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Travel and hospitality

Hospitality brands stick to tried-and-true Mother’s Day pushes with twists

May 7, 2018

Hotel brands celebrate common themes for Mother's Day; Image credit: Ritz-Carlton.


As Mother’s Day becomes more of an event to spend time with family and appreciate moms rather than buying goods, luxury hospitality brands are sticking to classic experiential offerings to entice consumers to spend the holiday with them.

Hotel and travel brands are seizing this moment to connect with affluents to celebrate their mothers, but many are lacking innovation. However, brands such as Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton are making small tweaks to traditional Mother’s Day themes to stay fresh.

“Mother's Day is a well established holiday in the travel industry and, as a result, is brands typically follow a formulaic approach to crafting offerings,” said Taylor Rains, managing partner Flugel Consulting, Charleston. “Most brands stick the the tried-and-true: brunch, spas services, etc.

“While some hotels are trying to expand into more creative offerings, most are staying close to what has worked in the past,” he said.

Happy Mother’s Day
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is offering a series of Mother’s Day initiatives across many of its locations throughout the world.

While a number of hospitality brands opt for luxurious brunches, Four Seasons Resort Lanai is shining a different light on the event. The resort is hosting a twilight version of brunch on Mother’s Day, May 13, starting at 6 p.m.

The Twilight Brunch is $135 per person and features a variety of breakfast and brunch-themed cuisine served overlooking the Hulopoe Bay. Guests can experience the later-than-normal brunch with a wine pairing as an option for $195.

Twilight brunch at Four Seasons Resort Lanai; Image credit: Four Seasons 

Four Seasons is also hosting a special brunch at its Shanghai location, which includes a special L’Occitane travel kit as a gift for moms and a complimentary outdoor yoga session.

A Omorovicza spa popup in Budapest and a new spa partnership with skincare brand Soveral at Four Seasons New York Downtown are also launching for Mother’s Day as part of Four Seasons’ offerings.

The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte has unveiled a roster of Cocoa Lab baking and pastry classes for this year, which includes a special Mother’s Day class. A Mother’s Day Tea lesson will take place on May 12 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the hotel’s location in Charlotte, NC.

Similarly, the Ritz-Carlton's location in Denver is offering a constructive brunch that helps children create gifts for their moms. During brunch kids can build their mothers a bouquet, decorate and plant a fresh herb keepsake and make their own Mother’s Day card.

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, similar to Four Seasons’ Twilight Brunch, created a special Spa by Night event for moms. From 9 p.m. to midnight, starting at $176, moms can get spa services at night and swim in the indoor-outdoor pool.

Celebrating mom
It is not just hospitality brands that are looking to Mother’s Day for celebrations.

Luxury brands are incorporating experiential and emotional elements into their Mother’s Day efforts as the holiday’s honorees increasingly prefer memories over gifts.

According to data from the National Retail Federation, consumer spending for Mother’s Day in 2017 was set to break records, with U.S. consumers collectively expected to shell out $23.6 billion to honor the special women in their lives. Looking for a piece of the holiday’s gifting pie, brands are meeting consumers with in-store events, gift guides and campaigns (see more).

Jeweler John Hardy also assisted consumers shop for moms ahead of Mother’s Day with an in-store partnership.

The Balinese jeweler has partnered with Själ skincare for a complimentary gift with purchase and in-store treatments at the John Hardy boutique in New York’s SoHo. Gifting can be a daunting task, but brands work to make the responsibility effortless and fun with inspiring activations (see more).

“Holidays with a short term or season are rarely major revenue drivers for hospitality brands, but they can be effective ways to elevate interest and brand equity among a given audience,” Mr. Rains said. “With Mother's Day, the potential benefit of a well-crafted strategy is twofold.

“First of all, brands are able to get exposure to a major decision-making audience for their family segment,” he said. “Secondly, the nature of Mother's Day offerings make them especially appealing to locals, allowing brands to build local market equity.”