Travel agents are celebrated for the specially designed programs packed with indelible moments they curate for their clients, and one of the ways to build stand-out experiences is to think beyond typical hotel accommodations. As consumers continue to crave unique experiences (and even ones that would shine on social media), “location, location, location” is becoming more than where you vacation, but where you rest your head at night. Agents can look to Excite Holidays, which has more than 400,000 diverse hotel options across the globe, as an excellent accommodations resource when planning their clients’ one-of-a-kind stays.
Sleep Like Royalty
For a dash of royalty and fairy-tale feel, suggest clients stay in well-preserved traditional castles in Scotland and Ireland that have hosted kings and queens. Castles can be located close to a city or sprawling across the European countryside.
Just 10 minutes from Dublin’s city center, the 12th-century Clontarf Castle features luxury rooms boasting sophisticated design schemes from classic to contemporary, plus modern touches, such as in-room USB chargers, 55” interactive television systems, and laptop-friendly safes. Follow in the footsteps of composer Handel, who was a regular guest at the castle.
Surrounded by lush evergreens, stately 19th-century Inverlochy Castle Hotel in Scotland welcomes guests to 17 tastefully appointed guest rooms and suites offering breathtaking views of the private loch and grounds. Sleep on 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens, and dine at Albert and Michel Roux Jr. at Inverlochy Castle.
The 12th-century Tulloch Castle Hotel in Scotland offers 20 spacious bedrooms, fine dining, and restored original fireplaces and elaborate ceilings. It was the birthplace of Clan Davidson and is home to a resident ghost – the elegant Green Lady who appears in a long silk dress.
Relax In Cultural Ryokans
For an immersive cultural experience, opt for staying in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Kyoto has an abundance of these accommodations at various price points. Guests sleep on futons on tatami-mat floors, and they can wear a yukata, similar to a kimono that is only worn indoors.
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life at tranquil Ryokan Yamakazi. Surrounded by Japanese gardens is Kyoto Nanzenji Garden Ryokan Yachiyo, boasting chic rooms and large public baths. Meals are served in-room in the elegant spaces of The Kinoe, centrally located in Kyoto’s Gion district. Wooden bathtubs, garden views, and an art nouveau decorative approach characterize Seikoro Ryokan.
Planes, Trains & Cruise Ships
Ideal for those catching an early flight is Jumbo Stay, aptly named because this hotel/hostel is a converted Boeing 747 plane at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. There are standard rooms (with multiple bed configurations), dorm rooms (you rent a bed and share the space with others), and several suites (including one in the converted cockpit). Several rooms have private bathrooms and showers, while all have flat-screen televisions and wireless Internet.
Location is paramount at the Santos Express Train Lodge, situated in a converted train on the beach at Mossel Bay on South Africa’s Garden Route. Stay in budget, single and double compartments where magnificent water views are in abundance. The lodge has four royal suites with private decks and a Honeymoon Caboose with great view and en suite bathroom.
Enjoy the flavor of what trans-Atlantic cruise-life was like for guests while never leaving the harbor. Venture aboard the Queen Mary ocean liner, moored in Long Beach, California (a little more than 30 minutes outside Los Angeles), and stay in one of 347 original accommodations, from standard staterooms to the regal and super-spacious Queen Mary Full Suites, featuring authentic wood paneling and operable portholes. There’s even Stateroom B340 where a high number of paranormal activity has been recorded. Do you have any clients brave enough to stay in that room?
Opt For The Extra Quirky
Ever slept inside a bookshelf before? It’s not about getting a good night’s sleep at the Book and Bed Hotel in Tokyo, but the blissful dozing off while reading a great book, what the property calls the “greatest moment of sleep.” The hostel-style accommodations feature beds tucked away among giant bookcases housing thousands of books, creating an accommodation bookshop – a reader’s haven. Shared bathroom facilities are available, plus reading lamps, individual curtains, slippers and WiFi.
Staying at the modern Hotel Palacio de Sal in Bolivia is not the time to start watching your salt. Located on the banks of the Salar de Uyuni, Hotel Palacio de Sal is the world’s first salt hotel. Standard rooms afford the tranquility of sleeping in a salt igloo. VIP accommodations offer beautiful views of the desert landscape, and suites feature dome-shaped ceilings formed with salt blocks. The hotel also has a spa and stately restaurant.
Add a new dimension to a client’s travel journey by suggesting they stay in non-typical accommodations around the world. From authentic castles and ryokans to a salt hotel, airplane and other unique options in between, where clients sleep at night can be as interesting and inspiring as the destinations they visit. For ease and convenience, agents can seamlessly book accommodations from the boutique to the wildly unique through Excite Holidays’ user-friendly website.