In recent years, hospitality brands have embraced social media in rather expected ways: unlocking rewards for guests who “check in” on their mobile devices, offering perks to guests with impressive social followings and being highly involved in addressing guest concerns via Twitter, all the while expanding their reach by posting dreamy, aspirational visuals on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
Two recently-opened hotels, however, are amping up the integration of social media into their guests’ travel experience. Experience a new, digitally-savvy way to travel with the new social media hotels.
You’d think guests who choose to vacation on a beach in one of Spain’s Mediterranean islands would not be ones to be tied to their smartphones. On the contrary, Sol Wave House, a beachfront property in Majorca, encourages their guests to become Twitterholics, even just while on holiday.
In 2013, Sol Wave launched a virtual community linked by the hashtag #SocialWave. Sol Wave attracts mostly a young, party crowd, likely looking to hang out with other young travelers and share their vacation photos on social media, so helping them all communicate and meet up while on their property only makes sense. For example, every poolside cabana has a dedicated hashtag that you can Tweet to grab the attention of the sexy guys hanging out inside.
In addition, Sol Wave guest can turn to a Twitter Concierge to fulfill their service requests and inquiries. If you get thirsty, for example, just Tweet #FillMyFridge and you’ll be sipping Perrier in no time.
Not really a Twitter over-sharer but known to snap a selfie or two? Maybe the 1888 Hotel in Sydney is more of your taste. The boutique property, billed as the world’s first Instagram hotel, has been designed to cater to the savvy Instagram user, with Valencia filter-worthy decor, like exposed brick walls, iron beams, eye-popping color furniture and artwork all throughout.
“There has always been a strong, intrinsic link between travel and photography, but the advent of social media and Instagram has made photo-sharing an even bigger part of the traveler’s experience,” Paul Fischman, the hotel’s CEO, told Mashable. “People not only want to visit and stay in beautiful places, they also want to capture and share it with their friends and networks as it happens.”
The 1888 lobby features a oversized digital mural of Instagram shots taken and tagged at or nearby the hotel. Upon arrival, guests are invited to a room with floating antique picture frames dedicated entirely to taking selfies. Although, after long flights and hectic cab rides, perhaps 1888 should re-consider this experience until after the guests have checked in and freshened up.
Every month, there’s an Instagram contest, where the guest with the most-liked Instagram photo of the property gets a free night’s stay. Guests who boast 10,000 Instagram followers or more are instantly awarded a free night upon check-in, regardless of whether those followers are organic or bought.
p.s. Love all things colorful while you’re traveling? Book a night in one of these beautiful vacation homes.