The hotel’s partnership with Nike matches guests with a running coach who will accompany them on a personalized run-tour
of the city’s cultural and historical landmarks.
Its Exquisite Experiences package includes an afternoon with designer Jason Wu for a custom-designed gown. That’s in addition to the hotel’s signature butler services ready to fulfill almost any request.
Appealing to its guests’ spiritual side, the
hotel added sound healing, tarot cards, astrological readings and even hypnosis to its room service menu.
Simple but thoughtful, this New York hotel makes travelers feel at home with an optional pet fish.
This Fijian hotel strives to make guests’ wildest dreams come true, including setting up camp for an overnight stay on a private island owned by the resort—a program it created after being specially requested by a guest.
The hotel’s services feature a record
concierge to customize playlists for the
guests’ in-room record players. The records can then be purchased as travel souvenirs
at its VNYL Shop.
Four Seasons Milan
Soho Grand Hotel
At the beach destinations, guests are treated to thoughtful surprises at just the right time—smoothies mid-morning, tiny ice cream cones at 3:00, champagne at 5:00—plus beachside sunglass cleanings and scalp massages.
These off-the-beaten-path destinations leverage location and special outings for guests with exotic interests. While rock climbing and surfing excursions are other-worldly, we especially like the al fresco movie feature and the swim-over pool feature.
Tulum hotel that operates a mini creative community in the Caribbean jungle, with an on-beach amphitheater for guests to perform or watch music, poetry and inspiring lectures.
The iconic Las Vegas hotel recently revamped to include museum-worthy art installations throughout for awe-inspiring experiences in accessible surroundings, not to mention a roster of concerts that rival the biggest venues.
This hotel group exceeds every expectation with breathtaking locations and mind-
reading service. S’mores kits for the evening fire, planned outings suited to any interest, and special touches—look to this brand as
the new standard.
Recasting “social” as an IRL activity, Badrutt’s Palace invites its best customers to parties in different cities, with a plus-one—a great way to build customer base. They also intentionally overstaff for a more desirable guest-to-staff ratio. Good thinking.
In your own backyard, the Corinthian focuses on “uplifting moments;” they want the review of the stay to be about a defining moment; they don’t want to over-innovate, and instead provide fresh experiences. Their concierge’s moniker: Crafty Concierge.
This hospitality-residential hybrid has Kelly Wearstler-furnished suites for renters or travelers, alongside conveniences like an in-house dry cleaner and state-of-the-art conference rooms.
Wellness accommodations designed by mind-body expert Dr. Deepak Chopra offer circadian lighting and specially filtered water.
A topnotch Beverly Hills spa where visitors come for the relaxation and stay for the
Specializing in unexpected off-shoots, The Mark has programs from an arrangement with Bergdorf Goodman to deliver your shopping bags to your room, to on-site bikes to roam Central Park, to a Mark sailboat complete with a Jean-Georges-packed picnic lunch.
The Malibu hotel extension from famed
Sushi purveyor Nobu boasts en suite teak soaking tubs.
This Los Angeles nail salon centers on clean beauty, offering oxygenating manicures and an in-house coffee shop.
Hands down our favorite high-end movie theater, from the schedule of films—including family matinées—to the chic concession stand and commissary restaurant. Nighthawk Cinema, Quad and Alamo Drafthouse are equally impressive in this category.
Karaoke is nothing new, but it has a lot
of followers and keeps customers in one
place for a long time. The decked-out
booths, full-service restaurant and care in presentation make Blind Dragon a good candidate for this list.
Flipping the script on farm-to-table, this table-to-farm dining service creates once-in-a-lifetime experiences set in the places where the food on the plate is actually harvested.
This Chicago steakhouse goes above and beyond with an on-hand concierge service to coordinate anything from last-minute plans to memorable dinner surprises.
Design gurus Roman and Williams’ new all-in-one emporium includes a brasserie, full bar, flower shop and furniture design gallery. An effort to showcase creativity and craftsmanship in an environment that slows the pace a bit and invites exploration and curiosity.
The long-time British wealth management firm retains Peter Fiori as head chef for client events and special activities. A pretty extraordinary association for a staid banking organization, but again the level of expectation is met with clever moves.
Outstanding In The Field
Swift & Sons
The Flour Shop
When experience matches environment. Here, candy-filled cakes go well with the rainbow-colored café décor, furthering the case for younger consumers developing a high-taste-level early.
Design-first bakery makes croissants look like works of art in a gallery. Even the holographic boxes have a cultish following on social media.
Chic interiors give this bakery more of a retreat feeling. A dream home-away-from-home kitchen: exactly the environment you’d like to invite your friends to for a cappuccino. Bonus points for the croissant-a-day loyalty program that comes with super chic brass key fob.
The downtown LA classic serves delicious food, but it’s the beautiful packaging and presentation of their take-out shop that makes you feel like you’re someplace special.
The NY-based hospitality group keeps a “dreamweaver” on-staff at its Eleven
Madison Park restaurant to walk the dining room and eavesdrop on guests. If they overhear an out-of-towner is dying to go sledding in Central Park, there may be an
Uber loaded up with sleds out front when
they leave. Or simply, a cocktail customized
to the guest’s special occasion.
The entrepreneurial offsite gathers creative visionaries in style, from beachside brainstorms in Tulum to chalet fireside chats at its Powder Mountain headquarters.
UK festival focused on fashion and sustainability with tons for kids to do—think creative workshops that the whole family can participate in.
Dior released its logo tote with a limited-time opportunity to replace the Dior name with your own. The coveted bag was not available for customization after that period.
M’O’s Monogram Madness gives customers
a chance to personalize product from a range of brands for a limited time. We also love
its holiday packing service which has your clothing meet you—all pressed and hung—at your destination.
5 Carlos Place
The Montreal retailer and luxury streetwear
site lets customers select from the website anything they wish and has it ready to try in
the Ssense store within an hour.
Matchesfashion.com launched its
media/content/event space with a roster
of interesting and relevant installations,
talks and podcasts. This is the competitor
to watch right now.
Interior designer Kelly Hoppen makes a good case for prioritizing the customer’s experience. Her firm used a data company claiming it could tell them what customers wanted, but sales actually decreased. So, Hoppen retrenched, relying on her own instincts, and sales increased. Playing a hunch that customers’ lives were all about speed, she believed stores needed to “take down the noise,” “go back to the products we’re going in-store to buy” and “leave behind the ‘circus.’” She underscored the need to trust your vision and execute on that.
JD.com/JD Fashion is experiencing some success with its Toplife white glove delivery service, which also has a wait & try component. TOBE can see application here for Harrods, as partner or inspiration, for service offering. Some of the data that influenced them:
- 750 million Chinese consumers shop online, making up 47% of the global digital sales; 82% on mobile; 50+% weekly
- China’s luxury consumer is 15-20 years younger than the US and European
- 500 million are Millennials, 50%
Further to delivery notes, a recent PWC Survey looks at the interest in instant gratification and finds that of 22,000 surveyed, 41% will pay extra for same day delivery; 24% of them for 30-minute delivery.
When considering how to leverage tech, we like another Four Seasons example where a bartender and a guest by the pool have an interesting exchange, facilitated by tech.