New categories for Bahia Principe’s resorts have enhanced the guest experience, “because travellers can be sure they are choosing a resort that aligns with their needs and interests,” says Helen Montijano, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Canada & USA for Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, in this edition of Take 5.
1. A couple of years ago, Bahia Principe streamlined all its properties into new categories: Luxury Bahia Principe, Grand Bahia Principe, Sunlight Bahia Principe, and Fantasia Bahia Principe. How has this new system enhanced the guest experience, as well as the booking experience for travel agents?
“In simplest terms, the four hotel categories include: Luxury Bahia Principe, the brand’s most luxurious properties; Grand Bahia Principe, which features five-star hotels; Sunlight Bahia Principe, featuring all the brand’s Spain-based properties; and Fantasia Bahia Principe, family-friendly thematic hotels.
“As a result of streamlining our properties into these categories, the guest experience has been enhanced because travellers can be sure they are choosing a resort that aligns with their needs and interests.
“The booking experience for travel agents has also been simplified through the introduction of these categories, because it makes it easier for agents to match a property with their client’s preferences.
“We have such a strong variety of resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico that appeal to various market segments, so the portfolio rebranding has really been successful in helping us to simplify the selling process for agents and allowing them to feel confident in the recommendations they make to their valued clients.”
2. Tell us about ‘Experiences’. What is it, which hotels does it apply to, and what can guests expect?
“The Experiences are our way of taking the portfolio rebranding a step further. We used three segments and chose a pillar to be the focal point of all programming within each segment. Then, we revamped all of our food and beverage, entertainment and sports options to align with that pillar, allowing us to offer customized stays for every type of guest.
“This is how it all breaks down: guests seeking a unique, secluded locale and amenities that highlight the local environment can opt for our Treasure properties, those looking for a lively, adults-only escape for two can choose one of our Escape Experience properties and others hoping to spend quality time with loved ones or traveling in large groups will most enjoy our Family & Friends properties, with comprehensive programming for guests of all ages.
“While each Experience is complete with its own personality, all share our commitment to remarkable service, top-tier amenities and a superior quality stay.”
3. Fantasia Bahia Principe is your newest category for families. How has the family segment grown for the brand? And what is unique about your family offering?
“Fantasia is the brand’s family-friendly concept that offers thematic hotels and guarantees an enchanting vacation experience with the highest standards in quality and service. The family segment for the brand has proven to be an increasing success, which was no more apparent than in the response we’ve seen since the debut of Fantasia Bahia Principe Punta Cana, which instantly became a favourite among our loyal guests.
“What makes our family offering unique are the available activities and amenities catered to guests of all ages, which guests will notice from the moment they arrive. For example, there’s a special check-in area for younger travelers and rooms include children’s bath kits complete with kid-sized robes and slippers. Entertainment includes evening shows and parties for the whole family, gastronomic workshops, kids and teens clubs, and children’s waterparks. Group activities include aerobics, running and sports tournaments.”
4. How would you define the Bahia Principe brand today? And how do you see it evolving/growing in the future?
“We see the Bahia Principe brand as a brand that wants to provide travellers with the most ways to experience happiness while being sure to have a positive impact in the communities and regions in which we operate.
“The majority of our focus right now is in continuing to roll out the rebranding of the experiences by updating our offerings at each of our properties and educating our travel partners on these initiatives, so they are equipped with all the tools necessary to successfully sell Bahia Principe.
“Additionally, we see Bahia Principe continuing to strengthen our commitment to be a sustainable brand. For example, we recently announced an environmental strategy to position Samaná, Dominican Republic, as an internationally recognized ecological destination. Through agreements with various regional and national entities and the ‘develoPPP’ program, promoted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the strategy will be implemented through 2020 by Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe’s parent company, and the German Development Cooperation, GIZ. Prior to this, we had also announced commitments to ban single-use plastics by 2020, as well as various other initiatives that aim to help the local environment in the areas in which we operate.”
5. What’s new for Bahia Principe in 2019-2020?
“In March 2019, we celebrated the official grand opening of our newest adults-only hotel, Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar, in Punta Cana. The property is part of the Escape Experience segment, the most sophisticated segment for adults seeking accommodations, entertainment and programming created with them in mind. This includes a burlesque show, rock show and silent disco. Escape Experience also features a heightened culinary offer that brings together the latest trends in gastronomy and mixology as part of the all-inclusive concept.
“We also have some updates this year in regard to our weddings offer. Beginning Dec. 23, 2019, we’ll have a new weddings package: Romantic, the perfect option for more intimate ceremonies (up to 10 guests). Like all our packages, couples will be assigned a dedicated wedding planner that will assist with every detail. The package includes wedding location set-up and floral centerpiece, a bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, music for the ceremony on a portable device (playlist selected by the couple), a wedding cake, and a semi-private sit-down dinner reception at a specialty restaurant with set menu. Additionally, in Mexico, we’re very excited to have just completed the building of a new chapel, that couples who would like to have a religious ceremony will be able to take advantage of.”