Let's face it: Two brands are better than one, especially when they're collaborating together in the travel space. When one brand is a best-in-class in the hospitality industry while the other dominates another sector and they team up to offer game-changing privileges, it's a win-win for companies and consumers. From a hotel partnering with a premier ballet company to a cruise line sailing with the most sought-after chefs on earth, here are exciting new alliances delivering innovative travel tools, perks and services.
The line at the vending machine installed in Oakland International Airport isn't packed with jetsetters in search of candy, snacks or soda. Instead, globe-trotters are searching for Wi-Fi access. Thanks to a new partnership between Skyroam, a global Wi-Fi provider, and ZoomSystems, an automated retailer, passengers in select airports – including San Francisco International Airport, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport – can get Wi-Fi on the go via vending machines. The hot spot rentals dispensed connect users to the web in more than 100 countries. For $9.95 per day, users have unlimited surfing. When they return from their trip, they simply mail the unit back in a prepaid envelope that comes with the device.
Baby Gear Delivered to Your Destination
This summer, Destination Hotels & Resorts announced a new partnership with baby gear rental company Babierge. The leading renter of baby equipment, Babierge's inventory includes cribs, strollers, play pens and toys. Guests can now book a room and baby gear online at the same time. Upon arriving at any of Destination Hotels' properties in the U.S. and the Caribbean, guests will find their items set up and waiting for them in their room. Destination Hotel guests also get an exclusive 10 percent discount on Babierge's rental fees – typically around $12 per day for a stroller or crib and $8 per day for a cradling swing.
Hotel Rooms with a …Tattoo
If you've ever dreamed of getting inked by one of the stars of TLC's "Miami Ink," visit any of W Hotels four New York City properties to skip the artist's multiyear waiting list. In May, W Hotels, in partnership with Espolòn Tequila, announced an in-house Tattoo Series. Celebrity tattoo artists will temporarily move into the hotel and turn the largest suites into tattoo parlors with incredible views of the city. The series runs through the fall.
Loyalty Points and Shopping Perks
In the past, you had to use hard-earned hotel loyalty points on award stays, or if you were lucky, you had the freedom to apply them toward airfare, rental cars, subscriptions and other travel expenses. But recently, Hilton added more benefits to its rewards program, giving Hilton Honors members the flexibility to use points to buy products on Amazon.com. The loyalty program's 60 million members can now use their points – awarded for staying at Hilton properties or shopping with a partner credit card – to shop for almost anything on Amazon.com. It's the first time the online retailer has teamed up with a leading hotel group.
Hotels With Perks for Book Lovers
Last April, the Laurel Inn, a Joie de Vivre boutique property in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, began a partnership with Books Inc. – one of the oldest independent booksellers. The Book of the Month club is exclusive to hotel guests who can read the designated book on-site during their stay (the book changes monthly, but always highlights the City of the Bay). Guests can also take advantage of a 20 percent discount on the title if they purchase it at one of Books Inc.'s three locations in San Francisco, where consumers receive an additional 10 percent off all titles.
At-Sea Epicurean Delights
Foodies previously turned off by subpar cruise ship buffets can now rejoice. In early 2017, Windstar Cruises announced an expanded culinary collaboration with the James Beard Foundation. Passengers on every Culinary Cruise Collection voyage can partake in cooking demonstrations featuring James Beard Award-winning chef recipes from the likes of Maria Hines and Michel Nischan. Some voyages will even feature James Beard Foundation nominees and winners, including celebrity chef and "Top Chef" winner Hugh Acheson.
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts just made it a lot easier for guests to stay fit and maintain their workout regimen on the road. Thanks to a new partnership with the Joffrey Ballet, the brand's properties will begin offering on-demand barre class workout videos in its guest rooms. The videos, filmed at JW Marriott Los Cabos Resort & Spa, star two of Joffrey's professional ballet dancers. "Behind the Barre" is currently available at JW Marriott Essex House in New York City and will be rolled out in more properties this fall.
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