This year, AAA is predicting that more than 112.5 million U.S. residents will travel at the end of December for the holidays. It’s a number that’s been on the rise for years, and hoteliers can expect another booming season in 2018. As a result, many hotels are now offering holiday-themed amenities packages, making sure guests feel warm, cozy, and festive when they’re away from home. One such property is San Francisco’s Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf, which has introduced several amenities meant for holiday travelers. LODGING spoke with Amy Cacho, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Zoe, about how the hotel’s team makes its holiday amenities run smoothly to add to the magic of the holidays.
What types of holiday amenities are available for Hotel Zoe’s guests?
First, we have gingerbread house kits, which are sourced from Miette, a local baker with a pretty big following in San Francisco. Each kit sells for $25, and a portion of the proceeds go to the UCFS Benioff Children’s Hospital. We also have Christmas trees available on demand through a partnership with The Guardsmen Christmas Tree Lot. That organization’s proceeds help send kids to summer camp. We wanted our holiday amenities partnerships to give back to the community. On a smaller scale, we have decoration kits with garland, tinsel, and ornaments. We also offer a ‘Holidays on Ice’ package at the ice rink in Union Square, which includes tickets, complimentary valet parking, and late check-out.
How have guests responded to the holiday-themed amenities?
We started the program last year and guests loved it. Many knew about the program in advance, but some were surprised upon arrival. We sold out of gingerbread houses last year, so we’ve ordered in bulk this year to ensure we have enough to meet demand.
What advice do you have for hoteliers looking to implement holiday amenities at their properties?
It’s the little things that really make a difference. Just putting together some small items and making sure the staff is providing those opportunities makes an experience exceptional. Guests may want to be home, so we’re just trying to bridge that gap and make our property their home away from home.