Brand partnerships now permeate the hospitality space. From luxury retailers and travel adventure companies, to famous fitness experts and music events organizers, hotels are working with like-minded brands to create a point of difference and offer a unique experience to their guests.
Here are five standout brand collaborations in the hotel industry, followed by takeaway tips to help your own hotel collaborate with a brand partner.
1) Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle
For travelers that want to hit the winding roads around the Pacific Northwest, Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle has an attractive option. The hotel has partnered with PacWesty (a van rental and adventure travel company) so guests can “unite the best of the region’s rugged outdoors with an urban retreat in downtown Seattle”.
A dedicated page on the Hotel Vintage Seattle website promotes a new “van-to-glam Seattle vacation package.”
The package involves renting one of PacWesty’s fully outfitted Volkswagen Vanagons, and then driving it back to downtown Seattle. Guests are then enticed to relax after their road trip adventures with a stay at Hotel Vintage Seattle.
This promotional page links to a blog post packed with road trip tips from PacWesty’s program coordinator. It’s all cleverly designed to spark guests’ interest in the destination and provide a convenient travel-and-stay package to help them explore and relax in style.
2) Hilton London Bankside
Veganism has moved into the mainstream in recent years, and hotels are going above and beyond to cater to guests following plant-based lifestyles. But Hilton London Bankside has gone further than most by creating the world’s first vegan hotel suite.
The hotel partnered with design studio Bompas & Parr to ensure their room was entirely vegan-friendly. Instead of leather, wool and feathers, furnishings such as chair and poufs are made with Piñatex, a plant-based natural leather that uses pineapple fibers.
The suite also features soy silk curtains, organic cotton carpets, and a pillow menu with a choice of buckwheat and millet-filled options.
Instead of wood, the flooring is made from sustainable bamboo. And as you might expect, the in-room menu and minibar snacks are vegan-friendly, too.
The hotel’s partnerships with vegan brands and design experts have been integral to bringing this concept to life, and Hilton London Bankside says this suite is very much here to stay.
3) The Mark Hotel
The hotel’s fashion-conscious guests can travel to and from luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman in a complimentary Bergdorf Goodman Express pedicab.
A personal chauffeur will pedal their purchases from Bergdorf Goodman back to The Mark, and guests get 24-hour access to personalized shopping services and urgent deliveries before the store opens.
The hotel also has an on-site Frédéric Fekkai Hair Salon, an in-suite menu created by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and shoes can be buffed to a mirror-like sheen at the on-property John Lobb Shoeshine Kiosk.
Guests can also “discover a world of art, fashion, and lifestyle” at the ground-floor Assouline — a prestigious French publishing house that stocks hand-crafted volumes ranging from $250 to $7000.
4) JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
The booming health and wellness trend has led to a range of brand partnerships as hotels create tailored workout programs for their fitness-focused guests. Offering an innovative variation from the typical in-room workouts, Marriott has created a bespoke programme through its partnership with The Joffrey Ballet — the premiere ballet company in the US.
Titled Behind the Barre, guests can pick from three on-demand workout videos that focus on full-body barre method, core strength, and stretching workouts. All of the workouts are also specifically tailored to the hotel room environment.
Marriott has also teamed up with celebrity fitness expert Nora Tobin, who now acts as the brand’s wellness ambassador.
In addition to a series of in-room video workouts that include yoga, mindfulness, and HIIT workouts, health-conscious guests can attend wellness retreats hosted by Nora at various Marriott properties.
5) Hyatt Centric
Creating bespoke soundtracks for hotels has become an industry all in itself. Hotels around the world are now partnering with local DJs, sound designers, and musical directors to produce curated playlists that create a unique and memorable ambiance.
Going one step further, Hyatt Centric announced a new music collaboration with Sofar Sounds and Spotify at the end of last year. This new project was designed to attract music lovers with the lure of tickets to intimate gigs, while offering them the chance to experience the local music scene before check-in.
Hyatt Centric’s collaboration with Sofar Sounds involved a series of secret concerts that were held at select Hyatt Centric locations around the globe. These exclusive shows featured live performances from local artists and emerging talent, and the concert lineups remained secret until the night of the show. Tickets were given away in a lottery open to hotel guests and World of Hyatt loyalty members.
In addition to its Sofar Sounds partnership, Hyatt Centric teamed up with Spotify to curate 21 original playlists that were inspired by each hotel’s destination. Playlists were made available to download in the Spotify app, and the campaign was supported by activity on the brand’s social channels.
How to choose a brand partner
Feeling inspired to collaborate with a brand partner? Here are our top tips for success:
Make sure they’re a natural fit: Any brand you collaborate with should feel like they align with your values. Think about your hotel’s brand personality and look for other companies that share a similar spirit and identity. The most successful partnerships are those that feel like a natural fit.
Focus on your guests: Your brand partner should also fit with the aspirations of your target audience. Take the time to fully understand the brands your guests are engaging with. Tap into your own data and look at the experiences, services, and products that your audience will consider appealing and valuable.
Work with a true collaborator: A great collaborator is one that truly acts as a partner. That means that they should understand your business objectives and brand identity just as well as you understand theirs. Choose a partner that’s happy to help devise creative strategies and offer solutions if you hit a bump in the road. From the outset, it’s vital for both partners to be clear on their expectations to ensure a fruitful relationship.
Dare to be different: Based on the examples above, the best partnerships are often those that give customers a unique experience that they can’t find anywhere else. By all means, take inspiration from other creative brand collaborations, but make sure your own offerings make guests feel like they’re receiving something genuinely exclusive.