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Luxury hotels creating experiential travel packages

Luxury hotels creating experiential travel packages
The Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in Thailand offers muay thai boxing lessons. -AFP Photo
From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this week designed to heighten guests' experiences beyond a good night’s sleep and fine dining.

In what is dubbed the "Get Away, Get More" program, the Canadian luxury brand has created travel itineraries that offer guests unique, hyper-local cultural and educational experiences.

The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest, for example, has created a "Twilight in Budapest" experience that explores the spine-tingling story of Vlad III, the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
After a limousine-guided tour of the city, participants will visit the hilltop Visegrad Castle, where the 15th century warrior -- known as Vlad the Impaler for impaling his victims on giant spears -- was kept prisoner for 12 years.

At the Koh Samui outpost in Thailand, guests can also try muay thai or Thai boxing under the guidance of a former world champion.

The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has created a full-day excursion into the Australian Outback that includes a bushwalk tour led by an indigenous guide and encounters with native animals like koalas and kangaroos.

It’s become a widely used marketing strategy in the luxury hotel industry: promises of rich, once in a lifetime travel experiences.

Also this week, the Ritz-Carlton launched a new social media channel on Tumblr that aims to entice guests with longform travel stories of the chain's more secluded, exotic Reserve resorts around the world.

Posts on the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Tumblr page are written as journal entries and are accompanied by video and photos.

In the same week, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts launched a new app it calls CUR8, designed to automatically edit guests’ videos and photos into a digital album that can then be shared on social media networks.

The Four Seasons "Get Away, Get More" packages are available for stays from June 15 to September 15.