Beach amenities

How hoteliers manage beach services for guests and locals

Guests around the world continue to want value-added amenities and offers, even when it comes to beach and pool use, which is why hoteliers are rolling out the basic needs and special services.

Not only do hotels provide experiences to guests through resort fees, but there are also opportunities to earn ancillary revenue from locals wishing to participate in the activities.

At the 517-room Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in Huntington Beach, Calif., rooms manager Adam Edelman said it’s the only hotel in town with direct beach access from the property, through a gateway.

Along the walkway, the hotel has set up a beach hut for its guests where they can rent equipment.

“Included in the resort fee, they can borrow chairs, umbrellas and towels to use at the beach,” he added. “It is an excellent service that we offer to our hotel guests.”

Edelman said the hotel also allows guests to rent bikes through a local vendor.

Beyond some of the typical offerings, one trend he’s noticed is that customers are now focusing more on unique and different experiences.

“That’s what we’ve been really focused on at our resort, not just this year but the past few years,” he said.

Some creative deals the hotel has offered that incur extra charges for guests include its “Mermaid Magic” experience.

“We have a local mermaid, her name is Mermaid Flower. She does mermaid experiences Monday through Friday at our main pool,” he said. “Kids or adults can borrow a tail and learn to swim like a mermaid.”

The hotel has also partnered with the City of Huntington Beach to offer beach bonfires for guests. This offer, which comes at an additional cost, includes s’mores, hot chocolate, and food that guests can order at the resort to be brought to the beach.

Successful offers at no additional cost to the guest include his “Cosmic Sliding”. On Friday nights in the summer, the pool’s three waterslides transform into a nighttime slide area complete with lasers, fog machines and music, he said.

For guests wishing to participate in an activity parked on the beach, the hotel has partnered with a local company that teaches them how to build sand castles. This is also available at no additional cost to the customer.

Gabriel Perez, general manager of The Alexander, a 73-room independent hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, said value is what keeps guests coming back.

“My approach is different. I see the revenue opportunity in the value delivered to the customer and their return,” he said. “I’m not sure our customers would come back at a very high rate if [we] rent them a beach ball for $25. This, in my view, sends the wrong message.”

For families traveling with children, staff at the Alexander will place a variety of beach toys in the hotel room closet prior to arrival, and popsicles are available at the front desk. Perez said these deals are inexpensive for the hotel.

In Miami Beach, two third-party providers are licensed to provide beach services for all hotels; hotels cannot have their own beach service, he noted.

“We have a very good relationship with this particular operator. We just pay them a nominal fee per occupied room per night, and they provide [the equipment],” he said.

Through a $40 resort fee that guests pay at the property, they have access to these umbrellas, lounge chairs, and beach chairs.

The Alexander – All Suite Oceanfront Resort in Miami Beach, Florida offers bicycles to guests through its resort fee. (The Alexander)

The resort fee also provides guests with activities such as yoga sessions, poolside Water Zumba, meditation classes, and cruiser bikes on the beach.

“Once the guest is here and experiences the hotel, the amenities, the features, and sees the value, that’s when you create opportunities for our returning guests,” a- he declared. “In our case, we want the customer to feel like they’re on vacation. We don’t want them to worry.”

At the 21-room Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St. Barth, which is a stone’s throw from Shell Beach, Front Desk Manager Virginie Barrio said all guests staying at the hotel have free access to sun loungers on the beach all year round.

“They never have to pay for the beds, [as guests] that’s the advantage they’ll have,” she said. “During the busy season, they have to make an appointment at least a day before, to reserve the bed. They can book it from 11am until the end of the day and they don’t have one [time limit].”

Staff members at Shellona, ​​the hotel’s restaurant, are the ones arranging sunbeds and providing towels for guests, she added.

For locals who want to take advantage of hotel deals, Edelman said the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach offers day passes.

“Depending on availability, we partner with Resort Pass for locals to use resort facilities. This would also include beach amenities,” he said. “So if someone bought a pass to use the resort for the day, they could borrow chairs and umbrellas to go down to the beach.”

However, many locals who come to the hotel come more for the pool, Edelman said.

Perez said locals who aren’t staying at the Alexander must pay a fee to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas.

Visitors who come for the day and are not staying at Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St. Barth are charged 50 euros ($50) to use the loungers, Barrio said.

Barrio said Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St. Barth is working to offer snorkeling gear to all guests next season at the beach. She said Shell Beach offers a variety of sea life to see.

At the moment “we always manage to give [the gear] to customers who request it because we don’t have a lot of snorkeling equipment at the moment, but we are working on it to have more to offer our customers,” she said.

Because the property opened in 2020, Barrio said the on-site team will continue to improve service day in and day out.

“I think it would be a good service for the guest,” she added.

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