful interiors and state-of-the-art facilities.
It is about people.
Schroeder gave the example of a guest who wanted to make ingredients for his own meals, such as making sausages with the butcher and executive chef. The next morning, the guest ate breakfast a happy man. Not just that. He was bowled over when he learnt that other guests also enjoyed the sausages he had helped to make the previous day. “Luxury hospitality is now more about being approachable and enabling people to rediscover themselves,” he added.
Looking forward to the gradual return to travel, Conrad Hotels & Resorts has unveiled a collection of revitalised hotels and resorts across Asia, many of which underwent extensive refurbishments over the past year, while the world was sheltering from ever-deadlier coronavirus variants. Located in some of the world’s most-loved destinations, the rejuvenated spaces will resonate with the aspirations of a new era of travellers.
From Bali to Koh Samui, from Manila to the Maldives, a series of transformations have elevated Conrad’s signature hospitality with thoughtful experiences and refreshed interiors for the imminent recovery of travel. The group has also given attention to locally inspired concepts, whether in the field of cuisine or recreation. Across urban and beachfront resorts, reimagined design elements also provide a meaningful connection to local culture while enhancing their facilities to meet evolved guest preferences.
Ever watchful and ready to care
After falling for weeks, Covid-19 cases began climbing again mid-March. For many who have been planning trips and anticipating testing and quarantine requirements to relax or simplify, this raises concerns and dampens their spirits. However, there is no need to cancel or put off those travel plans.
In an update by the World Health Organisation, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove stressed that the world now knows how to rein in Covid-19. “The good news is we have the tools that can reduce the spread,” she said. “We know that masking works. We know that physical distancing works. We know that vaccination saves lives.”
Apart from prioritising hygiene and cleanliness during the hotel upgrades, Conrad Hotels & Resorts are also adhering to the brand’s relentless commitment to provide safe and relaxing stays for guests, giving them peace of mind and the space to create new travel memories.
As it turns out, the pandemic has not just changed travellers’ needs and perceptions. It has also touched the rank and file of the hospitality industry.
“Every wonderful hotel starts with members of their staff, and Conrad staff have been understood, valued and cared for throughout the COVID-19 crisis. And now they are ready to give back by offering the best and most genuine hospitality to travellers. They are friendlier, more compassionate and genuinely happy to receive guests from abroad. Even the once- imposing doorman at the New York property has become warmer, friendlier and more genuine to people,” Schroeder shared.
(Images: Conrad Hotels & Resorts)
This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore