With the travel boom, hospitality ambitions are in fashion

Travelers visiting Paris this fall in search of an elegant experience now have another hotel to add to their itinerary.

In October, the international bureau of fashion magazine deer Maison Elle, a boutique hotel, will open in Paris’ 17th arrondissement, near the Arc de Triomphe. The 25 rooms of the 4-star hotel will be decorated with antique French furniture and home goods from contemporary French design homes. It will also have a bar, spa and an extensive fashion library for guests to peruse deerHe is 77 years old, as well as books about French designers.

The hotel is a product of Elle Hospitality, a new arm of fashion magazine launched today by parent company Lagardère Group (the American version of deer Owned and operated by Hearst). As Elle International looks to diversify its portfolio beyond the hard-hitting print magazine business, it has opened salons and cafes in China and Japan and considers hotels as its next source of profit. Having first opened, the Paris Hotel will open an eco-friendly beach destination in Jalisco, Mexico’s Pacific coast, in the spring of 2023. This will be followed by more hotels in Brazil, France, Europe and China.

The new Maison ELLE boutique hotel opens in Paris this fall.

“Travel [picks up] More and more, travelers want to come to a hotel for an experience and we believe we can attract them deer Readers and fashion lovers, Constance Bencke, CEO of EL France and Elle International. “All the big groups of hotels are trying to find hotel ideas and concepts, but we have a great concept as a magazine and we’re really going to focus on design at the fore and…cultural immersion.”

Fashion hotel brands like deerNot a new concept in the industry. Partnerships between fashion and travel bring benefits to both sides: Fashion brands carry a level of name And the brand Acknowledgment – think of Versace’s gold-tiled lobbies and rooms draped with crystal chandeliers or the chic gray plinth and silk linens of Armani hotels – while hotel operators are experts at delivering experiences more immersive than visiting the store.

But with travel making a comeback after two or more years of limited travel, fashion brand hotels are gaining new momentum. Brands like Bulgari, Armani and Villa are opening new properties, and earlier this month LVMH hired a new director of hospitality (following the departure of former Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra). The companies hope that these hotel experiences will allow loyal customers to immerse themselves in their brand’s world, as well as attract new customers – as well as provide an additional revenue stream.

Erin Florio, Executive Editor of Condé Nast Traveler.

Fashion opportunity to travel now

The hotel sector almost broke during the Covid but is on its way to recovery. U.S. hotel occupancy averaged 65 percent in April, according to hotel analytics firm STR — just slightly down from 67 percent occupancy in April 2019 and up 57 percent in April 2021. Hotel occupancy exceeded 80% per STR, while hotels reached Paris in March reached profit levels last seen during 2019.

There is also an increase in financial opportunities. The average daily room rate is up 14% since 2019, and hotel groups are reaping an additional 10% return on room bookings, according to STR. Post-pandemic travelers are looking for special hotels and are willing to pay extra for them.

“The focus of the Ritz Carlton, St. in a Bulgari or Armani hotel, you know it’s going to be stylish,” said Brian Kelly, founder of travel and lifestyle website The Points Guy.

Brands are seeing a similar rise and seizing the opportunity. Bulgari opened its first hotels in Milan in 2004 and now operates seven hotels across Europe, the United Arab Emirates, China and Bali. Silvio Orsini, executive vice president of Bulgari Hotels and Resorts, said its hotels have seen occupancy rates exceed pre-pandemic levels and revenue have doubled since 2019. In the next three years, Bulgari will nearly double its footprint, opening five more hotels in Moscow, Rome, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Miami Beach.

In March, Armani, which has two hotels in Milan and Dubai, announced that it would open a third location in Saudi Arabia in 2025. Earlier this month, LVMH, which owns more than 50 luxury hotels through Hôtels Cheval Blanc, has and Belmond Hotel Group Brands, has appointed a new Hospitality Executive, indicating its special focus in the space.

Armani bar inside his hotel in Milan.

It’s not just storied luxury brands. Villa, the Korea-owned sportswear brand, announced in March that it would open a branded hotel in Shanghai in 2024. Value Retail, the company behind Bicester Collection Villages outlets, opened two hotels in Southern California last year, the Mission Pacific Hotel and The Seabird Resort, and another hotel to open in New York in 2024 as part of the luxury outlet village the company is building in Belmont Park.

Marketing Opportunity

Fashion companies view hospitality differently. Benqué said that hotels are expected to become an important source of income for deerIn addition to the opportunity to attract more subscribers to magazines. (latest version of deer It will be placed in every hotel room.)

Similarly, Scott Malkin, founder and president of Value Retail, believes hotels are a strong driver of customer loyalty, which can translate to other projects within his existing portfolio.

On the other hand, Bulgari sees its hotel business – a licensing deal with Marriott International – as a marketing opportunity rather than a financial one.

“The amount of money … is not important in our work, but the picture is huge,” Orsini said. “There are a lot of exchanges between hotel customers who become jewelry customers and vice versa. A great hotel experience makes the customer a loyal jewelry customer in the end.”

Lobby of Mission Pacific Hotel, a new California hotel by Value Retail, operator of Bicester Group's Shopping Villages.

Brand-name hotels are attracting a lot of loyal customers, but travel experts say the post-pandemic travel boom is also a ripe opportunity to attract guests who might become future shoppers. Bulgari hotels often have handbags or jewelry on display in their lobbies, and hotels in Dubai, Bali and Shanghai also have stores on site (plus each hotel has teams that can book guests for special appointments at local boutiques). A satisfied hotel guest might pay to buy a luxury item on their vacation, eventually turning out to be a loyal buyer along the way.

And even guests who can’t afford luxury jewelry may still be able to save up and splurge on a night at the brand’s hotel. A company like Bvlgari counts on $6000 Serpenti watches and $6000 Zero 1 rings as best sellers, but its hotels offer an opportunity to open up the world to more ambitious customers, and in this way are like luxury brands expanding into eyewear and perfume.

Hospitality and a growing market for fully immersive brand experiences have ignited brands like Tiffany & Co. and Gucci, Dior, and Fendi to open their restaurant and café activities, and with Millennials and Gen Z experiences prioritized, these business indulgences are becoming more important.

Benqué knows that travelers visiting Paris or Mexico have endless options for hotels, but he hopes that deer The name, plus its interior design credibility il decorIt will attract fashionistas. The group will also price its hotels at lower prices than competing luxury destinations to win over aspiring fashionistas. Benqué said the company is considering offering perks such as guest discounts for some fashion brands as another way to attract fashion-conscious consumers.

While a magazine may have a solid name, successfully building a hotel experience isn’t as simple as having an Instagrammable lobby and making sure the pillows are fluffy. Hotels with successful fashion are hotels that feel special. Orsini said Bulgari treats its hotels like “little Italian embassies” to provide a one-of-a-kind experience, the most important thing in today’s travel scene.

“People are ready to show off and want to experience…Look luxurious and visible Kelly said. “They don’t want a cookie-cutter hotel.”