The trend for themed rooms in hotels is turning into a wave. Big or small, all hotels that cater to the family clientele are going in for refurbishing family suites as Barbie suite with everything from Barbie wallpaper to Toy Story pillowcases. The kids’ fantasy icons are taking over the hospitality industry. The hotels are cashing in on the influence the icon-mad kids wield over their parents. They seem to have the final say in the family’s final purchase decision. The marketers are blatantly encouraging the kids to assert their preferences in order to enhance their profits.
None of the hotels want to be left behind in this race to lure the kids. Marriott Hotels had struck a deal with Nickelodeon last year to create themed packages for families including SpongeBob Square Pants-style rooms. It was followed by the US-based hotelier Gaylord who has announced a deal with Dream Works Animation. They have big plans to convert entire family hotels to brands that go with characters like Kung Fu Panda’s Po. You shouldn’t be surprised if a giant Shrek pops up to greet you at the reception. You might even find penguins from Madagascar joining you for breakfast.
This is the new luxury and even boutique hotels are not untouched by this fever. The luxury Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris has just opened two new “Barbie” suites. You have a choice of the “Modern Princess” room or the “Fashion Icon” room. The rooms boast of Barbie hearts on the pillow and even the furniture have her logo embossed on them. The hotel hasn’t forgotten the boys and has got Mattel to create a “Hot Wheels” room. The problem with today’s world is that you can’t stop an idea if it is profitable.