Some luxury hotels are now offering a new perk: the ability to pay in cryptocurrencies. From Dubai to the Swiss Alps, several high-end hotels enable guests to swap their credit cards for their digital assets.
The Chedi Andermatt, a 5-star hotel in Andermatt, Switzerland, is one of them.
General Manager Jean-Yves Blatt said the hotel, which started offering such payments in August 2021, is currently accepting Bitcoin and ETH, an option that is a continuation of the personalized services it offers its guests.
Gatt said, “We are making a clear statement to our hotel guests that we are open to new technologies and that we offer a new payment experience as an additional service.”
The Chedi Andermatt
Gatt said the Chedi Andermatt, which “strives to revolutionize the world of luxury hospitality,” had been looking into the process four years ago, but “at that time it was not possible, as the volatility of these currencies was too high.”
He added that now digital payments company Worldline Switzerland is enabling payments with cryptocurrencies through Bitcoin Suisse without being exposed to the risk of volatility, as the crypto transactions are converted into Swiss Francs immediately after confirmation.
This, he said, offers the best of both worlds — payment options for customers while at the same time ensuring that the hotel’s own revenues and business are not subject to crypto’s volatility.
The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts
The group has been accepting Bitcoin, ETH and 40 other currencies since July 2021. The group has 14 locations across the globe, including properties in Phuket, Bali, Himalayas, Mongolia and Niseko in Asia, and Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon and Rome in Europe, according to a press release.
The Kessler Collection
The Kessler Collection says it’s the “first U.S. luxury hotel group to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment,” which it started offering in March 2021, according to a press release.
Hotels in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and several others, including four stablecoins as payment “to cater to the growing demand.”
S Hotels & Resorts
The group partnered with platform FTX in October 2021 to enable its customers to pay with crypto at two of its properties in the Maldives: SAii Lagoon Maldives and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. Guests can pay in USD Coins (USDC) and Tether tokens (USDT), with more cryptocurrencies expected to be added, according to a press release.
More Hotels Take Crypto Now
From Dubai to Hong Kong, the number of luxury hotels accepting various forms of crypto payments is growing rapidly, which makes sense from a variety of perspectives, said Daryl Kelly, manager of Chestertons Barbados and CEO of NFT platform LTD.INC.
First, crypto adoption has been increasing exponentially and globally. In addition, wealthy individuals in particular have allocated more of their net worth toward Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“So, in short, there are more people willing to spend their crypto for a variety of purposes, including when it comes to travel and stays at higher-end hotels,” Kelly said, adding that there are advantages for hotels, too, largely because payments in crypto are generally instant and final.
According to him, in the near future, there will be an evolution of crypto at luxury hotels and destinations that will involve more complex and interesting use cases, such as the utilization of NFTs as a form of exclusive club membership.
“So, for example, this could involve a five-star resort in the Maldives issuing exclusive NFTs to its most loyal customers, who can in turn use those NFTs as you would imagine an airline using points system for frequent flyer miles,” Kelly said. “This would mean that holders of that NFT could check into the hotel, scan the digital asset in their wallet and immediately receive discounted uses for spas or night activities. In fact, the use cases of NFTs as a digital signifier of exclusive membership to whatever hotel or resort could be as big as, if not bigger than, general payments using crypto.”
Benefits of Paying With Crypto
Armin Schmid, head of BTCS Pay, the crypto payment solutions team of Bitcoin Suisse, also notes that there are several advantages for guests. It is as easy as paying via credit card, it avoids the need for currency conversion and represents equal opportunities for everybody.
“Luxury hotels often have a majority of international guests,” Schmid said. “An upside for paying with crypto is that they do not need to convert their local fiat into domestic fiat currency of the hotel location.”
Schmid added that while the setup of the process for accepting crypto involves minor up-front costs, once everything is in place, the costs of processing crypto payments are lower than the costs associated with credit card payments.
“Downloading a mobile crypto wallet and storing one’s crypto there to use them for everyday payments is quite straightforward,” he said, adding that Bitcoin Suisse is enabling crypto payments together with Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. “The younger generation, especially, prefers quick and easy crypto payments to more traditional means.”
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