AMSTERDAM - Booking.com has launched a new platform, Epic Accommodations, intended to celebrate some of the world's most interesting accommodations and inspire travellers to embrace adventure when booking their next stay.
"We know that travellers from all over the world really like the idea of staying somewhere unusual," said Paul Hennessy, Chief Marketing Officer of Booking.com, "and that everyone has their own version of an 'epic' stay. With Epic Accommodations, we are celebrating that spirit of adventure, as well as some of the world's most interesting accommodations - and sending the message that choosing somewhere unusual doesn't mean compromising on practical considerations. We know accommodation is central in making a holiday memorable and is an aspect that can easily be tailored to match the level of adventure the traveller wants to take. Booking.com has more than 500,000 accommodations and with our Epic Accommodations we aim to move people out of their comfort zone and give them the sense of adventure they truly desire!"
MONA Pavilions, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. This luxury self-catered accommodation sits on the River Derwent, right by the Museum of Old and New Art. Decorated with art from the MONA, and offering views of the river, each pavilion has a spa bath, state-of-the-art kitchen, and individual wine cellar. Guests can indulge in the sauna, pump iron in the fitness centre and fire up the barbecue, or visit the on-site micro-brewery and winery.
A recent Booking.com survey of almost 39,000 travellers in nine markets during May and June 2014 (2) set out to understand what motivates travellers when booking accommodation. It revealed that for the majority, small personal aspects of a stay, like friendliness of staff, the quality of breakfast, and even if there are coffee and tea facilities in the room, have the biggest impact on whether travellers have a good time.
Breakfast and friendly staff important but not decisive
Booking.com data shows that while friendly staff and a good breakfast are important for all nationalities, these factors are not decisive in the final choice of accommodation of the travellers. This is particularly true of secondary desires, such as unique design, luxury toiletries, or a spa/wellness centre. They are important in hindsight, but they are seen as special extras, rather than a main driver of choice. The secondary factors vary greatly by nationality. For example:
- US, Australian and Canadian travelers care more about complimentary refreshments than other nationalities
- US, Australian and Canadian travelers also care more than other nationalities about having coffee/tea facilities in the room; Chinese and Brazilian travelers care the least about this
- German, French and Italian travelers are more likely than other nationalities to find a spa/wellness center important
- Germans and Brazilians place an unusually strong emphasis on the breakfast
- Chinese travelers care much more than other nationalities about the accommodation having a unique design, and they are also more interested in luxury toiletries and room service
- While the budget-friendliness of the accommodation is relatively important to all nationalities, it was most important to Chinese and French travelers and least important to German and Italian travelers.
Mini Hotel Ubernachten Im Gurkenfass, Luebennau, Germany. If quirky accommodation is the name of the game, these barrel-shaped caravans are made to impress. Previous guests loved the cozy feeling and novelty of their cylindrical abode. Active visitors will enjoy walks in the nearby Spreewald forest during the summer and ice skating on the local rivers in the winter, or if you’re looking for some rest and relaxation, the garden where the caravans are situated has hammocks and picnic tables for whiling away lazy afternoons.
The Epic Accommodations platform contains insights into the travel habits and preferences of travellers from nine countries: United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, China and Japan; as well as providing a selection of those travellers' favourite unusual accommodations from all over the world.
To make the Epic Accommodations shortlist, each potential accommodation was stringently evaluated by Booking.com experts to ensure it surpassed a set of prerequisite criteria that guarantee an awe-inspiring, eye-opening and memorable experience. In addition, the Booking.com customer opinion is king, with reviews and accompanying scores core to the decision making process. This process produced a list of diverse and inspirational accommodations, offering travellers an easy and accessible route to discover new experiences, with the knowing confidence of comfort, quality, security and insight that only Booking.com can provide.
Photo caption: Cabanas Morerava, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, Chile. For a monumental stay on the famous Easter Island, previous guests at Cabanas Morerava looked for something unique – and found it. The solar-powered cabins let you exist in harmony with the protected landscapes around you, with a bright, pine-clad design and hammocks on each terrace. Reviewers were thrilled at the warm welcome and personal service, with fresh fruit and juices provided daily, and help being offered on car rental and day trips to visit the island’s legendary stone statues.