Earlier this year, Palladium Hotels & Resorts announced plans to invest an additional $21 million in upgrading the guest experiences at its Grand Palladium and The Royal Suites by Palladium properties in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. Soon thereafter came a decision to implement a hotel management model in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Europe in addition to its current ownership model.
The plan is to build upon the positive momentum and reputation throughout Palladium’s 12 all-inclusive hotels (located in Riviera Nayarit and Riviera Maya, Punta Cana and Montego Bay), which has been established thanks to its intimate suites, top-notch kids’ programs, world-class wellness and spa facilities, a variety of global cuisines and tranquil infinity pools.
So with all eyes on the ever-evolving hotel group, CT Magazine spoke with representatives of Palladium Hotels & Resorts to get a better sense of what travel agents should know to effectively sell the product. Here’s what we found out:
Because of the diverse range of options within its resorts, Palladium Hotels & Resorts has positioned itself to appeal to various types of travellers. Among them:
DISCERNING ADULT TRAVELLERS:
- Adult travellers, whether travelling with friends or family, will enjoy The Royal Suites, which are the Palladium’s premium and exclusive adult-only establishments located within Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts. Here, guests can enjoy the best of both worlds: the privacy and personalized attention of a small VIP resort in addition to unlimited access to the services that are available in the neighbouring resorts.
- If there’s still a need to be plugged into reality, guests can utilize the resorts’ free WiFi throughout the resort. Athletic enthusiasts can enjoy activities including volleyball, basketball, aerobics, archery and dance lessons; adventurers will enjoy scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing and more.
- All resorts offer nightly entertainment options, including live music in the lobbies and on the beach.
UPSELL TIP: Guests can enjoy various experiences at the Zentropía Palladium Spa & Wellness, with options for massage, a dry or wet sauna, vapour bath, eco-meditative cold bath or Jacuzzi. In addition, a selection of beauty treatments like manicures, makeup services and hair treatments are also available.
- All Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts have tiered kids’ clubs (Baby, Mini and Junior Clubs) to cater to different age groups, with programs designed to be both fun and educational. Fun fact: Castillo del Pirata (Pirate’s Castle) at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa is one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Caribbean. What’s more is that the kids’ clubs are open until 11 p.m. Not only does this mean young guests will be entertained, it allows for mom and dad to enjoy themselves independently as well.
- The five Raggs TV characters are on-site ambassadors, hosting Mini Club activities, poolside events, a disco party, breakfasts and a 50-minute live show spectacular called the Raggs Pirate Show, all part of the “Play at Palladium with Raggs” program. The interactive Raggs Pirate Show is performed once a week at all the Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts’ on-site theatres.
- Family room categories with connecting rooms cater to family travellers and multi-generational groups.
UPSELL TIP: Upgrade guests at Grand Palladium Bávaro Suites Resort & Spa to the Master Family Suites, which include amenities and services for families travelling with small children. This limits the number of items with which parents need to travel, and allows the experience to be tailored to each family’s needs.
GROUPS & MICE:
- Premiere facilities are available to accommodate large corporate events and small business meetings. An expert team of coordinators throughout the Caribbean and Mexico help to ensure a successful and hassle-free event, no matter the size. Special events and incentive programs for groups can also be organized.
UPSELL TIP: Palladium’s convention centre in the Punta Cana complex is designed with seven multi-purpose halls, with a total area of approximately 6,512 square feet and maximum theatre capacity for 500 people. The tropical gardens around the convention centre provide the perfect backdrop for a reception, gala dinner or wedding.
WEDDINGS & ROMANCE:
- Palladium offers a dedicated “Weddings by Palladium” website (www.PalladiumWeddings.com) and on-site wedding concierge for couples who wish to get married in the Caribbean or Mexico.
- Working with New York City wedding planner, Karen Bussen, four packages are available to choose from, or clients might opt for “Simple Stunning Weddings,” which are custom-tailored to fit the unique needs and desires of couples.
UPSELL TIP: Suggest your clients opt for the aforementioned Royal Suites by Palladium, thanks to their exclusive Cabaret Restaurant, beach clubs, lifestyle settings, and relaxed atmosphere. Butler service and 24-hour room service are also provided.
TAKE 5 WITH JACQUES DEPAEP
Sales & Marketing North America, Palladium Hotel Group
What do travel agents need to know about Palladium in order to start selling the product effectively?
Well, to get started, I think travel agents should know:
- There’s something for everyone including a wide variety of accommodations, entertainment, cuisine and amenities.
- There are different hotels within each resort offering different price points.
- The Royal Suites offer upscale adults-only hotels, with access to Grand Palladium hotels nearby for multi-generational group travel. Guests can enjoy adult-only sections at each destination.
- Each hotel is allergy-friendly and offers special diet menus.
- Each hotel stresses ecologically responsible hospitality with immersion in local culture.
