CANCUN, MEXICO—Feeling the time was right, Spanish hotel group Hipotels has launched Haven Resorts & Spas, a luxury, adults-only, all-inclusive resort brand.
“Launching Haven Resorts & Spas was a strategic move for the growing hotel group, which sought to create differentiation with its current portfolio of 29 hotels and 13,000 rooms across Spain,” said Florian Connert, senior director of sales & marketing at Haven Resorts & Spas. “After decades of successful launches and long-operated resorts, Hipotels wanted to branch out and create a luxury, adults-only, all-inclusive resort.”
The new brand will open its first property in October with the 333-room Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa. “At one point in time, all-inclusive vacations were less than dreamy, and have for a long time been associated with inconsistent buffet food, watered-down drinks, subpar accommodations, lackluster activities and unmet expectations,” he said. “In the past few years, the industry has experienced a total shift, with the luxury, all-inclusive concept rising like a phoenix. Travelers now have the option to enjoy a fantastic value without compromising on their experience—all-inclusive is no longer just for the budget traveler, and the entire segment is seeing increased interest. Millennials are reinventing their parent’s resorts.”
Connert said the company thoroughly investigated the market before making the decision to open. “We researched the landscape to understand what has been done right and what has been done wrong, and dug deep to know our customer,” he said. “This allowed us to create a differentiated luxury, all-inclusive brand that delivers the experience of a secluded oasis.”
The company chose Cancun as the location for the new $280,000-per-key resort because of its prominence in the all-inclusive market. “Cancun is the biggest luxury, all-inclusive market and undeniably one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, especially for U.S. travelers—Haven’s target market,” he said. “It felt like a natural fit to introduce the Haven concept to a region that sees constant visitation propelled by travelers that are always looking to experience what’s new. Cancun also provides great infrastructure for travel, easy accessibility, daily flights from most cities, etc.”
The resort is located near Cancun International Airport. “It is between Cancun and Puerto Morelos in Riviera Maya on an undiscovered coastline,” he said.
Connert said that the brand will offer guests an all-exclusive experience that feels private and special, merging the best features of a luxury getaway and an all-inclusive vacation.
“We are not trying to reinvent the wheel or create a new segment,” he said. “Instead, we are aiming to influence the market to embrace what luxury resorts do right—and that is focusing on the details. Details matter and they are what turn an OK experience into a great one.”
He continued, “Each experience is personalized and localized—for instance, in-room bath products are by Yuc-Herbal, a local, green beauty brand that created an all-natural product line for the resort.”
For those who wish to experience “an extra level of luxury,” the resort will offer Serenity Club Oceanfront Suites, which will provide guaranteed oceanfront accommodations with a king-size bed facing the ocean.
Serenity Club members will also receive a pillow menu, aromatherapy choice and minibar customization. “In addition, these guests will be treated to a daily à la carte breakfast overlooking the ocean or pool and dedicated butler service 24/7,” he said. “For added luxury, guests can opt for the Serenity Club Oceanfront swim-out suites that feature a semi-private infinity pool just a stone’s throw away from the ocean.”
The resort will see a number of benefits catering only to adults, said Connert. “An adults-only property is less dependent on seasonal changes,” he noted. “A family resort will have three to four seasons where they will absolutely crush it—summer holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year’s Eve and spring break. In turn, an adults-only resort is attractive year-round, especially because high season for romance travel (honeymooners, newlyweds, etc.) is low season elsewhere. Additionally, adults travel for shorter periods, but with more frequency and spend more on personalized experiences and extras.”
Haven’s target customer is “the affluent, savvy, well-traveled vacationer who may experience a destination alone or as part of a couple,” he said. “The resort will focus on single adult travelers, as well as romance travelers. Haven is perfect for a solo traveler because it’s a social gathering place. You can find seclusion and you can find opportunities to socialize at every turn.”
To launch the brand and the resort, the marketing program is a mix of print ads, video and digital marketing/sponsored ads, with a heavy focus on content.
“Our YouTube construction update videos are some of the most popular pieces, and we ensure they’re shared on all channels,” Connert said. “Video is the perfect medium for the experience-based business, like hotels, because they allow the viewer to actually envision themselves in the moment and create far more engagement and interest than a photo or rendering alone.”
While the focus for the company is the October opening of the first resort, there are plans for others. “For the moment, we are primarily focused on launching Haven Riviera Cancun and ensuring it operates at the maximum level,” Connert said. “But, we have several projects in place and exciting news coming up.” HB