Hard Rock Hotels is the world’s first luxury hotel chain to offer Bitcoin as a payment option. We sat down with one of their executives for a Q&A on how they’re embracing the new currency and what it means for travelers.
Hard Rock Hotels provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience, treating them to an opulent stay fit for rock star royalty. With hotels in 69 countries, customers have a wide range of options for future holidays and travels.
Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President of Hard Rock Hotels, discusses how the business has adopted new processes to guarantee the safety of both guests and employees, as well as which locations are currently trending, future goals, and travel adviser recommendations.
(TP): What has Hard Rock International done to adjust to these increased travel times?
Hard Rock International was one of the first businesses to develop a global health and safety strategy for locations across the globe, according to Dale Hipsh (DH). SAFE + SOUND was created by a group of hospitality and gaming experts in collaboration with international health and sanitation experts, Ecolab and NSF International, and took into account directives from key agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) (CDC). SAFE + SOUND is designed to adapt to changing circumstances and is continuously used to keep our visitors and staff members safe.
SAFE + SOUND emphasizes improved hygienic procedures, such as workplace protocols, while maintaining openness throughout the Guest and Team Member experience. Before reopening, every Hard Rock Hotel in the globe had to pass the SAFE + SOUND 262-point inspection, which was independently evaluated by NSF International.
In addition, Hard Rock has kept flexible booking in all of our hotels, recognizing that plans may alter as travel restrictions change. We want to make sure our visitors have a pleasant stay and that we can welcome them with confidence.
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TP: What kind of response has the new procedure elicited from guests?
DH: In response to the new procedures in place, SAFE + SOUND continues to get extremely favorable feedback. Consumer trust in returning to our hotels was enhanced as a consequence of the program and our commitment to our guests. We also fostered the same level of confidence and pride in our teammates, which was critical to our comeback. Hard Rock Hotels is steadfast in its mission to offer our guests with the best possible experiences when visiting our hotels, and we put their safety first.
J.D. Power’s 2021 North America Survey awarded us the #1 Guest Satisfaction among Upper Upscale Hotels for the second year in a row. This is our third consecutive year at the top of the rankings. We received special mention for health and safety, outperforming other brands in this area. Furthermore, in all areas, we got the greatest total score of any brand.
TP: Which locations are now trending the most for you?
DH: We’ve witnessed increased interest in leisure travel as a result of pent-up demand and loosened travel restrictions. Over the summer, we experienced record-breaking occupancies in the United States. The Hard Rock Hotel Orlando has maintained its position as a market leader and has seen unparalleled success. Our all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean have also proven to be popular vacation and wedding locations.
We’re witnessing an increase in travel in Europe. Many of our hotels reopened this summer, and occupancy is rising. The Hard Rock Hotel Madrid, which debuted in July, has rapidly established itself as a go-to destination amid this surge in tourism. Among hundreds of competing hotels, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid earned the number one rating on TripAdvisor within the first six weeks of its debut. The property’s outstanding guest service and unique experiences have resulted in a high level of visitor satisfaction. We remain hopeful about the future as immunization rates rise across the world.
The Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid, Spain, has a lobby area. (Hard Rock International provided this picture)
TP: Can you tell me about Hard Rock International’s latest and future projects?
DH: The Hard Rock Hotel New York is set to open in March 2022 in the heart of Manhattan, near Times Square, and is only steps away from the city’s most thrilling attractions. The hotel will house an amazing collection of memorabilia from some of the world’s most famous artists who have been influenced by New York City. It will also pay tribute to the legacy of recording studios and music shops on Music Row that came before us.
With 446 well-appointed bedrooms and 46 suites, including one magnificent Rock Star Suite with an enormous patio, this hotel, designed by Jeffrey Beers International, sets the scene for a memorable stay. A spectacular array of show-stopping entertainment venues, adaptable meeting spaces, great culinary choices, a Body Rock® Fitness Center, and a rooftop club, RT60, with magnificent views of the world’s most famous skyline will also be available.
Hard Rock Hotel Madrid, the newest addition to our fast expanding European portfolio, opened its doors on July 1, 2021. Hard Rock Hotel Madrid, our first Spanish urban hotel, combines art, music, and local culture with Hard Rock’s trademark entertainment-infused hospitality. The hotel is located in the Golden Triangle of Art, across from the Museo Reina Sofia, the Museo del Prado, and the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, and is surrounded by Madrid’s main attractions.
Because of its distinctive bar and restaurant ideas, the hotel has been a hit with both tourists and locals. Sessions, the brand’s flagship restaurant, GMT +1 Lobby Bar, and RT60, a magnificent rooftop bar with unparalleled views of Madrid and live music and DJ performances, are all located on the property. The hotel also has a well-curated memorabilia collection that highlights traditional Madrid design and culture, as well as worldwide music superstars.
TP: What advise do you have for today’s travel consultants marketing hotels?
DH: In today’s travel environment, it’s all about making sure passengers are secure and comfortable while also customizing their stays to create the ideal vacation. It is critical for hotels and travel advisers to collaborate in order to offer customers with the most up-to-date destination information, and we are here to help make trip planning as simple as possible.
Our hotel staff is ready to collaborate with our trusted travel adviser network to tailor each traveler’s stay to their specific needs. Travelers want to do more than simply travel; they want to immerse themselves in new experiences and cultural activities that include art, music, adventure, and more. Our staff can help travel advisors choose the appropriate location, activities, experiences, upgrades, and more to guarantee that their customers’ expectations are not just met, but surpassed.