Hotels have long been willing to hawk pillows, linens and bathrobes. Now, they’re peddling fine wines. A number of major hotel chains are getting into the wine business, teaming up with wineries to start wine clubs, create their own private labels or hold special wine events.
For instance, JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts just introduced the JWM Wine Club in partnership with Treasury Wine Estates in Napa Valley. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts has started a wine club in partnership with Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Sofitel is rolling out a three-part wine program this year showcasing French wines. And Hyatt Hotels & Resorts teamed up with Napa’s Folio Fine Wine Partners to create its own private label, Canvas, which is served at its restaurants and available for sale at www.hyattathome.com and at the winery.
Such partnerships are more than just a way for hotel brands to extend their footprint and boost guest engagement: Hotels can make more money with solid wine programs. For example, Sheraton’s internal research showed that 66% of guests would be more inclined to buy wine while traveling if there were a premium wine program offered.
Sheraton last year started its Social Hour with wine at a limited number of hotels, a program that won Best Chain Wine Program in the 103 Cheers Beverage Excellence Awards. Sheraton says it’s now rolling out the program to more than 430 hotels worldwide, since 95% of guests said they are “very likely” or “likely” to return to another Social Hour and would recommend the program to others.
What’s more, guests are lingering at the bar longer after the Social Hour and purchasing more food and drinks, the company says. The Sheraton Kansas City, for instance, has reported a 43% increase in wine sales since starting the Social Hour.
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