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Examining one innovator of romance

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and although that could mean a perfunctory chat about chocolate promotions and rose-stuffed packages, instead I turn it over to a Four Seasons property that is getting highly creative with its romantic offerings.

The Four Seasons Singapore is a magnificent property located just off the incredible Orchard Road shopping district. My wife and I had the chance to stay here early last year. Knowing that it was our 30th anniversary, the hotel put us on its special couples’ floor, which it calls “11 for 2.”

Dubbed the Ultimate Couples Getaway, the idea is to create a quieter floor with lower corridor traffic and a softer, more romantic, ambience through a number of subtle soft-goods changes. With added amenities, enhanced concierge services and some solid marketing packages to sell this product, Four Seasons Singapore has created something very distinctive within the marketplace.

Here are some of the specifics that make this package work:

  • Checkout time has been extended to 1 p.m. Housekeeping services have been delayed to start in the afternoon, leaving the whole morning to indulge in breakfast in bed with no corridor noise or interruptions.
  • The couples experience starts in the 11th floor elevator lobby, where complimentary fruits and chocolates are refreshed three times daily. The corridors have been redecorated, and the lighting has been themed — changing throughout the day and night to augment the mood.
  • Each room’s king-size bed, which dominates the room, is festooned with a number of wild, decorative throw pillows. The side table has a collection of snack jars loaded with commercial candies. A book of love poems was also provided as well as a set of romantic DVDs. Most intriguing was a “Love Box” — an upholstered jewelry box containing 100 business-sized cards designed to inspire, with such single lines on them as, “Eat dinner by candlelight,” or “Play a sport together.”
  • The concierge has been repositioned as the Experiential Assistant (or EA), with the role being that of enhancing the guests’ stay with many pre-arrival services. Notably, the EA delivers breakfast and assists with planning your stay, creating a butler-like experience.

Promotions for this experience consist of a series of what the hotel calls “indulgent morning experiences.” In effect, they are add-ons to the room rate, thereby simplifying the yield. Different selections were offered, ranging from breakfast in bed, tennis, yoga or in-room couples massages.

Through several informal talks with guests we met on the floor, the experience was highly positive. Comments included, “cute,” “fun,” “innovative,” “refreshing” and “kind of sexy.” All of these are descriptions that meet the product criteria and imbue a strong emotional connection from hotel to guest. Once again, Four Seasons refuses to rest on its laurels, setting the standard for others to follow.

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