There are hotels, and then there are hotels with selfie rooms and resident cats with more followers than you on Facebook. Social media is nothing new nor groundbreaking – most hotels have a Facebook page after all – but how would you like to impress friends with your Instagramming prowess, or organise your holiday with social media savvy concierges via Twitter or Pinterest?
Do it for the #selfie: the best social media hotels from around the world
Take a selfie at this Sydney hotel
As the world’s first Instagram hotel, Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour embraces all things #instagood. The hotel is capable of causing photo envy among dedicated Instagrammers, with modern furnishings contrasted against original wooden beams and exposed brick walls. 1888 Hotel even has its own designated Selfie Space in the lobby – #nofilterneeded.
Check out Ovolo 1888 on Instagram here.
A Tweet Experience hotel in Mallorca
Sol Wave House prides itself on being the world’s first Tweet Experience hotel, pioneering the use of social media to improve guests’ experiences. The hotel’s #SocialWave Community is the perfect place to meet people, make friends and find out what’s on. Even the concierge is on Twitter, in order to answer any questions and keep things moving throughout the day, both for the hotel and anyone on #SocialWave.
The hotel offers an exclusive #PartySuite for guests and their friends, with a bottle of Cava on arrival, a free drink at the #TweetPoolParty with guest DJs, VIP sunbeds and discounts on the hotel’s bars and restaurants.
Trendy Hilton hotels
The Hilton hotel chain has taken the traditional concierge service and placed it in a social media setting, even before the guest arrives at the hotel. Using social listening tools, Hilton will scout Twitter for users seeking destination tips. If Hilton owns a hotel in that city, they will respond to the Tweet with useful suggestions.
Hilton utilises its Team Members from around the world to provide recommendations based on local knowledge and personal experience, whether it’s suggesting a nice restaurant or the best place to play golf.
The hotel cat that's more popular than the hotel itself!
The Algonquin Hotel in New York is famous for its resident cat, who has double the number of likes on Facebook as the hotel itself. This Times Square hotel has had a cat since the 1930s; today, Matilda the 3rd is the hotel’s 10th cat, known as the Algonquin cat.
Matilda the Algonquin cat strolls freely around the hotel and is beloved among the guests. She even hosts a birthday every year, inviting over 100 guests each time. Matilda receives letters from friends all over the world, replies to emails, updates her Facebook profile and even has a webpage and YouTube video dedicated to her.
A hotel chain offering a social media loyalty program
Like most hotel chains, Starwood has a loyalty program. This program, however, revolves around social media. The social integration for the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program encourages visitors to connect using Facebook or Foursquare. All Starwood special offers can be found on these platforms.
If members check in on Facebook or Foursquare and use the #SPGLife hashtag, they have the opportunity to earn membership points. Points can be redeemed on accommodation, flights or even be donated to charity.
Four Seasons Virtual Concierge
Like the Hilton, the Four Seasons have excelled in their social media creativity, creating a virtual concierge via Pinterest to help with all your holiday planning needs. First, users must create a board for their upcoming trip, including some information about their chosen destination and desired type of experience.
Four Seasons becomes involved after the user leaves a comment on Pin.Pack.Go with their chosen city. The Four Seasons hotel in that city will follow the user and request access to collaborate on the board, helping the user finalise their plans with local knowledge and suggestions.
Social hour at Sheraton
With the hotel’s mission statement, “travel is better when it’s shared”, Sheraton hotels are using social media to bring together guests from all over the world. Sheraton’s Social Hour takes place in all of the hotels, aiming to share experiences and events among guests.
Sheraton’s Social Hour also offers wine tasting days, where guests are encouraged to Instagram their pictures with the #Sheratonsocialhour and #Sheratonwinetravel hashtags. Following these hashtags provides insight into how other guests have enjoyed these events around the world.
A hotel chain that lets you book via Twitter
North America’s Loews Hotels is the first group of hotels to allow guests to make bookings via Twitter, making them one of the most innovative hotel chains when it comes to social media.
All guests have to do is to book at one of the properties and tweet @Loews_Hotels with the #BookLoews hashtag. A travel planner will respond to the tweet asking for further information, before forwarding the customer to a secure payment page once they are ready to book.
Get rewarded for your social media use by this Hard Rock hotel
San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel has several thousand followers across their various social media channels and take pride in interacting with guests and potential visitors. Among other things, the hotel has been known to offer special discounts and VIP packages to entice potential guests via social media platforms.
For example, when one lucky Twitter user complained about leaving his girlfriend for a work trip to San Diego, the Hard Rock Hotel saw the tweet and offered him a 15% discount on a romantic getaway for two – meaning he could take his girlfriend with him.
A Stockholm hotel celebrating your online popularity
The pioneering Nordic Light Hotel is one of the first hotels to offer a complimentary stay based on the number of friends or followers on social media sites. Guests with over 2,000 Facebook friends or 100,000 Instagram followers can stay one night for free at the beautiful design hotel.
If guests like the hotel’s Facebook profile and share pictures and updates via social media sites during their visit, they can stay free of charge for seven nights of the year. Those who cannot quite fulfil the minimum number of friends or followers still have the opportunity to receive discounts: those with 500 friends receive a 5% discount and those with 1,000 friends can receive a 10% discount.