LOS ANGELES—Even if you’ve never been to California, you’ve probably heard of the 405—more specifically, how heavily congested the interstate can be. And that’s because Los Angeles is a driving city. So whether you’re a business traveler looking to attend meetings, or a leisure traveler who needs to navigate the sites, a car is absolutely a necessity. And—considering it’s Hollywood—it doesn’t hurt to wheel around town in style.
That’s why Dream Hollywood—set to open this summer—is partnering with The Lincoln Motor Company to offer guests access to the car company’s line of vehicles. When the lifestyle hotel group began its search for a carmaker, it wanted to find a company committed to providing a service for the hotel—Dream wasn’t just looking for a company that would provide cars.
“We spoke to many major brands and Lincoln came up. At the time, Lincoln was trying to reposition themselves as a brand in the market,” said Ayo Akinsete, general manager of Dream Hollywood, explaining the company’s thought process.
“One of the things that really interested us was the launch of the new Continental. It is just gorgeous and we thought it would be a great car for our guests to be shuttled around—and then the relaunch of the Navigator is coming soon as well. It just all made sense,” explained Akinsete.
Five Lincoln vehicles will be provided with drivers for the guests. “We are so excited to be the official vehicle of Dream Hollywood. We will provide two Lincoln Continentals, one Lincoln MKZ and one Lincoln Navigator. It gives us a great opportunity for their guests to experience Lincoln,” explained Lincoln’s Megan Gillam.
The service is complimentary for all guests, dependent upon vehicle availability. Guests can be dropped off up to three miles away. Guests staying in the presidential suite can go anywhere from eight to 10 miles and be picked up and dropped off at LAX. The service is available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Lincoln Black Label members will receive exclusive privileges, including a preferential rate, exclusive dining reservations and 24/7 access to a Dream Hollywood concierge when booking at the property.
This is the first car partnership for Dream Hotel Group. “We have talked about trying again with other properties. But, this is a test-start market. It is a two-year partnership,” Akinsete said. The brand also has two locations in New York and properties in South Beach Miami; Phuket, Thailand; and Bangkok. After Dream Hollywood opens in summer 2017, locations in Nashville, TN; Dallas; Palm Springs, CA; and Doha, Qatar, among others, are all in the pipeline.
It’s also the first car partnership with a hotel for Lincoln, but the company has plans for expansion. “We are definitely looking to expand in the future. We will have additional partnerships we will be announcing soon, but Dream Hollywood is a great way to begin the strategy with discerning guests and be a part of their first-class travel experience,” said Gillam.
Lincoln is looking to branch out from its known customer base—which it says is sophisticated and discerning, but is a more mature group—and hopes the partnership with the lifestyle hotel brand will bring in some new blood—customers that are affluent and also discerning, but younger.
“Dream has a special ambience you don’t find in most hotels. We believe the hotel will have a young, affluent customer base that is looking for a first-class travel experience. This partnership will show them what a Lincoln experience is all about,” affirmed Gillam, noting it’s a win-win.
Lincoln has been on a journey for the last several years to add a new customer base—while not ignoring its existing one. “We have been targeting culturally progressive people who value experiences and the highest level of customer service,” said Gillam.
She also noted that Lincoln and Dream have a lot in common—both are forward-thinking and experience-driven, for example. “We feel like we have shared values regarding the experiences we want to give each of our customers,” said Gillam.
These days, guests aren’t looking for things, but rather experiences during their hotel stay—something the hospitality industry aims to provide, and a definite area of focus for lifestyle hotel brands like Dream. “We don’t have a cookie cutter thing we do for every single guest,” explained Akinsete. “Before you come to the hotel, you will download our app. From there, the guest will see if there is any particular thing they like. We also like to do little surprises here and there for our guests—like if we look on the internet and find out they like cigars, maybe there will be a cigar in their room.”
One surprise? The partnership won’t just incorporate vehicles to chauffeur guests around town. “There will be multiple touchpoints throughout the property for the customer,” said Akinsete, who noted that there will be some branded soft-touch design elements in the suites for Lincoln guests. “We are hoping that this will make a positive and exciting experience for the customer.” HB