“How to Transform a Hotel into a Lifestyle Brand” by Kelsi Maree Borland

Like other asset classes, hotels need to transform into experiential lifestyle spaces to stay competitive with a wide range of lodging options available today.
Dan PalmierThis cycle, every asset class has been transformed—in one way or another—into an experiential lifestyle space. From creative office to amenitized luxury multifamily living, there is a clear demand for tailored and thoughtful space, and if done right, these spaces can drive occupancy and rates. Now, hotels are the latest asset class to see a push toward more lifestyle-friendly environments. UC Funds is one company involved in the push toward more experiential hotel spaces. It has recently renovated two hotels, a One Club Gulf Shores in Gulf Shores, Alabama, a and Residence Inn Stamford Downtown, in Stamford, Connecticut.“No matter if for a night, a weekend, or two weeks, travelers want to feel acknowledged, appreciated, and they want experiences that make the trip worth it. They want to feel special and they want the place there staying to be special,” Dan Palmier, CEO of UC Funds, tells GlobeSt.com. “A lifestyle branded asset should fulfill an aspiration for guests by offering exclusivity through a unique experience that augments socialization for the traveler. We aim to achieve this by creating a first-class trip for visitors with curated, enhanced amenities to make each hospitality asset, short-term or extended stay, feel like a five-star home away from home.”

In the company’s most recent hotel redevelopments, it focused on creating a refined experience but an accessible price—an important balance. “We developed and rebranded One Club Gulf Shores, a coastal Alabama golf resort community,” says Palmier. “My team at UC Funds along with Troon/Honours Golf completely renovated the property and its amenities, with a goal to give visitors from all walks of life a first-class travel experience at a reasonable price, offering the dream vacation many people idealize but often don’t believe they can afford.”

Amenities are an important element in the effort to create a high-end experience for travelers. These amenities include everything from pools and spas to fitness centers and spa services. The goal is to strike a balance between amenities and services that serve as amenities. “We also added a series of amenities designed to give travelers a high-end luxury resort experience including a pool and cabana club with three new heated and air-conditioned pools, reserved private cabanas, a Jacuzzi and sauna, brand new outdoor lighted pickleball courts, a spacious fitness center featuring state-of-the-art equipment, and spa and massage services,” explains Palmier. “We have become the most sought-after leisure experience in Gulf Shores and along the entire Gulf Coast by providing access to a lifestyle often presumed to be out of reach.”

In curating an experience, Palmier emphasizes the need for both amenities and services, in which he includes customer service. “While amenities sell, service grows your business,” says Palmier. “A resort might have the best, most high-end features and amenities but if the staff is unfriendly or service is slow, profits will quickly reflect that.” At the Residence Inn Stamford Downtown and the Courtyard Stamford Downtown, Palmier aims for seamless service from the front desk to food and beverage. “Guests of these assets often stay for several weeks or months at a time and are likely to return more than once,” he says. No one will be interested in sticking around if they’re unsatisfied or feel unwelcome.”

Originally posted on https://www.globest.com
Kelsi Maree Borland
Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Borland is a freelance writer and editor living whose work has appeared in such publications as Travel + Leisure, Angeleno and Riviera Orange County.