As the experiential nature of travel shifts, what do leisure and business travellers want from their accommodation? It’s probably easier to ask what travellers don’t want from their hotel stay.
Hotel industry research shows approximately 50 per cent of travellers globally will consider environmentally friendly properties when choosing where to stay. While comfort and convenience continue to be key factors that influence hotel bookings, travellers are increasingly embracing sustainable options that fit with today’s lifestyle.
With responsible travel now at the forefront of travel trends, we chatted to Crystalbrook Collection hotels group director Geoff York about the new 5-star Riley resort in Cairns that opened on November 6 and why it is a game-changer for the Australia hotel industry.
How will Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, shake up the Australian hotel industry in a positive way?
Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, is focused on creating remarkable guest experiences and revitalising the modern hotel experience. We are bringing a vibrant level of personal service and stimulating environments to the industry.
Each room at Riley has its own Apple iPad control centre so guests can order in their favourite in-room dining or an extra pillow. We have uploaded mindfulness apps for our guests to use for meditation, relaxation or for sleep-sounds. I am thrilled to share that Riley is one of the first properties in Australia to offer Staycast by Google. Our guests can stream their favourite TV shows, movies or pictures from the day right from their phone or laptop to the 55-inch smart TV in their room.
Luxury meets innovation at Riley. Technology plays a huge role in the hotel, from the guestrooms and meeting zones to the interactive tour desk in the lobby. Riley will offer travellers a new and unique accommodation option that is driven by responsible luxury.
What do travellers want from a hotel stay?
Travellers today expect a lot from hotels. They expect ease, comfort, impeccable service and they want to know the hotel is doing their bit for the environment. Things such as free Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a bonus. With the expectations of guests now higher than ever before, all of our properties have been designed to meet and exceed these expectations through attitude, design and technology, while still ensuring we are practising our philosophy of #responsibleluxury.
What does the concept of responsible luxury mean?
#Responsibleluxury is all about operating in a responsible way and making changes where we can to reduce our impact on the environment while still ensuring the quality of our guests’ stays.
We’re always working to think and operate in a responsible way that exceeds the demands of our environment and our customers, while never compromising on creature comforts. It’s the little things, like replacing plastic guestroom key cards with 100 per cent recycled wooden cards and using large pump bottles for bathroom amenities rather than the small plastic ones, that make a difference. By using these large pump bottles, we are saving approximately 250,000 bottles each year alone.
Crystalbrook Collection is also quite unique in that we farm our own beef at Crystalbrook Station, just three hours inland from Cairns. Paper Crane, Greenfields and Rocco restaurants will all offer Crystalbrook Signature beef on the menu, so we can be certain that it was produced with the highest levels of animal welfare.
What are the expectations of travellers around sustainable tourism products and how does Riley address this trend?
Today everybody wants to be more sustainable and responsible in all aspects of their lives. This is no different for travellers when making decisions for their holidays. At Riley, we want to make our guests feel good about their decision to stay with us and know they are doing something positive for the world.
#Responsibleluxury is central to Crystalbrook Collection’s philosophy and that of all of our hotels and resorts, including Riley. As well as all of the simple changes we have made at Riley, such as paper-free check-in and check-out and no plastic drinking bottles or straws on the premises, we also work with like-minded organisations to further make an impact. For Riley’s launch initiative, we partnered with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and donated $100 from every room booked directly in the first week of operation to the charity.
All images: Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection resort