Step into Another World: A Look at Themed Hotels Around the Globe

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In today’s highly competitive hotel and tourism industry, it is necessary to offer the tourist not only a quality amenity but also a unique way to enjoy it. Themed hotels provide tourists with an experience that is out of the ordinary by letting them escape from the world of stress and everyday problems. The hotels we are about to examine present the tourist with an exotic or at least a unique setting. Setting out on tour in one of them is equivalent to taking a trip down memory lane. Walking into their lobby or guest room is like stepping into a never-never land, as décor, series of one, atmosphere, and even set workers take you through a fascinating trip into your travel around the world. Their popularity originally owed much to this other-world appeal, creating an offer that provided both novelty value and fantasy escape, which then spread to the vacation industry.

The Rise of Themed Hotels

The trend began in the early 1990s; now, almost 25 years later, jealousy remains a mainstay component, as evidenced by The Cove’s series of guest rooms described in the property guidebook. Guests are entranced by and enjoy the indoor/outdoor swimming pool complex. Themed hotels take the concept a step further by offering rooms, restaurants, and lounges that cater specifically to market segments. Themes can focus on everything from movies and sports to history and literature—and come in all shapes and sizes—catering to infants, children, and teenagers; wedding parties; and business and leisure travelers. Hotels report an increase in occupancy, revpar, banquet, meeting, and leisure space as well as an enhanced food and beverage bottom line—and guest satisfaction. The challenge is to keep the themed hotel fresh and relevant to the present and future travel market.

The modern travel industry that spawned office towers, condos, malls, and airports has given us entertainment, sightseeing, and theme parks (as well as NASA opening the space station to tourists). In return, consumers provide the income—the means to enjoy themselves and the market the tourists who seek entertainment, both in the form of adventures or escape from day-to-day lives. A growing need and a novel idea gave birth to the themed hotel. The themed hotel can be found everywhere. All one needs to do is select a city, identify the location of a hotel or resort, and contact a reservation clerk.

The rise of themed hotels today’s travelers long to be entertained and shocked and in no uncertain terms, to be amused and amazed. They seek an escape from the humdrum life they live and desire to experience something which will never happen in their daily routine. —Ganjing Leshizia of Beijing Hot Spring Hotel

Benefits and Drawbacks of Themed Hotels

At the same time, there are some drawbacks that come with a themed hotel. First, themed hotels can be particularly tough to get right. When a hotel has a choice to either spend thousands on traditional hotel amenities or hundreds of thousands on a themed pool or themed room, the hotel may be more likely to choose the high-impact themed option. And while some themes and stories are well-suited for a themed hotel, others seem rather forced. Villains depicted on a hotel wall and pillows that look like poisoned apples seem to make guests uneasy, if at best seemingly out-of-place. Next, while there is a market for themed hotels, some people like a subtler hotel experience. These guests may feel submerged in a world when they are trying to relax at a hotel. Third, themed hotels often charge a high price for the experience. And while some guests are willing to shell out money for the experience, others will feel that it is wasted money since they plan to spend much of their vacation outside of the hotel property. Finally, themed hotels just may be a reflection of the fact that hotels are often starting to look more like amusement parks than getaways. People are often looking to be entertained when they are on vacation, and themed hotels are catering to that need. But should hotels maybe be taking a different approach and offer a soothing, low-key experience since visitors to places like Disney World can already be entertained to the max?

So what are the benefits of themed hotels? Primarily, themed hotels achieve the goal they set out to accomplish: the hotels make you feel like you are stepping into another world. This escape from reality can be a real stress reliever for guests and allows individuals and families to live out an experience without actually leaving the hotel property. The escape from reality also ensures that you can have a hotel experience that is different from any vacation experience you may take later on. In addition, themed hotels often have great amenities, decorations, and a unique look and feel to them. Hotels will go to great lengths to create the themed experience, sometimes even going so far as to build entire wings of a hotel resembling a medieval castle or, in the case of one hotel, creating a real hippopotamus pool in the middle of the hotel property.

