Alternative Stays 2023: The New Era of Travel Accommodation

Alternative Stays 2023: The New Era of Travel Accommodation

By Author

Published on October 31, 2023

In the ever-changing world of travel, the year 2023 marks a significant chapter in the story of lodging preferences. Post-pandemic, the lodging industry has witnessed not just a recovery but a transformative shift, with alternative stays gaining unprecedented momentum. This trend isn't just a fleeting response to the global crisis but a profound change in traveler behavior, as revealed by recent reports from Expedia and

Expedia's Eye-Opening Insights

Expedia's findings, particularly through its vacation rental marketplace Vrbo, paint a clear picture of this shift. The demand for alternative stays in Q3 soared, recording triple-digit growth year-over-year and surpassing Q3 2019 levels by over 50%. Villas, once a niche offering, have seen considerable growth, indicative of travelers' evolving preferences for unique and private accommodation experiences. This shift is partly attributed to people traveling in larger groups, seeking not just a place to stay but an experience to remember.

The alternative stays landscape has also diversified significantly. Beyond the conventional choices like farmhouses and homestays, travelers now have options like yachts, mills, boats, towers, recreational vehicles, and chalets. It’s not just about staying somewhere different; it's about experiencing something unique.'s ‘How India Travels’ Report’s ‘How India Travels’ report further underscores this trend. The demand for non-traditional accommodations – hostels, campsites, vacation rentals, chalets – is outpacing that of hotels. The data speaks volumes: for every camp night booked, there are three villa nights and fourteen guest house nights. This preference isn’t limited to leisure destinations like Goa or Varanasi; it’s evident in business hubs like Bengaluru and Delhi, with weekend bookings for these unique stays multiplying compared to the previous year.

The Future of Lodging

As we delve deeper into 2023, it's becoming increasingly clear that alternative stays are more than just a trend; they're the new face of travel and lodging. These choices reflect a deeper desire for personalized, unique experiences, moving away from the one-size-fits-all hotel approach. The rise of alternative stays isn't just about accommodation; it’s about redefining what it means to travel and experience the world.

OBLU Resorts: Atmosphere Core’s Commitment to Green Travel in the Maldives

OBLU Resorts: Atmosphere Core’s Commitment to Green Travel in the Maldives

By Shreenidhi Jagannathan

Published on June 5, 2024

Atmosphere Core, a renowned international hospitality company, continues to make significant strides in sustainability across its eight Green-Globe-certified resorts. Through initiatives focused on the community, operations, resources, and the environment, Atmosphere Core exemplifies an environment-conscious approach that benefits both the natural world and the local communities.

Sustainability Achievements Across Four Pillars

Atmosphere Core’s dedication to sustainability is evident through impactful initiatives such as renewable energy infrastructure and water-saving technology. Each resort contributes uniquely, with pilot projects like the vertical hydroponic garden at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and the in-house biogas setup at OBLU SELECT Sangeli showcasing innovation and commitment.

Operations and Resource Management

The company’s ethos of reusing, reducing, and recycling is reflected in practices such as a paperless app-based booking and check-in system and the maintenance of kitchen gardens across all resorts. “Sustainability isn't an option; it's our ethos,” comments Shrikant Dash, Deputy Managing Director for Corporate at Atmosphere Core. This commitment ensures eco-friendly choices that contribute to preserving the natural beauty of the Maldives.

Driving Positive Community Impact

Recognizing the importance of community, Atmosphere Core supports charities and drives impact through the Atmosphere Foundation. This non-profit organization has built a high-quality training kitchen for special needs students, run reading programs for over 7,000 youngsters, and supported health screening programs for nearly 600 senior citizens.

The Bamboo for Climate Change Mitigation project stands out, with Atmosphere Foundation donating over 4,000 germinated seedlings and introducing saplings to 27 islands. This initiative is pivotal in making the Maldives a carbon-free destination, thanks to bamboo’s exceptional carbon absorption rate.

Harnessing Solar Power

Atmosphere Core is at the forefront of the solar revolution in the Maldives. Since installing a marine and rooftop solar system at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO in 2019, the company has expanded solar energy production across its resorts. As of May 2024, 8,890 solar panels installed across seven resorts have produced 16,500 MWh of clean energy, significantly reducing diesel use and CO2 emissions.

