Take Advantage of These Top 3 Luxury Travel Trends

For modern luxury travelers, the focus is no longer merely on experiencing new situations or being comfortable. Instead, many travelers are looking for an experience that will be personally edifying. This means travelers choose to visit locations they believe can provide a transformative experience that will help them reach their full personal potential. This motivation, perhaps, is driving some recent luxury travel trends.

Seeking spirituality

Travelers are more likely to visit shrines, temples, and other “sacred spots,” than ever. Stargazing and relaxing activities like hot springs or spa treatments also are increasing in popularity. Today’s travelers seek environments conducive to focusing their minds and rejuvenating their spirits from the demanding pace of day to day life. Natural, immersive experiences that go deeper than a simple massage will be the focus of many luxury trips.

Literary Connections

Technology has continued to eat up more and more of people’s time and attention. In response, a growing awareness has sprung up about the dangers of tech-overuse. Many people are nostalgic for the old days of bound books and print magazines. Thus, luxury travelers seek out places that pay tribute to literary people and works. These range from meet-and-greets with local literary legends to visiting the homes of classic novelists and influential writers. More and more travelers want a travel experience that will reinvigorate their minds as well as their bodies.

Increased Personalization

While luxury travel trends have always been focused on catering to the personal needs of travelers, the trend has become increasingly more personalized. For instance, certain restaurants in the UK, Morocco, and Sweden disregard menus and allow patrons to eat what they want, whenever they want, and wherever they want. In addition, travelers now expect to be able to customize their own travel experience. These personalized experiences can include selecting their favorite toilet paper color or choosing their preferred toiletry brand.

Luxury Travel Trends and Business

Travel companies, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses benefit in keeping up with luxury travel trends. In other words, they can tailor their services to meet patrons’ needs and desires. For instance, hotel restaurants can offer more a la carte items on their menus or even give patrons the option of accessing their wine cellars to select their own wines. Country clubs may research local writers and poets and host a literary event to draw bibliophiles. Cruise lines could inform travelers of the must-visit sacred sites in each location and collaborate with land-based businesses to provide the best experience for their clients.

Whatever companies decide to do, one thing is certain: the trend among luxury travelers seeking personal fulfillment and edification creates multiple opportunities for creative businesses. They can take advantage of the open-ended possibility to design the perfect travel experience, which benefits travelers and servers, alike.

Florida-style Fall Cocktails

Let’s face it…fall in South Florida is a lot different from any place else in the US. While we don’t get to see the leaves change color or feel the brisk nighttime air, we can celebrate the season with these cocktails inspired by spirits made right here in our home state.
All recipes featured in: Florida Spirits and the Cocktail Recipes to Make With Them

The Phosphorescent

This cocktail comes from bartender Zach Lynch at Ice Plant in St. Augustine, FL. The refreshing blend of grapefruit juice and lemon pair beautifully with the citrusy profile in St. Augustine gin.

Palm Ridge Whiskey Smash

This cocktail comes from bar manager Mike Smith at The Imperial in Sanford, FL. Nothing beats a classic whiskey smash, it’s easy to make and light enough to sip all year-long. The use of Palm Ridge Reserve adds a spicy note to the cooling fresh mint.

Sea Mist

This cocktail comes from lead bartender Jillian Cohen at Blackbird Ordinary in Miami, FL. The fresh citrus adds tartness to brighten up the rum while a hint of coconut gives it a tropical layer. This interesting mix is really brought together with a touch of sea salt.

Summer in the City

This cocktail comes from Beverage Director, Kurt Rogers at Sidecar in Jacksonville, FL.  Manifest’s crisp potato vodka gets a tropical infusion of pineapple from the Tepache, a slightly fermented pineapple drink commonly sold on the streets of Mexico. Any sweetness from the fruit is tempered with a blend of bitters, adding an intensifying herbal essence finished with a spicy bite.

Bringing these fresh, Florida-inspired cocktails to your menu this fall will keep your guests raising their flags for more!

