Hotels Get Cozy with Catalogs

To answer the demand for their hotel brand products –and perhaps to discourage light-fingered guests from pinching the ammenities–several upscale hoteliers have launched catalogs.

Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, CA, introduced its six-page 5″ x 8″ Accessories to Memories catalog in January. The hotel printed more than 2,000 copies, which are left in guests’ rooms on the final night of their stay. Catalogs are also available in the hotel’s boutique and can be requested via the hotel’s Website.

Products range in price from $4 to $120, and include polo shirts and baseball caps, as well as items found in guest rooms, such as the Snorkel Duck tub toy, the stuffed Good Night Bear, and a jacquard robe. All catalog products are also sold in the hotel’s boutique. “The catalog is a vehicle that allows guests, after their departure, to order an item they would have liked to purchase but didn’t have time to,” says Hotel Casa Del Mar general manager Klaus Mennekes.

The next catalog, planned for 2002, will sell additional products, and Mennekes says he is open to expanding it to a wider base–possibly by mailing it to prospects: “This is the first step into what could become a larger [direct mail] catalog.”

Another upscale hotelier, Los Angeles-based W Hotels, introduced its W catalog in December 1999. A division of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels placed the books in each of its 2,462 U.S. hotel rooms. This past December, W increased the catalog size from 5-1/4″ x 8-1/4″ to 7-1/4″ x 10-1/2″. And since the division now has 3,572 rooms in its 12 U.S. hotels, it also increased the print run accordingly.

The 10-page catalog’s product line includes furniture, robes, pillows, stuffed animals, and artwork seen in the hotels, with an average price point of $135. The catalog also sells baseball caps and polo shirts embossed with the W Hotels logo. The products are designed to appeal to typical W hotel guests: style-conscious, upper-income individuals ages 32-45, says Theresa Fatino, vice president of brand design and development. The average order size is $200-$250.

The catalog’s success may lead to a mailing within the year, Fatino says. W’s sister brand Westin Hotels & Resorts in November launched a direct mail and in-room catalog titled Heavenly, which sells the hotel’s Heavenly Beds.

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