The Sandbar is a shoppable experience, the result of a partnership between The Surf Lodge and the furniture purveyor CB2.
The line between retail and hospitality is blurring.
The latest example? A “lifestyle experience" called The Sandbar, sponsored by CB2 at the enduringly popular Surf Lodge hotel in Montauk. The partnership will see CB2 furniture and tabletop products integrated throughout the hotel, all designed by rising interior design star Ross Cassidy. Surf Lodge staff members are even donning CB2 x Surf Lodge uniforms. Naturally, guests can shop the entire experience via integrated QR codes.
The tie-up is just the latest in a dizzying drumbeat of collaborations between brands and hotels that have brought shoppable experiences to the hospitality industry.
In May, home furnishings brand Arhaus announced a partnership with beloved Nantucket resort White Elephant that saw the brand outfit the landmark destination’s Harborside Hotel lawn, adjacent private balconies, front porch and cottage courtyard.And only a year earlier, Byredo, the cult fragrance and beauty brand, introduced sustainable, full-sized products at Intercontinental properties across the world.
"For brands, they're an opportunity to meet their customers outside of traditional retail settings and to convert consumers into loyal customers."
The goal of these partnerships is not just to give out samples that engender goodwill among guests. For brands, they're an opportunity to meet their customers outside of traditional retail settings and to convert consumers into loyal customers. For hospitality players, the tie-ups are an opportunity to position themselves as lifestyle brands, whose ability to curate brand-aligned products becomes an attraction to guests in and of itself. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that these partnerships create a new revenue stream for hotel operators as well.
While larger brands are making their mark in shoppable hospitality with hotel partnerships, this trend presents an even larger opportunity for independent short-term rental (STR) hosts. In fact, the underlying industry dynamics propelling these partnerships often make more sense for STR operators than they are for hotels.
Even at their most luxurious, hotels cannot replicate the feeling of 'home' that short-term rentals can offer, where guests truly immerse themselves in a lifestyle, replete with carefully curated amenities and personalized decor. InHouse makes these shoppable hospitality experiences seamless for short-term rental hosts, so their guests are not just testing a product, they're experiencing it within a lifestyle context. They're pouring their morning coffee from Fellow kettles into Rigby mugs, lounging on luxury linens from Piglet in Bed, and cooking with Great Jones pans. Products are not merely displayed, but rather become functional, integrated elements of their stay, fostering an emotional connection and desirability among guests, which they can fulfill through InHouse’s QR-activated Frontdesk shopping portal.
Ultimately, the emergent trend of shoppable hospitality experiences signifies a powerful evolution in consumer behavior, blurring the boundaries between retail and hospitality. This shift opens a new realm of opportunities for the hospitality industry at large, and especially for short-term rental hosts. By turning rentals into lifestyle experiences that enable guests to interact with products in an intimate, real-world setting, they offer a unique value proposition. As a result, hosts can elevate their guests' experiences, provide new ways for brands to connect with consumers, and unlock fresh revenue streams. Hosts who leverage this trend effectively will not just be providing a place to stay, but a lifestyle to experience, and a curated selection of products that guests can take home, extending the travel experience beyond the trip itself.