Travel is about exploration. Discovery. Adventure.
Gone are the days when a hotel mini-fridge was considered the height of excitement and fresh towels every morning were a novelty. A continental breakfast is no longer even worth getting out of bed for, ironically. As a result of this, the demand for adventure tourism has rocketed in recent years, with the European market for tours and activities valued at $40 billion dollars in 2016.
That being said: adventure doesn’t remain adventurous for very long when ‘the path less trodden’ just becomes yet another trodden path. Hotels are now doing everything in their power to offer their visitors a truly unique hospitality experience.
We’ve searched far and wide for the most outside of the box hotels around the world using the theme of adventure to demonstrate pretty whopping USPs and secure consistent, year round business. Here, are 5 of them…
Instead of thinking outside the box… get rid of the box.’ – Deepak Chopra
Lake District, UK
Spending time with animals has notable impacts on mental wellbeing as well as immunity and cardiovascular health. It is for this reason that in recent years there has been an eruption of discussion surrounding what is now known as ESAs (Emotional Support Animals).
Independent bed and breakfast, Llama’s Pajamas have taken this principle and applied it to the field of hospitality with the opportunity to spend some quality face-time with a delightful Peruvian walking companion – one of their many, free-roaming llamas. Vacationers are free to spend time enjoying the rural surroundings with a South American chaperone, as well as monkeys, rabbits, goats and an abundance of peculiar reptiles.
East Village, New York
Partnering with literary magazine The Paris Review, contemporary New York hotel The Standard provide vacationers with not just a place to rest their head but some much needed cultural & literary inspiration. The Standard Hotel puts a contemporary spin on ‘the writer’s retreat’ by offering the space out to writers seeking solitude to complete their masterpieces, for free, provided they can demonstrate an active publishers contract. Applications must include a description and sample of the work-in-progress, a letter from the publisher confirming the contract, and a brief letter from the writer themself.
While it certainly isn’t the first of its kind – The Savoy offering a similar writing residence package to author Fay Weldon back in 2002 – The Standard also aims to capture the general niche of night owls and artisans with adaptable ‘standard time’ check ins, all-night café/bar and a events which call out to those who so frequently burn the midnight oil in the name of their craft.
SHA Wellness Clinic
NHS cutbacks to IVF treatment in the UK saw many couples seeking alternative treatments to start a family. This then lead to a surge in fertility tourism and an interest in ‘procreation vacations’. One particular institution offering progressive hospitality in the name of conception is Spanish wellness resort SHA. With a combination of speciality massage; yoga, acupuncture, holistic healing, aromatherapy, meditation, fertility visualisation, on-site nutritionists and fertility therapists, SHA heard the demands of the masses and turned it into opportunity. SHA represents supply and demand at it’s finest.
Mont Bianco, Italy
With Bivaccio Gervasutti, the adventurous part isn’t the destination – it’s the journey. This remote Italian rent-a-cabin sits comfortably at over 2,835 meters above the ground, providing not only an aerial view of the Italian mountain landscape, but presumably an intense workout and a touch of vertigo.
This is because Bivaccio Gervasutti is only accessible on foot, meaning that those wanting to enjoy a reclusive vacation overlooking the Alps must first endure the monumental hike that precedes it. Still, with 52% of participants in a YouGov Travel poll revealing they had taken either a walking or rambling holiday within the last 5 years, we can think of a fair few explorers willing to try…
In late 2016, the number of tourists travelling to Iceland for the Aurora Borealis from the U.S alone was enough to exceed the entire country’s population.
With one of the best views of the Aurora Lights in the world, Sweden then seized the opportunity to both optimise peak tourist season and combat family disputes over air-conditioning. How? By building their very own ice castle in the shape of Icehotel. With an average room temperature is -5 degrees, the Icehotel hotel provides a magical, wintery setting to tick the Borealis box from our bucket lists and – with the Northern Lights attracting tourists from September to March – identifies itself as the perfect vacation spot to meet the demand.
This year, travel trends have inspired some extremely unique opportunities within the hospitality arena. With ‘achievement tourism’ set to become the hot new trend of 2018, we cannot wait to see how the hospitality world raises the bar to meet the demands of the more ambitious, achievement-oriented traveller.
Institutions that incorporate physical fitness goals? Career achievements? Perhaps even romantic milestones? So the adventure begins…