What current trends are you seeing from a luxury travel perspective?
“In recent years the industry has seen luxury travel become a far more subjective entity. There has been a switch in the perception of luxury and whilst some travellers are still looking for material luxury, there is now a growing trend for people wanting a more exclusive experience that provides them with the luxury of real emotional value.
Brands can capitalise on this new breed of luxury travellers, by offering a curated and personal holiday experience that appeals individually to each and every customer.
The new UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya all-inclusive concept has been designed with this in mind. From personalised in-room amenities made from local ingredients, an aromatherapy and pillow menu, unlimited selected spa treatments*, a dining experience that pays homage to regional Yucatan dishes and curated excursions that immerse guests in the locale; a stay at the hotel offers a truly authentic experience.
We have also seen technological advances playing a large role in the luxury travel process. Personal service is still key to the success of a luxury stay, but the development of apps is being used more and more to enhance the personalised experience even further. At UNICO 20˚87˚, guests receive access to our ‘Experience App’ upon arrival.
Every touch point and interaction on the app has been crafted with an extraordinary list of unique features and personalised options – it can do everything from opening your door and arranging housekeeping to ordering a dirty martini with two olives to be delivered directly to your sunbed by the pool!”
What are people’s perceptions of the all-inclusive break and what are the realities?
“I think the all-inclusive holiday concept has a clear stereotype within the UK market: it’s a ‘fly and flop’, functional and affordable option that offers excellent value for money. Whilst five star options are available, and very popular, someone looking for a more authentic and immersive boutique style holiday could be put off by the all-inclusive tag.
Often, holidaymakers don’t seem to feel that all-inclusive holiday options offer uniqueness. The stereotype can lead to an assumption that the all-inclusive holiday is ‘mass market’ and therefore lacks personality and individuality. This stereotype really isn’t the case – there are plenty of upscale options available that take the all-inclusive concept to the next level.
UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya is a completely new, aspirational, adults-only, all-inclusive hotel that has been designed with a heavy influence from the property’s location, heritage and local culture. Its people are its personality and holidays here aim to be totally immersive – hotels like this really are redefining the traditional all-inclusive concept.”
What sets UNICO 20°87° apart from the standard luxury ‘fly and flop’ holiday? What are its unique selling points?
“Unlike many standard all-inclusive properties, UNICO 20°87°’s heritage is interwoven into every area of the hotel. We aim to engage guests into the culture of the country, to discover and embrace contemporary Mexico and share in our passion for the region.
Its interior has been designed and furnished by local artists, the food and beverages inspired by native flavours and exclusively curated excursions are on offer allowing guests to explore lesser known alcoves and local eateries. The three unique pools and holistic spa and wellness centre drive home a sense of relaxed luxury, while exciting pop-up events insert a touch of spontaneity into the experience.
UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya is the all-inclusive re-defined. We embrace the local from the food and drink, to the lavish spa treatments*, to a selection of curated adventures* within one all-inclusive price – there are no hidden extras. There is no lack for comfort, with custom bath amenities, a fully equipped fitness centre, 24-hour room service and a personal Anfitrión—replacing the traditional butler service—to serve as your local host. It’s a completely new standard for the all-inclusive holiday and guests can tailor their stay for a truly unique and fully immersive experience.”
How important is the travel trade to selling a luxury product such as UNICO 20°87°?
“Agents are so very important in engaging with customers and imparting their knowledge of the vast all-inclusive holiday market to fully educate customers on the wide variety of all-inclusive holiday options out there. You can tailor your all-inclusive holiday to your own requirements. If it’s a more affordable, middle of the road accommodation and buffet style dining you’re looking for, there are plenty of booking options out there. However, you can opt for all-inclusive holidays that offer five star, contemporary accommodation, fine dining experiences and an exceptional service within the price you pay – this is just one of the message agents can successfully convey to customers.
On every level, all-inclusives do offer value for money but in some circumstances a high end experience can mean financial add ons and this is another important distinction that agents should make. In the case of UNICO 20°87°, if guests want to fly and flop, then of course they can, however, we encourage exploration, and our flexible programming and “no-itinerary-necessary” attitude cultivates a sense of spontaneity and discovery among guests. Our guests can totally tailor their holiday to their individual needs and do as little or as much during their stay with us as they wish. Our guest will “arrive as a tourist and leave as a traveller”.
What training and incentive campaigns do you have in place for the UK trade at the moment?
“Our UK Sales Team are always on hand to engage, support and train the UK Travel Trade who we very much view as an extension of our sales team. As our product is unique it is important that we immerse the trade in the UNICO 20°87° concept and that we are available for face to face training and have available resources and sales tools to support them.
During our launch events in London and Manchester we presented to over 250 trade, with a view to further engaging them with a future a three night complimentary stay at the hotel at their leisure.
Having already conducted many on-site training sessions, attended regional training events, offered support to trade partners at consumer events and sponsored prizes at events like The Style Awards during Ladies Day at The Derby, we will continue with this diligent approach to fully involve the trade at every opportunity.
Recognising how important a first-hand experience is – over the next few months we are hosting several top seller conferences and a few FAM trips at UNICO 20°87° to showcase our immersive approach to the all-inclusive concept.
Incentives are also key for us and we are currently tailoring several campaigns which will be available shortly. These include opportunities to visit UNICO 20°87° on complimentary basis, FAM trips for key sellers and authentic competition giveaways from the region. Bespoke incentives will be tailored to suit the activity or promotion being offered.
We have an open-door policy, we listen to our trade partners and clients and we will continue to work and support these key relationships to deliver a truly unique experience.”