Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (FSHR) are universally recognized as an industry leader – their product quality and service levels continually setting luxury standards. Over the past thirty years, programs pioneered by this chain have been become de rigueur for properties in all price ranges. Thus, innovative marketing programs being undertaken by FSHR are worthy of consideration.
I recently stayed at the Four Seasons Singapore, a magnificent property located just off the incredible Orchard Road shopping district. Knowing that it was our thirtieth anniversary, the hotel put us on their special couples’ floor, which they call ‘11 for 2.’
Dubbed their Ultimate Couples Getaway, the idea is to create a quieter floor, with lower corridor traffic and a softer, more romantic, ambiance through a number of subtle soft goods changes. With added amenities, enhanced concierge services and some solid marketing packages to sell this product, Four Seasons Singapore has created something very distinctive within the marketplace.
Here are some of the specifics that make this package work:
- Check out time has been extended to 1PM. Housekeeping services have been delayed to start in the afternoon, leaving the whole morning to indulge in breakfast in bed, with no corridor noise or interruptions.
- The couples experience starts in the eleventh floor elevator lobby, where complimentary fruits and chocolates are refreshed three times daily. The corridors have been redecorated, and the lighting has been themed – changing throughout the day and night to augment the mood.
- Each room’s king-size bed, which dominates the room, is festooned with a number of wild, decorative throw pillows. The side table has a collection of snack jars loaded with commercial candies. A book of Love Poems was also provided as well as a set of romantic DVDs for musical selection. Most intriguing was a Love Box – an upholstered jewelry box containing one hundred business-sized cards designed to inspire, with such single lines on them as, “Eat Dinner by Candlelight,” or “Play a Sport Together.”
- The concierge has been repositioned as the Experiential Assistant (or EA), with the role being that of enhancing the guests’ stay with many pre-arrival services. Noteworthy, the EA delivers breakfast and assists with planning your stay, creating a butler-like experience.
Promotions for this experience comprise of a series of what they call ‘indulgent morning experiences.’ In effect, they are add-ons to the room rate, thereby simplifying the yield. Different selections were offered, ranging from breakfast in bed, tennis, yoga or in-room couples massages.
This program is still new, having been launched just weeks ago. Alex Porteous, the Hotel Manager is encouraged by initial guests’ responses, stating, “Singapore is a strong business-oriented destination. Our need was to further differentiate our recognized Four Seasons product through a unique leisure offering. The ‘11 for 2’ concept was the outcome of our Blue Ocean visioning for the product. It fulfills a marketplace opportunity cost effectively, and is consistent with our quality, guest-oriented commitment.”
Through several informal talks with guests we met on the floor, the experience was highly positive. Comments included, “cute,” “fun,” “innovative,” “refreshing,” and “kind-of-sexy.” All of these are descriptions that meet the product criteria. Once again, Four Seasons refuses to rest on its laurels, setting the standard for others to follow.
Larry Mogelonsky (email@example.com) is the president and founder of LMA Communications Inc. (www.lma.ca), an award-winning, full service communications agency focused on the hospitality industry (est. 1991). Larry is also the developer of Inn at a Glance hospitality software. As a recognized expert in marketing services, his experience encompasses Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Hotels & Resorts, as well as numerous independent properties throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Larry is a registered professional engineer, and received his MBA from McMaster University.
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