How is the Kimpton Vividora Barcelona positioned in Barcelona’s luxury hotels sector? Which are the competitive advantages of the hotel? What is your comp set?
Unlike other traditional 5* hotels in Barcelona, Kimpton Vividora presents a modern and revolutionary luxury that merges with the dynamic culture and artistic character of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. The objective of the hotel is to offer vibrant experiences for both locals and international travellers that seek authentic yet exclusives moments while enjoying the highest standard of service.
Is Barcelona’s luxury hotel sector over-saturated or there is also a confusion between far too many ‘’five star’’ hotels and luxury hotels?
Pre-pandemic, Barcelona has established itself as one of the top tourist destinations within Europe. However, compared to the other big players of the international tourist destinations, the supply within the ‘five star’ segment is still far from the level that other destinations offer why we believe that Barcelona has great growth potential, focusing on an high-end tourism and attracting the right guests that the whole city will benefit from.
To what extent you are targeting non-hotel guests?
At Kimpton Hotels & Resorts, we believe that heartfelt, human connections make life worth living. And we want to be more than your home away from home. We want to be the escape from home you never thought you needed and that goes for both, international traveler and minded alike locals. Our mission is to offer exclusive and authentic insights into the local cultures and connect fully with our surroundings by supporting local initiatives and artist.
Having said that, we continuously aim to create experiences at our venues that attract both, locals and international guests. At Terraza de Vivi, our beautiful roof top terrace with stunning views over the Gothic quarter, we offer a weekly brunch and afterwork sessions that has turned it into one of Barcelona’s hotspots where both, in-house guests and locals enjoy the sweet summer days and nights.
Which of the challenges of the pandemic you see remaining in the short / mid-term? What about the opportunities the pandemic has brought?
This pandemic has definitely changed the travel and hospitality industry. Over the past year, we’ve seen a tremendous shift that has altered our consumer behaviours and forced hoteliers to relook at our business models. However, thanks to this unusual situation and challenge, we’ve also seen some positive effects and are proud to say we’ve managed to overcome this unusual situation, taking away some strong learnings.
With the ongoing roll out of a strong vaccination plan and highest standard of safety measures in place, we are confident we are moving towards the right direction to overcome this pandemic allowing us to do what we all love most, – traveling, keep exploring and discovering new destinations. However, the underlying factor of uncertainty how the situation, and most importantly, the virus evolves won’t cease so easily. In the past year we’ve learned that our life and everything we’ve taken for granted can change within a heartbeat. We believe that now, more than ever, a flexible attitude and agility is of upmost importance to keep adapting to whatever might come towards us.
Besides an impeccable product, a consistent high service standard is a must. What is your approach to discovering, nurturing and motivating talent?
Without a doubt, offering a consistent high service and impeccable product are essential for offering a 5* experience. At Kimpton Resorts & Hotels we deeply believe in the importance of human connections. It is needless to say our mantra goes all the way and most importantly as well when it comes to our staff – at Kimpton Vividora we put the needs of our employees first.
Internally activities such as Team Social Hour for example: every Friday we raise a glass to celebrate the end of the week with the team in a relaxed atmosphere. We as well invite all our employees upon joining the team to experience the hotel as a guest or join weekly yoga classes on our rooftop to start your day right.
Has the guest profile changed with the pandemic? Do you intended to specifically target different markets?
The pandemic has produced changes in our customer profile, with leisure clients currently dominating. It is interesting to see the large increase in reservations related to the celebration of special occasions, whether they are wedding anniversaries or birthdays.
Regarding nationalities, since the opening we have detected a change based on mobility restrictions. The client’s profile has been adapted because of the measures that have been implemented. Currently local clients predominate. However, the presence of international clients is still visible.
Furthermore, we’ve noticed that the planning and anticipation of travels has been immensely shortened. Last minute bookings according to the circumstances of the moment, has been on the rise. Our guest seek full flexibility when it comes to booking, allowing them to take last minute decision.
Do you think luxury consumers have different expectations nowadays? How has the perception of luxury changed, if in any way?
There has been an overall shift in the perception of the luxury industry and what luxury means to our customers. As we look ahead, it’s clear we’re entering a new renaissance of luxury travel – there has been a significant change but also a significant opportunity. Clearly, our collective love of travel will never dissipate, and it will always continue to travel. However, there has been some adaptations – customers seek upmost privacy with exclusive access to wide outdoor spaces. Consumers have a heightened awareness of safety and hygiene which won’t disappear. Enhanced Cleanliness has become a fundamental and expected requirement. Furthermore, guest expect full transparency in our communication about protocols and hygiene measures.
Are guests still concerned about the implementation of Covid-19 safety and hygiene measures?
It’s safe to say that the new protocols and safety and hygiene measures have come to stay. Especially within the hospitality industry, a place where guests want to feel comfortable and safe, hygiene and safety require upmost attention. Having said that, the implementation of high safety standards are not an added value anymore but rather a must that our guests expect to be done right so they can feel at ease and fully enjoy their stay knowing they’re in a safe environment.
What novelties shall be we expecting this year?
Plenty! :) The last year lock down gave us a great opportunity to work on new initiatives to keep innovating and surprising our guests with new and exciting experiences. At Kimpton Vividora we’ve recently incorporated a new Excecutive Chef, Miguel Garcia, who is developing a new gastronomic concept for our signature restaurant Fauna which will open in October. The new gastronomic offer is based on modern versions of traditional Mediterranean cuisine marinated in a special way with local wine and signature cocktails.
The menu is made with local ingredients, sustainable and quality products, resulting in an authentic and creative culinary proposal. Furthermore we’re working with local brands to create new synergies and happenings that will be celebrated at our Terraza de Vivi and Café Got, inviting local and international guests to get exclusive insider access into the local culture and much more to come, stay tuned!
How important was the Barcelona property for the further expansion of Kimpton into Europe?
Kimpton Vividora is the first hotel in Spain by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and the first luxury hotel in Barcelona by IHG. Barcelona being such an magnetic and important destination within Europe has been on the bucket list of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and IHG for years and we’re proud we finally managed to enter the Spanish market with more openings and news to come soon.
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