4 Ways Hotels Have Been Leveraging the Pokémon Go Craze
Pokémon Go fans, rejoice! While many businesses and public venues, from mom-and-pop shops to local libraries, have been getting involved with the worldwide app craze, hotels and resorts, we're proud to report, have as well. Here's a look at how properties have been getting in on the game, and how you can turn your next vacation into a Pokémon Go player's paradise.
1. Welcoming Onsite Pokéstops and "Gyms"
Major cities and destinations are now hotspots for the augmented reality app game, as much as they already have been for tourism in actual reality. Hotels and resorts across the globe are not only near main fixtures of the game — spots where players can catch the creatures, item-spewing Pokéstops and coveted "gyms" (where battles take place) — but many have been lucky enough to have all these valuable features available within their walls.
The Hilton Anatole in Dallas, for instance, is home to nearly 15 Pokéstops, a few gyms, and several rare and evolved Pokémon characters. The Borgata in Atlantic City also has been lucky enough to have Pokéstops and gyms within its resort property — the Borgata and other hotels sporting similar app features within their walls have also engaged with the Pokémon Go community by either creating posts on their websites about the app or chatting about it with fans via social media.
2. Creating Special Tools and Perks You Can Only Find There
Some places are even taking things a step further and creating special tools to help their Pokémon-training guests. The Karma Kandara in Bali is rapidly becoming the island's premier Pokémon Go stomping grounds, giving guests and their families the chance to catch the little monsters in the midst of the property's outstanding natural landscapes. To aide them, the hotel has created a Pokémon Go tour map — you can also sip Pokémon-themed cocktails (and mocktails) onsite after a long day's hunt.
Stateside, the Center Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas offers $2 draft beers when guests show the bartender their in-game character while visiting the popular PokéStop.
3. Offering Poké-Packages and Other Deals Geared Toward Players
Properties are taking advantage of the active aspect of the app by offering packages that’ll keep guests moving around. The Palmetto Dunes resort in Hilton Head Island has a four-day, three-night kid-friendly vacation package that includes bike rentals for all guests so they can bike across the island to visit different spots for game play. The "Hatch Eggs on Hilton Head Island" promotion is especially helpful to those hoping to collect special critters that'll hatch eggs with a surprise Pokémon inside — the resort even ensures guests pedal at a leisurely pace of less than 12-20 mph on the bikes, since anything faster won’t allow the eggs to hatch. With the package, which starts at $80 per person per night, the resort provides an area Pokémon Guide and a $15 iTunes gift card to purchase Pokécoins, just in case guests wish to purchase "incubators" to help more eggs hatch simultaneously.
With a focus on saving travelers money, the Radisson Hotel Corning in upstate New York is offering a Poké-package, which includes a 10% discount on your stay, a Pokémon-inspired in-room gift and complimentary breakfast for children ages 12 and under. As the property has pointed out on its promotion page, it's situated near 38 Pokéstops and six gyms.
Kicking hotel packages up a notch to help you experience the world of Pokémon on a larger scale, The Peninsula Tokyo, a luxury hotel in the upscale Marunouchi business district of Japan’s capital, has launched the city’s first customized, interactive Pokémon hotel experience. Exclusively designed for the hotel by the The Pokémon Company, the Pokémon Hotel Adventure: The Power of Ten experience is an imaginative hotel-wide quest designed to help younger trainers find lost creatures. The package includes exclusively designed goodies, like two Pikachu hats and two original Pageboy Pikachu plush dolls, as well as VIP access to the Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo, a Pikachu greeting and photo session, complimentary entry and access to activities at the Osaka Pokémon Expo Gym and a 10% off voucher valid at the gift shop.
4. Getting the Entire Brand On Board
While many individual properties have been getting on board with the Pokémon Go phenomenon, Marriott seems to be the only hotel group to really get behind the app — the hotel brand jumped in on the social media conversation right away following the app's release and has continued to engage with guests, even listing a guide on its Traveler site. Marriott also partnered with Expedia to send America’s first Pokémon Go master on a trip around the world to catch the remaining creatures exclusive to several different continents, an exciting journey that involved staying at the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel, the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, Pier One Sydney Harbour (an Autograph Collection hotel) and the Tokyo Marriott Hotel.