Hotel companies go all rock ‘n’ roll
Hotel companies go all rock ‘n’ roll
03 APRIL 2017 7:26 AM

Marriott International is designing eight luxury tents for this year’s Coachella rock festival, and there are similar initiatives for other music events. I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I want to book it online please.

Marriott International recently announced it has designed eight luxury tents that will debut at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, the annual music event in Indio, California.

It’s another superb innovation by forward-thinking hotel companies: the hospitality industry mustering up unique “the numbers all go up to 11” excitement, or, perhaps, another nail in the coffin of rock ‘n’ roll.

According to Forbes, Marriott will set up eight luxury tents for the second weekend (20-24 April) of the festival—four of the tents available to Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ loyalty members, three to those of Marriott and one for all reward members who have already signed up or are in the hasty process of doing so—although gaining the required points might be tough.

As I write, on the relevant rewards page the current bid for one of the tents is 202,500 points, and that is for one of only three remaining tents, it seems. The starting bid was 22,500 for that particular tent, so it’s already an “average daily rate” jump of about 900%.

If you can be bothered to leave the tent, which features concierge services and air conditioning, the festival will feature performances by Bon Iver, Guided by Voices, New Order and Radiohead, as well as many musical acts of which I am not familiar, although I am sure the hip kids at Marriott know all and pogo to it often.

Residents of the eight tents also get golf-cart service to the festival stages. Rock ‘n’ roll!

Other festival attendees have other options, and not all involve rocking up in a Toyota Prius and pitching a tent next to it.

At the United Kingdom’s most famous festival, Glastonbury, which began in 1970 with performers including Marc Bolan (T. Rex) and Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), there are also elite camping options.

Despite Glastonbury being held in June, it is infamous for rain, which quickly turns the site in Somerset into a quagmire. Attendees try and stay dry, then realize that is futile. Quickly they then lose all reason, splash mud over one another and resemble peat-bog monsters. Photos of them doing and being so then get into all the national newspapers.

Details of 2017’s glamping possibilities at Glastonbury are not yet available, but in 2016 Pop Up Hotel offered tents, yurts and Airstreams, and on its website the company does mention for 2017 there will be an “Urban Quarter.”

Of course I am sounding like a crusty geezer who thinks real music fans should sit in puddles. Comfy beds are wonderful inventions, even if Pop Up Hotel’s offer of a “pamper area with dressing tables and hair-dryers” might be taking things a little too far.

I remember my tent floating for several yards at Glastonbury in 1986 (when performers included The Cure, Gil Scott-Heron and The Pogues), so I could have done with “private cubicle hot showers available 24 hours a day” and “a pool and sun lounging deck”!

I think there are opportunities here for Premier Inn and Travelodge.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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