- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is expanding its interactive Room 301 experience into the Kimpton Stay Human Project, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. More than 50 guests over a three-month period stayed in the interactive guest room at a hotel in Hollywood that the boutique chain transformed into an "Instagrammable space."
- The new Kimpton Stay Human Project consists of guest rooms in 20 cities designed around the idea of "staying human," with local themes and activities. The concept includes a Washington, D.C., room to spark female empowerment, songwriting rooms in Austin and Nashville and a creative space to "leave your ink" in New York.
- The expansion comes after Kimpton's experimental social influencer campaign last fall boosted engagement on Instagram by four times. Guests were encouraged to leave mementos for the next occupant through a guest book, Polaroid pictures, message boards and a shared Spotify playlist, resulting in two influencers driving 38% and 95% lifts in average engagement, respectively.
Kimpton's expansion of its Room 301 concept follows a successful social influencer campaign that boosted engagement with the brand on Instagram, the most popular platform for influencers. The beefed up Kimpton Stay Human Project likely will demonstrate how the hotel chain can provide customers with a unique experience that's worth sharing on social media. The strategy is especially effective with tech-savvy millennials and Gen Zers, who seek originality and authenticity, driving much of the growth of startups like Airbnb that target travelers seeking lower-cost or "more authentic" lodging. Transforming hotel rooms across the country from a mere place to sleep to a participatory event can help to boost brand loyalty, recognition and campaign reach.
The Room 301 experiment from last fall revealed interesting insights about its consumers. It found that 70% of guests chose self-care over "paying-it-forward" when given the option to gift or keep 10,000 rewards points to the hotel group. Almost half (42%) of guests chose to take a photo of another person or people rather than take a selfie (24%) in the room. Kimpton asked guests to paint a secret or confession directly on the wall of the room, with responses including: "I didn't know she was married," "I have to fake empathy," "I'm a social climber" and "I'm not an organ donor," per the details shared with Mobile Marketer.
Social and mobile features are growing increasingly important for hotel brands to provide guests with personalized service and deeper connections. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts offers a chat service that handles local restaurant recommendations and reservations, room service, making golf or spa reservations and tips on nearby shopping, among other functions. Hilton this year is expanding its Tapestry Collection, a group of upscale, original hotels for guests seeking "vibrant and authentic experiences" to more locations. Marriott in December announced a partnership with Pepsi's bottled water brand Lifewtr to deploy augmented reality art displays in its guest rooms and was an early participant in Amazon's Alexa for Hospitality program.