ORM Success Story: 21c Museum Hotels

Much more than a place to spend the night, 21c Museum Hotels is an innovative union of boutique hotel, cultural center, and contemporary art museum. Each of its three properties features uniquely branded chef-driven restaurants and world-class contemporary art by today’s emerging and internationally acclaimed artists.

Having the opportunity to sleep in an art museum is a new experience for most guests, who are also encouraged to engage with the art, notably the “Red Penguin” sculptures that are placed throughout the property. Jane Ferebee-Grady, Executive Assistant in Corporate Operations, says, “The penguins are works of art but they’re also meant to be fun. Guests love to move them around and play with them and our team also has fun coming up with new ways to surprise and delight our guests using the sculptures.

People have proposed with the penguins. Guests love to play pranks on their friends with them. Not many hotels have something that gets people talking and sharing the way the art at 21c does,” adds Jane.

Surprising and delighting guests is just part of building a positive hotel reputation. “We’re keenly focused on the value of reviews and customer feedback,” says Jane. “Responding to all reviews, public or private, is standard operating procedure.”

Last year, the team at 21c Museum Hotels realized that they could be conducting better analysis of their review data. Not only that, but responding to all online reviews was taking a massive amount of time for the person responsible. “We evaluated multiple platforms before we chose Revinate,” says Jane. “In the end, we picked Revinate’s Online Reputation Management because it’s a comprehensive solution. It had all the pieces of the puzzle.”

One aspect of Revinate that is particularly valuable for 21c Museum Hotels is the ability to access competitor data. “Understanding our comp set is very useful,” says Jane. “We can access all comp set data, see our ranking within the comp set, and easily see our strengths and vulnerabilities. By reading what people are saying about the competition, we can make smart choices about where we need to invest time and resources so we can continue to outperform.”

With integrated revenue insights, 21c Museum Hotels has the data to see that it is at the top of its comp set. The hotel is outperforming the competition in every category—RevPAR, ADR, Occupancy, and average review rating. From the data, it is also clear to 21c Museum Hotels that they’re pulling away from the competition. For example, the hotel has seen a 16% increase in RevPAR over the past year while its comp set has only improved by about 7%.

21c Museum Hotels has shown that innovation can be competitive and profitable in the hospitality space. Its brand, a blending of local community, contemporary art, and Southern hospitality, is outperforming the competition by all traditional metrics. And, judging by the rave reviews its guests feel compelled to write, 21c Museum Hotels has proven that today’s traveler is hungry for something new and different.

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