Saving on travel just got a whole lot easier. Well, if you’re a social media addict, at least. Hotel brands like Kimpton and Marriott are already rewarding active social media users, with a slew of boutique accommodations following suit. Goals vary, but it’s safe to assume that properties are aiming to increase visibility on social media and to ultimately garner more bookings. So, the next time you’re tempted to scour the web for hotel deals, consider Tweeting instead for points and perks.
Marriott: Marriott Rewards now has a PlusPoints program, in which members can earn points in real time. This is great news for social sharers, especially because all it takes is a little boasting. Members are rewarded with 25 points whenever they share content about the rewards program and a whopping 250 points when they like Marriott on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. The best part? The points load into the member’s account instantly. To give you an idea of how far points go, 5,000 points can get you a $10 gift card to stores like Gap, Macy’s, and Best Buy.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts: In case you’re not familiar with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, think along the lines of upscale luxury -- brands like W Hotels, St. Regis, and Westin all fall under the company's umbrella. Currently, they’re teamed up with transportation app Uber, and once members link their Starwood Preferred Guest info with their Uber account, they earn one point for every dollar spent using the app. The match is especially ideal for travelers that need both a hotel and car transportation.
Social-Themed Hotels: Properties That Take Their Social Media Obsession to the Next Level
The Sol Wave House hotel: Often coined "the Twitter hotel," this Mallorca property takes their Twitter theme very seriously. Not only are rooms decorated in blue and white to match the social platform’s brand colors, but guests can also check-in using the app -- and receive inside scoop using dedicated hashtags. In fact, guests are given access to a third-party Twitter app that is only available at the hotel. Fancy a drink? Head to the bar and order their blue mojito inspired by…you guessed it! Twitter. Guests are encouraged to interact with each other using the #SocialWave hashtag.
1888 Hotel: More of an Instagram fan? Then 1888 Hotel in Sydney would be the accommodation for you. Unlike the blue and white-themed décor at The Sol Wave House hotel, rooms are decorated for the sole purpose of achieving Instagram-worthy photos. This means that every item, from the pillows to the end tables, is pre-selected to photograph very well. Expect lots of bright colors and innovative furniture. As a bonus, guests with 30,000 followers or more are given a one-night free stay. If you don’t have a huge following, you can still earn a free night by posting top-tier photos while there.
Socially Savvy Boutiques: Lesser-known Hotels Worth Bookmarking
Luxe Hotels: Heading to Los Angeles anytime soon? Consider booking at one of their three properties in the city: Luxe Rodeo Drive, Luxe City Center, and Luxe Sunset Boulevard. Each property has a (literally) sweet offer. If guests use the hashtag #LuxeLax on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter before checking in to the hotel, they’re rewarded in the form of desserts and wine -- the brand's signature treat, the Luxe Guittard Chocolate Soufflé, or a glass of Australian Harkham wine. After a long flight, a drink might be exactly what you need.
Hotel Lucia: Located in downtown Portland, the lobby of the Hotel Lucia features an Instagram photo wall, filled with real-time images of Portland. The venture comes via collaboration with Oregon-based company, Intel Labs. While there aren't necessarily any bonuses or discounts to participating in the initiative, it’s fun to walk into the lobby and see your smiling face projected on the wall. Photos must be tagged with #LuciaWallPDX, and anyone can participate.