Features

Spotlight on: adult-only hotels

With wellness tourism on the rise, travellers are increasingly searching for ways to hit the reset button. As a result, adult-only properties are gaining momentum, with accommodations ditching the kids club and focusing on child-free clients. Click. explores the potential for increasing guest satisfaction

Once reserved for honeymooners, adult-only hotels have seen a spike in interest, with boutique hotel specialist i-escape reporting a boom in the search term, up 30% in the last year alone. The hospitality industry is taking note, with hotel chains, independent brands and tour operators alike now targeting childless guests.

Guest satisfaction

With only one market to focus on, hoteliers are finding it easier to meet client needs, improving guest ratings as a result. “Adults can articulate their needs and desires more eloquently than children, so it’s easier to accommodate their needs and foresee what they might need,” says Vassilis Poravo, Hotel Manager at Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection.

Louis Hotels has also noticed the positive impact of offering adult-only options. “We evaluate every experience of our clients and, by reading through their comments, we’ve come to realise that offering adult zones was a positive move,” says Popi Tanta, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Louis Hotels. “We now have higher scores and better comments from clients that complained in the past that the hotel was too noisy, there were too many children or that there were no quiet areas for them.”

With guest personalisation moving from a trend to an expectation, catering solely to adults provides properties with the time to customise stays. “By creating products that are for adults only, we have more time to spend individually with each customer, giving them a more luxury experience,” says Tanta. “We can give a more personalised service and achieve higher standards.”

Increased demand

Along with benefits such as an easier to control environment and fewer damages, adult-only accommodations also have the potential to increase occupancy rates. “We receive more bookings since we became adult only,” says Twan Gielen, Owner of Hotel30. “It is an estimate, but we suspect 20% more bookings and 15% higher rates because of the guests who generally book with us now.”

In correlation with increased occupancy, there’s also been a shift in the demographic of guests booking adult-only properties. From business travellers and solo tourists, to parents looking for some uninterrupted relaxation, this sector is no longer reserved for newlyweds. “There are many guests that stay with us who have children, but they enjoy the peace and time they have when it’s just the two of them,” says Gielen. “We also have a remarkable number of guests who work with children in daily life including teachers and childcare workers.”

Domes Noruz Chania has also seen a growing interest from various types of travellers. “We see an increasing appeal of adult-only hotels to other audiences, such as solo travellers and groups of friends,” says Poravo. “There is a fast-growing segment of travellers who wish to enjoy their holidays in a more relaxed setting with likeminded people around them.”

And it’s not just properties acting on this demand and adapting to the trend. Tour operating giants have also started to create specialised products that cater to adults only, such as TUI’s SENSIMAR or Thomas Cook’s Casa Cook. 

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Outdoor jacuzzi
Adult-only, outdoor jacuzzi at St Elias Resort. Photo: credit to Louis Hotels

 

Change of operations

Late 2017, RIU Palace Paradise Island announced that it had reopened as an adult-only hotel, a shift that allowed them to start offering more sophisticated amenities such as romantic outdoor dinners. The same is true for Hotel30, who originally opened as a family hotel, but later adapted to a child-free concept. “We accepted children the first year we opened, but soon realised that it was not what we had in mind for our hotel concept,” says Gielen. “Now the entire hotel stays clean and fewer things are broken.”

For a more subtle approach to the trend, accommodations are adding designated ‘adult zones’ to their properties. From adult-only swimming pools to dedicated child-free dining areas, these spaces are designed to create a peaceful and relaxed ambience.

Louis Hotels saw the value of creating child-free zones within a selection of its family properties. “We thought a way to satisfy all of our guests could be to create adult zones,” says Tanta. “This could be a separate adult-only section in the restaurant or a dedicated swimming pool for adults. When you travel without children, you want to have some peace of mind, away from the noise that children can bring. With this approach, we’ve seen better quality results.”

Hero image: credit to Rawpixel, Unsplash

Takeaway
  • Boutique hotel specialist, i-escape has reported an increase in the search term ‘adult only’, up 30% in the last year alone
  • Hotel chains, independent brands and tour operators are all adapting to cater to childless guests
  • The demographic of guests seeking out adult-only properties has shifted from only honeymooners, to a broader range of travellers, such as solo tourists and groups of friends
  • For a more subtle approach to the trend, hoteliers are creating ‘adult zones’ within their properties

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