Unique Themes and Designs

Designs are endless when it comes to themed hotels. Many of the landscapes within the hotels are so unusual and stunning that they are considered works of art by renowned artists. All hotels go through very comprehensive testing for the realization of the concepts to ensure a high level of quality. They have fantastic designs and miniatures created. These inspire visitors with life-sized models, animal figures, and numerous wall and table decorations. This guarantees a very high entertainment factor and the necessary wow effect. The selected extraordinary locations create a great anticipation with the magical ambiance of the hotels.

When it comes to themed hotels, the owners and operators seem to spare no expense in creating a truly unique world for guests to come visit. A feel of stepping into another world can be had whether visiting Harry Potter World in Orlando, living among nature like an Ewok in Germany, relaxing as a grizzly bear in Sacramento, or embracing your zombie fixation in Movie Central in Vegas. The possibilities are endless and no theme seems off-limits.

Cultural Impact of Themed Hotels

Themed hotels have usually been billed as a way to promote local culture, providing comfortable and actively enjoyed showcase venues to stimulate tourism in a non-intrusive, interactive manner. This has also attracted the interest of local governments looking to valorize declining areas – yet, it may have hit the wrong target. Indeed, upon closer inspection, these settings are promoting – in a less invasive manner – a global ethic, concocted of local material, creating a myriad of archetypal settings, whose every comfort facility, culinary display, and traditional performance evokes the regional environment, inducing guests to travel within and to buy goods made in the local center. The pull thus comes from having an actual fairyland to visit or revive at a safe remove from real life, promoting, in fact, fantasy-localism. What is highlighted are not marketable regional artifacts or dishes, but rather the spectacular data lodged in the DNA of the old site. This result thus offers further grounds to conclude that themed hotels, rather than invigorating a vanishing culture, are commercializing the region’s cultural patrimony, preserving and diffusing an inventory of treasures that can be inventoried, described, or imitated to generate interest, curiosity, and immediate profit.

The popularity of themed hotels has spurred transformation of the hospitality industry in many regards. First, themed hotels employ a significant amount of nature, mythological, and magical elements in their marketing and architectural expression. The success of themed hotel products has influenced general location trends of hotels and physical transformations of adjacent development. Co-location with other unique attractions has further driven the success and draw of themed hotels. Thus, themed hotels not only enrich the landmark value of the local place, changing the character and attracting a new market draw, but their presence and success actually influences trends in the larger industry, spurring transformations of adjacent existing stock of buildings.

Every guest of a themed hotel wants to widen their vision and drawing knowledge. Use themes to enhance the learning. The success of themed hotels lies in awakening themselves with local cultural characteristics and independent thinking, coping with change, and enhancing their competitive exploitation. Only through leveraging the additional value of themed hotels, and increasing the repeat accommodation, themed hotels can quickly return costs. Therefore, more and more themed hotels need to pay attention to offering concepts innovation and development of new products to meet consumer rapidly growing new demand. The psyche of the consumer is now and as always has been the real focus of the challenge for themed hotel guests. Proper awareness of their needs is mandatory because patterns in the psyche of the themed hotel guest are as important a component of luxury products as are intricate designs and costly materials.

Themed hotels can reflect the history and culture of the city and play an important role in promoting the hotel in a city. Every hotel has their own theme which is distinctive and rich in regional culture, creative ideas, magical decoration, and self-culture content, all of which play a significant role in increasing their additional value. But themed hotels are very expensive. Not everyone can afford to stay in a themed hotel while traveling or on vacation. Besides, every type of hotel attracts its own kind of guests. Different tourists’ favorite themes also vary. For the guest, as long as the relation between the hotel is the theme, they can get a new experience with it. For the hotel, no matter what kind of theme they need to decorate, be creative, and provide a special look. But before taking action, the understanding of every guest’s mindset precedes the implementation.