American Marketer


Four Seasons distills favorite cultural experiences in new series

May 30, 2014

Four Seasons Austin Four Seasons Austin "Boot Camp"


Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is compiling top experiences from properties around the world for its new "Extraordinary Experiences Collection" series.

The collection aims to immerse guests in a location's culture, which inevitably leads to a wide range of potential options. Travelers have consistently professed that trips should entail original experiences, and luxury hotel brands are fundamentally shifting to meet this demand.

"With this collection of Extraordinary Experiences we’ve evolved our approach to offering memorable experiential travel to our guests by focusing on delivering a local perspective on exclusive and customized luxury travel," said Christopher Norton, executive vice president of global product and operations at Four Seasons, Toronto.

"We're meeting the evolving needs and desires of the modern luxury traveler who above all seek the never before done and we're shining a light on our best kept secrets with private access that only Four Seasons can provide," he said.

"This collection features adventures ranging from a bareback elephant ride while watching the sunrise over the Laos Mountains in Thailand with Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle to an exclusive dinner by Michelin-starred Chef Vito Mollica of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze on a private terrace atop the famed Ponte Vecchio which can only be accessed by our guests."

Your experience

The hotel chain has set up a Web site for prospective guests to browse the collection of experiences. Vignettes, images and videos illuminate the different possibilities.

Arranged in the cumulative, vertical format that has been gaining popularity, consumers can scroll their way through the experiences.

Consumers are first invited to watch a video that provides a sense of the breadth of experiences.

Experience the Extraordinary

At Four Seasons Budapest guests can reserve an exclusive dinner on the Hungarian Opera House stage as an orchestral ensemble plays nearby.

Exclusive dining experience at FS Budapest

Elephant treks, Serengeti walking tours, golfing with PGA pros, creating a bespoke scent and various other experiences can be arranged.


Elephants in Thailand

Consumers can browse according to type of experience: arts and entertainment, bespoke, culinary, culture, nature, wellness and sports and adventure. Experiences are also broken down according to region.


Chinese sculling boat experience at Four Seasons Hangzhou

Many of the experiences can be only scheduled during certain periods. For instance, guests who want to design their own cowboy boots in Texas can choose between Sept. 26-28 and Dec. 5-7.

The Web site can be accessed here.


Some Four Seasons properties are taking the experience collection a step further.

For instance, Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania, is encouraging fans to explore the Serengeti through a new interactive online safari experience.

The “Into the Heart of Africa” online immersive tour permits guests to learn about Serengeti National Park via videos and photos. Prior to arriving at the resort it is now possible to have both a personal virtual tour of the safari, the lodge and the wildlife and gain valuable knowledge about the region (see story).

Other brands are making similar pushes to promote original experiences.

For example, The Luxury Collection is catering to its guests’ affinity for art through a partnership with the Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

Luxury Collection and Outset’s partnership entails numerous events throughout the world that draw on the latter’s extensive repository of connections. By curating events that mesh with the surrounding art scene, the brands aim to maximize the cultural output of each destination (see story).

Experiential travelers generally like to have a say in the many details of an excursion.

"Guests are encouraged to connect with individual properties to discuss how they might be able to personalize their extraordinary experience," Mr. Norton said.

"The commitment of Four Seasons employees to create memorable moments while delivering uncompromised luxury and signature service is what make each guest experience truly special," he said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York