- Palladium is consistently improving facilities, guestrooms and restaurants in order to stay ahead of trends and be a leader in hotel quality and delivery while surpassing guest expectations.
- There is free WiFi throughout all the resorts and hotels.
- Palladium is a growing hotel chain with a young and dynamic management team eager to provide the best experience for guests.
What are your top sales tips for Palladium properties?
Firstly, let your clients know that there’s something for everyone. Each property offers specialty programs such as wellness, water-based activities (SUP, Spa, Sports…), themed weddings and family programs. We also cater to guests of all ages and different types of travellers – again, whether it be families, couples, singles, etc. For parents travelling with children, lead with our exciting offerings within Kids Programs (two- to 17-years-old), with the added benefit that our Kids Clubs are open until 11 p.m. Also notable is that all hotels and resorts are either recently renovated or offer completely new facilities; each property offers a wide and international variety of food options both in à la carte and buffet style restaurants at all resorts; and there are top shelf products, both in restaurants and bars, at The Royal Suites & Grand Palladium Hotels.
What differentiates Palladium from other all-inclusive options in the market?
Firstly, we have a young, energetic and inventive management team and we’re totally dedicated to hospitality in every sense of the word. PHG associates are always available to the travel agent community (BDMs, marketing, product, managers…) and to ensure client satisfaction, we are continually investing in product improvements and innovation. Finally, to appeal to a wide range of clientele, our various price options and room categories help close the sale regardless of budgets or traveller interests.
What questions should travel advisors ask their clients to better determine their fit for the product?
- Do you prefer an adults-only or family-friendly atmosphere?
- Would you prefer to be closer to the lobby or the beach?
- When choosing a resort, what is your top priority: beach, pool, or room type?
- Is food and restaurant experience a priority?
- Do you prefer staying at a resort with a butler or concierge service?
Any final points for travel agents?
We encourage travel advisors to consider Palladium as your “go to” hotel for individuals, weddings, groups and events and contact your BDM with any questions. Palladium has the newest, best and most avant-garde developments within the existing portfolio of hotels and travel advisors should always be on the look-out for new existing hotels to open in the very near future. And if nothing else, when in doubt, call Palladium! We are dedicated to the travel agent community
PALLADIUM BY THE NUMBERS
- With some resorts spanning over 173 acres, there is plenty for guests to see and do.
- Palladium’s largest resort is in Punta Cana, which has 2,000 guest rooms, eight pools, 15 dining experiences and 26 bars, yet by separating the resort into four different hotels, there is a sense of intimacy with access to a great deal of choice.
- Five million dollars is being invested in improving food and beverage offerings, which will include upgrades in steak quality to use Angus and cowboy cuts, upgrades to the quality and presentation of food at the buffets, higher-quality liquors at all bars including Absolut, Stoli, Havana Rum, Bombay Sapphire, Courvoisier, Don Julio Blanco and Reposado, and better mini bar snacks.
- For staffing, Palladium Hotels & Resorts is increasing the number of staff by 13 per cent over 2016, which will total 8,243 staff at all 12 properties in the Caribbean and Mexico, which includes the Grand Palladium Resorts & Spas and The Royal Suites by Palladium.
- All resorts have real chapels for weddings. One of the world’s most famous surfing waves is right in front of the Grand Palladium Vallarta. The Grand Palladium hotels in Montego Bay have some of the
- One of the world’s most famous surfing waves is right in front of the Grand Palladium Vallarta. The Grand Palladium hotels in Montego Bay have some of the
- The Grand Palladium hotels in Montego Bay have some of the best-secluded beaches on the Island.
- The wildlife at Grand Palladium in the Riviera Maya is spectacular and diverse. The Zentropia Spas at Grand Palladium are amongst the best in North America.
- The Zentropia Spas at Grand Palladium are amongst the best in North America.
TRUE OR FALSE?
We asked Palladium what misconceptions travel advisors might have about the product.
Palladium is a cheap and old/dated product.
Palladium offers room categories at different price points and is continuously updating its product offerings.
Palladium properties are always under construction.
Improvements are constantly being made to the product but Palladium Hotels & Resorts always ensures guests are not affected by construction by closing off all sections of hotels that will be affected, including all surrounding guestrooms.
Food options at all-inclusive hotels are limited and unhealthy.
Healthy options as well as special diet menus, even adventurous cuisine tastings, are available at each of Palladium’s buffets and à la carte restaurants.
Palladium is a group of large and impersonal properties.
Palladium properties consist of separate hotels, each with a limited number of rooms, so guests at each hotel enjoy personalized attention with the added bonus of being able to eat, drink and play at all the public venues the resort offers.
For more information about Palladium’s loyalty program for agents, go to PalladiumConnect.com and sign up to receive “cash” rewards for every booking you make at PHG regardless of the channel you use.