One of the main travel trends of recent years is the desire to get experiences – unique experiences beyond the recommendations of guidebooks and predictable tourist routes.
For example – to live on a medieval farm in the heart of Umbria and participate in the collection of olives, baking bread, or making wine. Sign up for a foodie club to get on a trip not only to trendy establishments but also to a couple of home-themed dinners where you can not only eat delicious food but also meet the locals.
Or rent a Bentley in Dubai to drive in style around the picturesque surroundings, break down somewhere along the way and end up in a first-class Bentley service in Dubai to see with your own eyes how premium cars are repaired in a modern car service where car scanning and diagnostics are carried out and you will be offered delicious coffee and a full range of hatch car repair services.
Or you can go to the fish market with the hotel’s chef at dawn and then cook lunch together, tasting local products from the heart and gaining a lot of culinary know-how.
On trips, we really behave less and less like tourists, and more and more like experienced and rather demanding travelers. At the same time, modern travelers – especially those who belong to the millennial generation – are not primarily interested in luxury, but in a bright authentic experience that will leave unforgettable memories and a couple of dozen eye-catching Instagram shots. By the way, marketers all over the world repeat this in unison. According to a recent large-scale study by American sociologists (Harris Group), at least 72% of millennials prefer to spend money primarily on experiences, rather than on material goods.
To meet the skyrocketing demand for experiences, five-star hotel chain Conrad Hotels and Resorts recently launched the Stay Inspired program for active and curious travelers. Guests at any of the group’s 37 hotels, located in all parts of the world (30 destinations – from Cartagena to Hong Kong), can book exclusive themed tours to places that are not listed in the guidebooks, attend private events, and immerse themselves in local customs and lifestyles. Depending on how much free time you have at your disposal, you can book tours or activities for an hour, three, or five hours. The guides are either concierge who have undergone special training under the Stay Inspired program, or especially prominent local residents (top bloggers, bright characters of the local art party, etc.)
For example, guests of the London Conrad St. James have the opportunity to visit the secret nightlife bars of the West End, dine at a gastropub in Hampstead, where numerous celebrities living in the neighborhood often drop by, take a bike tour along the picturesque Regent’s Canal with stops for handmade souvenirs at Broadway Market – one of the most fashionable now street markets in London and the unique city farm Hackney City Farm. Guests of Conrad Miami can practice hatha yoga on the beach with one of Miami’s most sought-after instructors, fly over the ocean in a helicopter, listen to live jazz or take a salsa master class in one of Little Havana’s private clubs.
The Conrad Osaka Hotel offers travelers guided tours of the gastronomic attractions of the region: markets where the chefs of the local Michelin restaurants buy products, shops selling handmade knives and kitchen utensils, a master class in cooking ramen soup, which was invented here, tastings of Japanese whiskey and craft beer – and much more. And, for example, in New York, you can take a sailing master class from Olympic champion Steve Colgate and then sail on a sailboat along the southern tip of Manhattan, as well as wander through the halls of the city’s main museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art… late at night.
Stay Inspired is curated by well-known travel journalist Peter Jon Lindberg (@peterjlindberg), a former executive director of the American edition of Conde Nast Traveler. This program is a free electronic concierge guide, which, by the way, can be used not only by guests of Conrad hotels but also by everyone: the StayInspired.com website has a lot of unusual routes and addresses with interactive maps. Through the free Conrad Concierge mobile app or via www.conradhotels.com, you can contact the concierge of your chosen hotel in advance and plan itineraries with them, book a room with a discount, and many other services.