Trend Toward Experiential Amenities Growing

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Miraval Resort, meeting
At Miraval Resort & Spa, attendees are given a ‘seed bomb’ to plant during their stay.

It’s no secret: Seasoned traveler and Gen Y attendees are increasingly seeking to immerse themselves in a destination via authentic experiences and activities that can’t be had elsewhere. “Something millennials and boomers have in common is the quest for authenticity when they travel, says Regina Baraban, editor of They look for meaningful local experiences as opposed to generic luxury in every aspect of a hotel stay, including amenities.”

Smart hoteliers are addressing this expectation throughout the travel experience, all the way to the amenities they offer:

At Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, the luxury boutique hotel located in a historic artists’ village in central Mexico, guests are welcomed with an easel in their room, complete with paints and tools so that they can create their own works to take home. (For families, the kit even includes kid-sized easels.)

Upon arrival at The Lodge at Glendorn, the Relaix & Chateaux property located on 1,500 acres in Bradford, Penn., guests are given a welcome amenity of fish food that they can use to use to feed the fish at Glendorn’s onsite hatchery. The property also stocks guest cabins with fly rods fully rigged with flies and gear for fly-fishing excursions.

At Miraval Resort & Spa, the luxury destination spa in Tucson, Ariz., guests receive a ‘seed bomb,’ a compressed bundle of soil containing seeds which they are encouraged to plant during their stay to create a flowering landscape and help them shift into a more mindful state—important for the Miraval experience.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.