How to Reduce Profits and Disappoint Guests

Recently, a hotel guest reached out to us directly to purchase flags to bring on his vacation. The property he was staying at had removed our service flags from the pool area and it had left him disappointed. This is the letter he wrote to us:
“Most every year my family and I go back to Arizona at the beginning of summer. Their off-season. We see friends and family at the resort we always stay at. For years they had these awesome little plastic drink service flags on the lounge chairs to let the pool service staff know when you wanted another drink or something to eat. Service just when you want it. How perfect and one of my wife’s most favorite features of staying there. How disappointing last year when we went there and all the flags were gone.
Apparently they got a new pool manager and they did not like the flags so they had them all removed. We (and many of those around us) mentioned our disappointment and asked if they could be brought back. We’d even pay for them. No joy. We then proceeded to poke around any closet or storage area near the pool hoping to find the “stash” of flags. No joy again. We found that because the service staff could never accurately gauge when we wanted another drink or food, we ended up spending about half of what we had in previous years while at the pool and we are there all day for 4-5 days solid. I even noted in the follow up survey we got, my disappointment about the decision to remove the flags and that the only benefit was I spent a lot less money than I would have. I told them if their goal was to reduce the profits for the resort and keep me and my family more thirsty than I would prefer to be, they had succeeded.
It’s still a great resort and a good value for the money, so we are again headed back this summer for a vacation. If there is any way to get a few of those awesome flags, I would love to bring my own. The service staff loved them and they told us if we had them, they would service when they see it up. So I am hoping this year we can bring our own, get back to timely service and make the other guests jealous. “

Don’t let this happen to you! Add At Your Service Flags to your pool and beach – keep your guests happy

Summer Cocktails to Enjoy Poolside

Looking to step up your mixology game this summer? With these 14 fresh, tropical cocktails compiled by Brit and Co., your guests will be raising their flags for more!
1. Palomas: This popular Mexican drink is a delightfully refreshing and sophisticated complement to spicy Mexican food. (via Drizzle and Dip)
2. Passionfruit and Ginger Cocktail: For this Asian-inspired drink, make a simple syrup with sugar, passion fruit, ginger and lemon. Pour that over ice, add soda water and light rum and serve. (via Simply Delicious)
3. Caipirinhas: Show your World Cup spirit with this Brazilian cocktail, which consists of Cachaça (alcohol made from sugarcane juice), freshly squeezed lime juice and sugar. Be careful with these. They are as strong as they are refreshing. (via What’s Gaby Cooking)
4. Blood Orange Margarita: With the current spike in lime prices, margaritas can quickly become a very expensive drink. Substitute limes with blood oranges for a colorful, delicious twist on the classic summer drink. (via White on Rice Couple)
5. Clementine Limoncello Champagne Cocktail: It’s hard to go wrong with sweet Limoncello, a bit of bubbly, tart pomegranate and refreshing clementines. Consider this drink a new and improved take on everyone’s favorite brunch beverage. (via In Good Taste)
6.Roasted Peach Lemonade: Roasted peaches are a summer gift from the gods we will forever be grateful for. Mix all that caramelized goodness with lemonade and an alcohol of your choice and you have the ultimate refreshing beverage. (via The Naptime Chef)
7. Cherry Caipirissima: Try out this vibrant new take on Caipirinhas that uses cherries, lime and white rum. (via The New York Times)
8. Campari Mojito: Muddle together fresh mint with lime juice and rum in a pitcher and stir in Campari. Pour over ice and top with tonic water. (via The Kitchn)
9. Summer Night Cocktail: Pineapple and cucumber juice, fresh mint and white rum. I mean, can you really go wrong with a combo like that? (via A Beautiful Mess)
10. Raspberry Sangria: A new spin on a classic summer staple. This recipe, using mint, white wine and raspberries, is sure to be a crowd pleaser. (via Turmeric ‘n’ Spice)
11. Key Lime Melon Spritzer: This bright orange drink is tart and sweet with a fizzy finish! We think this one was made to sip poolside. (via Sweet and Savory by Shinee)
12. Watermelon Coconut Cocktail: This summertime favorite is full of pureed strawberries and watermelon, zesty lime and refreshing coconut water. Make it a little bit sweeter with agave nectar and white rum. (via Munchin With Munchkin)
13. Dragonfruit Margarita: Dragonfruit may look scary but in reality it is simply a mild and creamy fruit similar to a kiwi – without the tart finish. If you’re going to experiment with an exotic fruit we think doing it in margarita form is a good way to go. (via Style Me Pretty)
14. Habanero Ginger Beergarita: If summer isn’t hot enough for you turn up the heat with this tropical drink that has a spicy twist. The heat comes from a homemade habanero-infused vodka. (via According to Elle)
What summer cocktail are you adding to the menu this year? Share with us in the comments!

