INTERNATIONAL REPORT—All-inclusive properties sometimes fall victim to bad reps—frugal, compromised amenities and services—but as travel preferences and guests are changing, so are these notions. Maybe it’s not that the mindset is changing, but that the resorts and experiences are—for the better.
Gone are the days of average stays. Planet Hollywood (PH) and franchisor Blue Diamond Resorts are keeping up with an aggressive expansion strategy. With new properties in key resort locations, they’re all conducive to these types of experiences, but subpar they are not.
“Traveler preferences evolve and so do their vacation experiences,” said Todd Kirlik, global relationships director, Blue Diamond Resorts. “In the last few years, we have responded to these changes by partnering with the iconic lifestyle brand to develop new vacation experiences that seek to fulfill our guests’ needs. As a result of this successful strategy, new concepts have been coined to target that market niche more clearly—Planet Hollywood is the perfect brand since it boasts a unique style, based on Hollywood and franchised products aimed at reflecting current Hollywood trends (or lifestyles).”
Planet Hollywood has a host of new resort locations in the pipeline, including Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun, the first PH Resort in Mexico and second all-inclusive location; Planet Hollywood Adult Scene Cancun, the first-ever Planet Hollywood adults-only resort; and Planet Hollywood Beach Resort St. Maarten, the second Caribbean resort and third all-inclusive. The Cancun location is slated for a March 2020 open while St. Maarten is projected by 2021.
“With the next two developments already announced for Cancun and St. Maarten, and possibly additional locations on the discussion table, there is a rather vigorous expansion strategy in place, positioned to provide vacationers with authentic experiences in natural and organic environments,” Kirlik said.
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica opened in October 2018 and marked the first Planet Hollywood Resort in Central America and first-ever Planet Hollywood all-inclusive. From there, PH knew it was on to something.
“We see an increased demand for vacations offering more than an experience on beautiful, white-sand beaches,” Kirlik said. “Travelers are looking to enjoy a destination as a whole. This is why we offer plenty of activities and excursions for travelers of all ages.”
With the development in the Great Bay, St. Maarten, specifically, the group has now made an investment commitment of more than $600 million, bringing the brand to international locations, Kirlik said.
In terms of further expansion, according to Kirlik, Blue Diamond is always looking at future possibilities but isn’t ready to announce anything just yet.
“We always have new opportunities in the spotlight and we never rule out new destinations or any opportunity that may be a step forward for our company,” he said. “We signed a deal with iconic lifestyle brand Planet Hollywood to dramatically increase the footprint of Planet Hollywood’s hotel operations globally.”
Accompanying the all-inclusive craze is the adults-only approach, something that PH’s Cancun property is already preparing for. On sale now, Adult Scene at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun gives travelers 18 years and older a more exclusive experience.
“There’s certainly a demand for adults-only resorts, and we do believe we need to take this into consideration,” he said. “While many people enjoy traveling with family, other vacationers would rather be free from the stream of young children. We’ve noticed that it’s not just the pre-kids, no-kids and post-kids guests who are searching for these types of resorts but also couples with kids who are looking for a break. We saw this opportunity and, as a result, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun is offering its guests a new way to ‘Vacation like a Star.’”
“Vacation Like a Star” encompasses PH’s themed entertainment experiences, vegan and plant-based menus for all lifestyles, accommodations that cater to nontraditional families, and authentic Hollywood memorabilia, all designed to give guests a personalized stay, truly tailored to personal needs.
“Today’s travelers want a lifestyle experience where they’re going to know what they’re getting from every touchpoint. With Planet Hollywood, guests know they’re going to get world-famous bites featuring the latest in culinary trends, glamorous accommodations that are decked out with modern luxuries, and signature brand offerings,” Kirlik said.
The all-inclusive space is nothing new to the industry, but PH and Blue Diamond Resorts hope to elevate experiences and continue the relationship to deliver these types of stays to resort locations across the globe.
“Blue Diamond Resorts intends to establish a dominant position for Planet Hollywood in the luxury accommodations space,” Kirlik said. “In addition to building and operating new resorts, we will offer management services and franchise opportunities to prospective Planet Hollywood hotels and resorts worldwide.” HB