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A wind of innovation blows through the hospitality sector

Facing the challenges brought by the health crisis, hospitality professionals had to be creative to maintain their activity and to encourage people to come back to stay in hotels. Inventiveness and adaptability were the keywords during this very special period, which pushed hoteliers to the limit and brought out some totally innovative ideas.

Smart Sport by ibis budget is a project that aims to turn every place into a playground and make sport accessible to everyone, both in the hotel and online. The idea was to make ibis budget hotels places where every opportunity is good to practice sport with the minimum of accessories possible, a simple towel, steps or a bed are perfect equipment to start a spontaneous sport session.

Stay KooooK, developed by SV Hotel, responds to the increased need for temporary accommodation and sets standards in terms of functionality and individual guest experience. The concept is simple, all elements within a room are mobile. This gives guests the freedom to design according to their tastes and needs. Also, all touch points are digitised and brought together in the web application for further personalisation.

Pay Your Day is an initiative of MOXY Bucharest Old Town that consisted of a promotion never seen before in the hospitality world. Hotel rooms could be booked at a price equivalent to the number of the day on which the booking was made. This response to the increased decline in hotel guests was successful and therefore repeated several times.

Novotel curfew offer: dîner avec les poules was launched following the French government's announcement of a 9pm curfew. An original and humorous initiative that refers to the expression "dîners avec les poules" which means eating early. The brand's restaurants were then open to the general public from 6.30pm every evening during this period for dinner. For the high-profile launch, live chickens were present and staff dressed as chickens themselves.

Santa is calling you! is an initiative developed during the pandemic by Little Guest for the children of the brand's customers. Due to social distancing measures, it was impossible for children to meet Santa in person so Little Guest came up with the idea of launching a competition to allow 50 children to speak with Santa via Zoom. In order to personalise these meetings, parents were invited to share various details about their children with Santa.

Pawsome Pet is dedicated to travellers who never travel without their pets, a growing customer segment that MOXY Kaunas Center wanted to address. The hotel has launched a communication campaign that includes organic dog food and essential pet equipment in the rooms. The idea is to show that pets are guests and that MOXY wants them to feel at home.

Creation of the new brand House of Beats by Deutsche Hospitality is a new high-end lifestyle concept inspired by local fashion, music, pop art, street art and the cultural scene. The first two hotels under this brand will be located in Hamburg and Milan. House of Beats combines high-end products and service with a strong and differentiating brand image. Young people are the core target clientele, with digital technology playing a major role in the concept's offering.

Hosho, My Bed in Town, designed by Louvre Hotels Group, allows guests to stay in the City of Light for only 20 euros a night. This latest generation establishment opened its doors in the heart of Paris, at the Porte d'Italie, and offers comfortable and well-equipped capsule beds. On site, there is also a co-working space, a design laundry bar, additional storage lockers and a kitchen area. The offer is aimed at both solo travellers and groups, with a gender-neutral zone that allows women to feel safe.

Restaurants Reopening MGallery x Oxmo Puccino was a campaign to promote the reopening of McGallery restaurants after an unprecedented crisis that affected the entire population. The brand invited the artist Oxmo Puccino to declaim a poem written for the occasion that celebrates the freedom regained after months of confinement and closure of places open to the public.

Tayim Restaurant & Bar - Virtual Wine & Dine Experience was a series of interactive online dinners aimed at bringing the community together and providing an engaging outlet during the pandemic-related closures. Each dinner featured four courses from Harbour Rocks Hotel Sydney's Tayim restaurant, accompanied by an interactive demonstration by Executive Chef Leron Ben Avraham. To provide an immersive experience, the dinners were accompanied by a music playlist usually played in the restaurant.

Ciné Parc, the first outdoor cinema in Aix-les-Bains, organised by the Domaine de Marlioz team, is an event that took place from 2 to 5 August 2021 in the Domaine's park. On the bill for this event, 4 very different cinematographic universes with : Batman Begin, The Dark Knight, Intouchables, Dragons and Jurassic World. The screenings attracted hotel guests; the town's thermal baths but also tourists who came to discover the area. The event was a success and will be repeated in 2022 as a larger festival.

Dream Drive Discover Delight, the Indian Hotels Company's initiative, aimed to encourage families and groups of friends to (re)drive in their own vehicles to one of the group's hotels by promoting activities, scenery and culinary offerings. This proved popular with travellers as it allowed them to combine leisure and work, took the hassle out of planning a holiday and offered a flexible cancellation policy.

Limitless Challenges is a campaign developed by Accor Live Limitless, the hotel group's loyalty programme, which offered programme members the opportunity to challenge Paris Saint-Germain players on the "pitch" of their choice. Karting, yoga and music were on the agenda for these very special encounters for ALL members who were able to spend a unique moment with their idols. The challenges were carried out in different hotels of the group to show a new dimension of hospitality.

Covid-19 repatriation program 2020/2021- Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was designed as part of the Australian Government's hotel repatriation program which required returning Australian expatriates to undergo a hotel quarantine. To make their stay more enjoyable, the hotel provided a number of things such as gourmet meals and live entertainment that guests could watch from their balconies.

Pullman Art Festival aims to bring people together after more than a year without a live concert, but also to allow artists to express themselves on stage again and share their passion. Pullman has offered its visitors the opportunity to participate in a unique experience: attend a showcase from their hotel room, live, thanks to connected headsets. The experience is completed by a gastronomic dinner prepared by Chef Pierre-Sang, as well as games with the chance to meet the artists performing during the showcases.

Long Stay - Stay more, save more Promotion is Marriott Kampala & Skyz hotels' response to the pandemic to encourage locals to come and stay at the hotel and especially to extend their stay. The promotion offered discounts of up to 30% for guests staying 3 or more consecutive nights at both hotels.

Online entertainment studio at Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow is an offer that is fully in line with the current needs of business and professional travellers. The hotel has a conference room equipped with large screens that allow the holding of hybrid events with the possibility of using new cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality.


Nota Bene: The HON editorial team highlights and values the entries submitted for the Hospitality Awards 2021 in complete independence from the competition itself, which is governed by precise rules. This in no way prejudges the outcome of the specific process of nominating finalists or winners, which follows the rules of the competition through the examination of the entries by a jury followed by a sworn bailiff and live voting on the day of the ceremony. The abundance of initiatives submitted during this 21st edition is a fine illustration of the efforts made by the profession in the face of the crisis and it was important for us to share them with you.


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