Storybook Sojourns

 

Once Upon A Time... 

Those 4 words let us know something magical is coming

Or at least we hope so. Stories have been enchanting people for centuries, and they have not yet lost their luster. They’re instilled in us from the moment we are born and storytime never really goes away, it just changes.

 

Is it odd the generation that grew up with Cinderella, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones is seeking out fairytale experiences around the world? Errmm, no? In fact, according to the Pinterest, two of the biggest upward trends in searches in 2019 were enchanted forest party theme +238% and abandoned castles +142%.  And the year before that, fairy tale places searches were up +314%. Enchanted forest parties with toadstool chairs, indoor trees, fairy garlands? Derelict and dilapidated castles? Perhaps they're adding them to their vision board. 

People’s fascination with fantasy is nothing new, but when hospitality & tourism brands start thinking about ways to elevate their experience, it’s easy to look at stories that have already captured the hearts of people all over the world. There’s no need to re-write the book!

 

The interesting thing is, when we asked travelers what their fairytale experience looks like, people were all over the map. Literally. From Iceland to Morocco, from the Taj Mahal to the Amazon (someone said they felt like a jungle Cinderella!) and everywhere and everything in between. So what does it all mean?

 

Maybe travelers are really good at finding the magic in their moments of travel, creating their own fairytale in their mind, and writing themselves into that story.

 

Do we wish someone would host a grown-up version of an Alice in Wonderland tea party? Yes. As for other fairytales come to life? “Be a mermaid for the day” yields a surprisingly large amount of search results on Google. We’re not sure why anyone would want to be that uncomfortable, perhaps they really resonated with Ariel as a child. But a queen – we would be OK if someone wanted to treat us like a queen for the day. Unless of course that queen is Cercei.

If you try googling anything with the words ‘fairytale’ and ‘experience’ in it, Disneyworld pretty much OWNs that search. So we went on my own sleuthing for hotels and experiences that exude a sense of fantasy, and I did not come up shorthanded. 

 

Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.

Eugene O'Neill

Fairytales Come To Life

Happy endings abound at these 4 unique properties

Woodland Fairytale at Montaña Mágica Lodge (Panguipulli, Chile) 

Lovers of middle earth will find themselves in their own kind of paradise at this mountain lodge in the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve in Chile. It would be hard to get closer than this to majestic mother nature. The waterfall actually goes through the lodge, an incredible feat of architecture and engineering. As if just being in the Patagonian Rainforest wasn't enough, this incredible property is oozing with magic - a perfect place for all your whimsical wishes to come true. 

Palace Pleasures at Taj Lake (Udaipur, India) 

Opulence abounds in every corner at the Taj Lake Palace. Built between 1743 and 1746, the mirage-like marble palace was the winter palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II of the royal dynasty of Mewar. And it would be hard to feel like you're not royalty during your stay there. Trappings such as a welcoming vintage car ride to the charming city of Udaipur, the Jiva Spa boat, royal butlers, a courtyard garden like something out of a dream - all these experiences make the destination a fantasy come to life. 

Winter Wonderland at Hotel De Glace (Quebec City) 

If staying in a a frozen fortress has ever been at the top of your bucket-list, then consider your wish granted. No ordinary igloo, this hotel is made entirely of ice, with detailed carvings throughout and fireplaces to keep warm and toasty. The theme changes every year, so you'll have many mystical opportunities to be awed, again and again and again. 

Charmed Castle Living at Thorngrove Manor Hotel (Adelaide, Australia)

At this picture-esque property, towers and turrets  immediately conjure  the childhood  images of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. And romance abounds, because guest numbers are limited  to 4 at any one time, which means each couple has their own enchanting  and romantic story to live out. Timeless, ornate hand-crafted detail in each room  and  an extraordinary curated collection of antique pieces transports each guest to something out of a fairytale. 

Special Note To The Hospitality & Tourism Professionals

Travelers are waiting for you to ride in on your white horse and save them from their ordinary life. How can you add more magic to your experience? Look to your favorite fairytales, fantasy stories, and even astonishing moments in history for inspiration. 

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