25hours Debuts New Community Concierge Initiative

by | Oct 4, 2018 | Chains

German hotel group 25hours is set to launch a new initiative which aims to connect more with the local community by allowing them to access the hotel’s concierge services. The experiment is just the latest in a long line of lifestyle hotels’ forays into the world of community engagement. We find out more.

Drawing the community in

Lifestyle hotels have, since their advent, branded themselves as part of the community. However, making this a reality is not always easy, as hotels, by their very nature, cater mostly to tourists and business travelers who are usually not local. It can be difficult to realistically make a hotel part of the ingrained fabric of a particular destination, and lifestyle hotels are constantly trying to come up with new strategies to deliver on their promise of really forming part of what makes a traveler want to visit a particular location. A new initiative by German hotel group 25hours aims to do exactly that by offering local residents the use of their concierge service to fulfill everyday tasks such as booking a yoga class, ordering groceries, doing laundry and calling a handyman. The experiment would involve the resident calling or emailing the hotel’s concierge and arranging the service free of charge, the idea being that the hotel is not just there for the benefit of its paying guests, but also for the benefit of the community at large.

Redefining the concierge

The idea of a hotel concierge is something that has been on its way out, as more contemporary hotel models move further and further away from staffing and full service offerings towards limited services and digitalisation. However, many boutique and lifestyle hotels still see immense value in a concierge, and perhaps spy an opportunity to reimagine this position that will bring them more in line with the changing demands of customers and the public. 25hours are not the first hotel group in the game to play around with concierge services, and one of their biggest investors, Accor Hotels, is also employing innovative tactics to connect with the community through their AccorLocal mobile app, and Hilton Honors members can now also access community information provided by Hilton employees through their updated app.

Christoph Hoffmann, 25hours Hotels co-founder, says, “This also relates to what Sebastien Bazin [AccorHotels CEO] is trying to do and implement into his very large corporation, which is the idea of localization. It’s the relationship between the neighbor and us. We need to make it a realization. So, we developed a new concierge who’s not just catering hotels to travelers anymore but catering many things a hotel does to provide for the needs of the local neighbor.”

Organic marketing

Far from trying to digitalise the marketing for the 25hours scheme, it is intended that existing infrastructure on the ground be used to spread the word about this community concierge experiment. A hotel representative expanded on the strategy, saying, “Through our bars and restaurants, we are already very much integrated in the neighborhood. The new service is a logical and consequential expansion of our general services. There will be different activities such as mailings to the neighbors. There has been quite some media interest, too. We had a local TV station filming at the hotel and airing in the news. Unlike a normal concierge service, we not only cater to the hotel guests but proactively approach neighboring residents to make them part of the hotel experience, and our interpretation is less stiff and more contemporary. The concierge booth is very prominently located in the hotel lobby and is an integral part of the welcome experience.” Click here for more information.

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