MIAMI—Live like a local: It’s the mantra of many hotel brands and even Airbnb whose business model is based on having a localized experience. With a goal of offering an insider’s guide to the art, culture and history of the city, The Biltmore Hotel in partnership with Dragonfly Expeditions has launched an experiential travel program to help travelers get up close and personal with the city.
“Our goal is to consistently surpass the expectations of our guests by creating one-of-a-kind experiences, services and offerings that are unmatched in the market,” said Philippe Parodi, VP of marketing and sales, The Biltmore Hotel. “We look forward to building upon this new program in the future and further tying The Biltmore Hotel with leading trends in the luxury travel industry.”
During the planning stages, the hotel team sought to offer a customizable experience for guests that highlighted the most prominent pillars of South Florida and the surrounding community. The hotel’s menu of curated activities—wading in knee-to-waist-deep waters of the Everglades, delving into the world of Voodoo and Haitian culture, and taking in the smells, sights, sounds of Calle Ocho—is designed to spark curiosity and provide opportunities for learning and exploration.
“At The Biltmore Hotel, we identified a need and trend within the luxury travel sector for this type of offering,” said Parodi. “We thought it was a unique and exciting opportunity to leverage the property, its brand and Coral Gables as a destination, while also enhancing guest experience by highlighting the various factors that make South Florida so appealing to travelers—mainly its architecture, culture and history.”
Working with Dragonfly Expeditions was an ideal fit as the tour company has been showcasing the local sights of the area for the last 25 years. It is a provider for many of the destination management companies and customizes private, high-level tours and partners with organizations looking to create special team-building experiences for employees and customers, noted Parodi.
“The Dragonfly Expeditions’ main office is located within The Biltmore Hotel, so it was a natural fit to work alongside them for this new initiative,” said Parodi. “We felt its brand provided great synergies with the property. Overall, Dragonfly Expeditions facilitates and creates the tailored itineraries featured throughout the Experiential Travel Program, while still maintaining flexibility to meet the needs of our guests.”
The Experiential Travel Program is set to run all year and it is exclusive to Biltmore Hotel guests. Since the program is newly launched, Parodi explained that the team’s plan is to track its return on investment and results through the reservations system and other qualitative tracking methods.
“Our goal with The Biltmore Curators Program is similar to that of the Experiential Travel Program in that we wanted to provide guests with a unique experience while also positioning the hotel as a cultural hub and destination when visiting South Florida,” Parodi said.