Increasing Guest Satisfaction with Enhanced Pool Experiences

Increased guest satisfaction, loyalty and positive reviews. All of these things turn into revenue, whether via repeat stays, word-of-mouth bookings or a glowing review that prompts someone to book that hotel after reading about it. You can have the highest level of technology, monitoring, the fanciest suites and the best food. If you’re not delivering on the service end, the rest is virtually meaningless.
The word ‘service’ says it all – the hospitality business is a service industry and no matter how good all the other facilities are, at the end of the day if the service is bad then your customers may not look at visiting you again. And there are chances of them spreading the word around, especially on social media and reviews sites, which is even more risky for your business.
Fortunately, service quality is also something you can improve without breaking the bank – and when you do, you’ll start to see immediate results through better ratings, and longer term results through increased bookings.

As we slide into the summer season, hotel pools will become magnets of opportunity for memorable guest experiences. While the soothing blue colors, refreshing water temperatures and lushly landscaped environments are appealing; moments of service excellence in the pool environment will make the most splash of all.

What can hotels, resorts and country clubs do to make any pool environment more outstanding than just water and lounge chairs?

  • Define all the ways the guest experience will be impacted on the way to the pool, at the pool and when leaving the pool. Then, define what will impact those opportunities. Adding At Your Service Flags to your pool or beach chairs can help employees attend to your guests promptly and help expedite food delivery when numbers are added to the flags.
  • Empower all employees involved in the pool experience to be part of that experience. Engineers, gardeners, housekeepers and others who may not seem like the active pool employees are still visible and noticed by guests. Inspire them to be active, even if only with a smile eye contact and body language. Invite all the employees involved in the pool experience to offer their ideas and get everyone’s brain constantly swimming with ideas!
  • Guests like clean pools. Make sure pool teams are constantly monitoring the water for floating objects that don’t belong, such as fallen leaves, unwelcome insects, band aids and whatever else might impact that pristine feeling.
  • Recognize the increasing value of shade and then create ways to provide it to guests. Many times guests have to get to the pool early to “claim” the best spots for shade because there are too few options. Be prepared for more so guests leave bronzed and not burnt.
  • Lined up lounge chairs look so wonderful and organized but guests will rearrange the furniture at times. That’s okay but when they leave, have attendants line them up again so that same wonderful organization appeals to next guests. Pick up old, wet and scrunched up towels so new arriving guests don’t have to. Give them the touch of the clean environment they have paid to experience.
  • Be sensitive to sound and music. If music is provided by hotel, make sure it is not too loud and disruptive to the environment. It should enhance the mood, not agitate. If guests bring their own music, monitor their volume as well and make sure all guests benefit by any new notes in the air.
  • Guests love the extras that can make or distinguish a pool experience, especially in really hot weather such as misters, tanning butlers, lemon-infused washcloths, and little samples of sorbet. Consider what might add to the pool personality to enhance and build on the hotel’s personality.

To learn more about At Your Service Flags, visit us at AYSFlags.com.