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Once the key cards are picked up and the concierge tells you what time breakfast is, the hotel check-in process is complete.
But before going to find out how fluffy the pillows are or how big the pool is, guests can’t forget to take a selfie to document their arrival for friends and family back home.
Hotels around the world now offer “selfie vacation” packages aimed at getting guests to snap as many photos of themselves as possible, and the hotels get free advertising for destinations in the process.
In an effort to garner free publicity from guests and to enhance their stays, some hotels now give official advice on where to take the best selfies and have contests enticing guests to post their best selfies and win a free stay.
The Mandarin Oriental Paris offers the “Selfies in Paris” package, which includes a Mercedes Classe E with driver at the guests’ disposal for three hours, free Wi-Fi in the car and hotel room, and a list of the best selfie spots in Paris. Guests can also win a free one-night stay by tagging the hotel in selfies that they post to social media sites.
If this sounds overdone, it’s also worth noting the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens has a designated “selfie spot” on it’s rooftop, positioned so that guests hopefully get the perfect photo with the Acropolis in the background.
In the U.S., hotels coast to coast have similar selfie contests and packages. The Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia, s giving away more than $15,000 in prizes and vacations for guests who post selflies of their stay, and Hotel Modera in Portand, Oregon, held its contest in May.
The 1888 hotel in Sydney, Australia, lets guests take selfies in the lobby, and the images immediately show up on screens at the check-in desks once tagged and uploaded to Instagram.
Tourists often go to great lengths to capture the perfect selfie moment, while sometimes putting themselves in danger. A Polish couple posing for a selfie was tragically killed in Portugal after falling off a cliff in Cabo da Roca, leaving behind their two children who were vacationing with them.