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What makes Chic Retreats unique?

Chic Retreats - who are currently raising investment via their EIS-eligible investment opportunity on GrowthFunders - are making huge waves in the ever-growing online travel industry, and particularly within the boutique hotel sector.

With some big names in the market, Chic Retreats stand out because they’re different for both the hotel operator and the traveller.

For the hotel operator, Chic Retreats provide a holistic, online solution that can manage everything from hotel update newsletters through to inventory and check-in organisation.

For the traveller, Chic Retreats provide a free-to-access marketplace of some of the world’s best hidden gems of independent boutique hotels. Many of these hotels cannot be found anywhere else online, and all provide an unforgettable experience.

Read more: An introduction to Chic Retreats and their EIS-eligible investment opportunity

With the number seven an important number in Chic Retreats’ industry - there are seven continents, for example (and Chic Retreats provide access to hotels on all of these except Antarctica!) - today we wanted to share seven key reasons Chic Retreats is unique.

1. Prestige: the boutique hotel owners love the recognition of their hard work

To belong to an exclusive collection is important for the boutique hotel owners. The Chic Retreats collection specialise in only small independent boutique hotels and the service is affordable for these hotels and travellers alike.

Most of the hotels in the Chic Retreats collection are below 30 rooms, and the company ensure they have a broad price range to also appeal to guests who may not have large budgets. With hotels available from £75 per night, this is different to others in the industry, such as Mr & Mrs Smith or Small Luxury Hotels, whose audiences are focused on a higher per night price point and bigger, more predictable hotels.

Plus, many hotels on the Chic Retreats website are hard to find anywhere else, making them truly hidden gems of the world!

2. Storytelling: Chic Retreats work hard to bring each hotel owner's individual story to life

The content on the Chic Retreats website is geared to emotionally connect with the guests and is prepared so it drives a lot of organic visibility. Amir Azulay, CEO of Chic, believes:

“there is no better way than to discover a new place, than through the passion of a small independent boutique hotel owner.”

This is very different to mass market online travel agents (OTAs) whose promotion is focused on price and who promote every hotel in a destination. Chic Retreats know consumers are looking for authenticity, and to understand the provenance behind what they buy, which is the reason they offer this insight, enhancing the experience of the hotel by understanding more about it.

3. Curation: Chic Retreats are very particular about the hotel information and images they provide

The engagement, awareness and booking process is designed to optimise the hotel's presentation online while providing the guest with the right amount of information to make a decision to buy. The Chic Retreats team create content around interests, destinations, and specific audiences, and ensure the most appropriate hotels are featured. Distributing this content to wider online audiences, whilst the application of content marketing as a way to drive bookings is used by a few competitors, it is not as focused as Chic Retreats’ approach on small independent boutique hotels, nor executed as comprehensively with the same attention to detail.

4. Experiences: helping to make the entire holiday truly memorable

Having holiday experiences is what most travellers want; something that makes their holidays truly unique. Whilst Chic Retreats' hotels themselves are aimed at offering something you may not find elsewhere, to further extend the unique experiences, Chic Retreats are integrating with a specialist experiences platform that will provide bespoke experiences around the hotels.

Some OTAs include experiences, but Chic Retreats’ feature on demand private tours with rated guides, better suited to a discerning traveller as opposed to a mass marketed generic bus trip.

5. Smart matching: ensuring the discerning traveller stays in the hotel most suited to their needs

By understanding interests like yoga, the Chic Retreats team can advise on the hotels that can provide the traveller with an advantageous yoga focus; a home away from home in many ways.

With strategic plans to improve the user technology on the website, Chic Retreats will ultimately present the ideal hotel to a specific guest based on their past bookings, conversations and data gathering. Chic Retreats also do this via filtering the type of hotel experience on their site - hoteliers not only want the right sort of guests who spend on food and beverage, but also those who enjoy the specific experience they have created.

Not every hotel is obviously suited to everyone, and so Chic Retreats perform the role of ‘matcher’ to make sure every traveller gets the right hotel experience for them.

6. Extended distribution: further pushing the hotel's inventory to give them as much online reach as possible

Chic Retreats connects hotels to brand partnership programmes, affiliates and other boutique travel agents from around the world, further promoting their brand and adding value to their Chic Retreats subscription.

Just as the experience is vital for the traveller, it's important the boutique hotels have a first-class experience with Chic Retreats; one that is clearly beneficial and advantageous to them commercially.

7. Data analytics: providing hotels with the online information they need most

Chic Retreats have developed a sophisticated engine that scours the web and finds everywhere the hotel rates are being offered. It then presents this information to the hotel, showing them where and who is undercutting their prices, and who is selling them but does not have a real agreement.

Information such as this allows the hotels to ensure all pricing is correct and favourable to them, and also helps them to control who can sell their inventory to the public.

Investing into Chic Retreats

Looking at the online travel industry, some of the bigger hotel groups utilise similar elements to those mentioned here - but they’re all aimed at these larger hotels. What Chic Retreats have done is develop this technology in order to provide an affordable solution for small independent boutique hotels. Offered on a SaaS basis, this allows boutique hotels to compete with the larger players in the market without breaking the bank to pay for it in a streamlined, holistic manner.

Through all of the above Chic Retreats position themselves as the true partner for small independent boutique hotels, allowing them to truly compete better online.

For more information on what makes Chic Retreats unique:

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Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) is backed by funds managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s leading private equity and alternative asset managers.