Commitment to Coral Conservation

Coral conservation is a key focus, with seven out of nine resorts actively managing coral conservation programs. In 2023 alone, 279 coral frames were installed, with 13,436 coral fragments contributing to vibrant marine life. Continuous monitoring and maintenance ensure the success of these conservation efforts, attracting diverse marine species and fostering a thriving underwater ecosystem.

Green Globe Certification

All Atmosphere Core resorts have received Green Globe Certification, with OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI and OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO earning gold certifications. This recognition underscores the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Atmosphere Core’s comprehensive approach to sustainability sets a benchmark in the hospitality industry. Through innovative projects and a steadfast commitment to the environment and community, the company not only enhances the guest experience but also contributes to a greener, more sustainable future.


About Atmosphere Core

Atmosphere Core operates nine resorts in the Maldives and has a robust pipeline of future projects, including one resort in Sri Lanka and ten hotels and resorts across India. Each property is distinguished by unique design, an authentic sense of place, and exceptional service, making Atmosphere Core a leader in sustainable hospitality.

Media Contacts:

  • India: THE OZEN COLLECTION, COLOURS OF OBLU, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts

Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season

Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on May 22, 2024

In our hyper-connected world, the allure of a digital detox is becoming increasingly compelling. As summer approaches, many hotels and resorts are seizing the opportunity to offer guests a chance to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with nature, family, and themselves. These digital detox packages are designed not only to provide a break from the constant barrage of emails, notifications, and social media but also to foster a deeper connection with the environment and personal well-being.

The Concept of Digital Detox

A digital detox involves refraining from using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. The goal is to reduce stress, improve mental health, and enhance the quality of life by disconnecting from the digital world and reconnecting with the physical one. For many, the incessant need to stay connected has led to burnout, anxiety, and a sense of constant distraction. Hotels and resorts that offer digital detox packages aim to combat these issues by providing an environment that encourages relaxation and mindfulness.


The Rise of Digital Detox Packages

The trend of digital detox vacations has been on the rise as people seek refuge from their demanding digital lives. Leading the charge are luxury hotels and resorts that offer bespoke packages tailored to help guests disconnect. These packages often include a mix of activities designed to engage guests physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Activities Promoting Mindfulness and Well-being

Central to these detox packages are activities that encourage mindfulness and present-moment awareness. These activities often emphasize the importance of being present and appreciating the natural world. Popular options include:-

Nature Walks and Hikes: Guided tours through scenic trails allow guests to immerse themselves in nature, promoting physical activity and a sense of tranquility.

Yoga and Meditation: These practices help guests center themselves, reduce stress, and improve mental clarity.


Art and Craft Workshops: Engaging in creative activities like painting, pottery, or knitting can be therapeutic and foster a sense of accomplishment.

Culinary Experiences: Cooking classes and farm-to-table dining experiences not only educate but also connect guests with the local culture and cuisine. Wellness Treatments: Spa treatments, including massages and aromatherapy, offer deep relaxation and rejuvenation.

The Benefits of Digital Detox

The benefits of a digital detox are manifold. Physically, guests often report better sleep and less eye strain. Mentally, they experience reduced stress levels, improved mood, and a greater sense of well-being. The absence of constant notifications allows for uninterrupted thoughts and deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Socially, guests find that they connect more genuinely with those around them. Without the distraction of devices, there is more room for eye contact, active listening, and heartfelt interactions. Additionally, being in a serene, natural setting often leads to a greater appreciation for the environment and a desire to protect it.


Encouraging Digital Detox: Tips for Hotels and Resorts

For hotels and resorts looking to implement digital detox packages, here are some tips:-

Create a Device-Free Environment: Encourage guests to hand over their devices at check-in and provide a secure place for storage.

Offer Engaging Alternatives: Design a variety of activities that cater to different interests and promote relaxation and engagement.

Educate Guests: Provide information on the benefits of a digital detox and how it can improve their stay.

Train Staff: Ensure that staff are supportive and knowledgeable about the digital detox concept, helping to foster a device-free culture.

Promote the Package: Use marketing channels to highlight the unique benefits of a digital detox vacation, attracting guests who are seeking respite from their digital lives.


As the demand for mindful travel experiences grows, digital detox packages offer a refreshing way for guests to disconnect from their screens and reconnect with what truly matters. By promoting such initiatives, hotels and resorts not only enhance the well-being of their guests but also contribute to a more balanced, mindful, and connected world. This summer, embracing a digital detox could be the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life, offering families and individuals a chance to recharge and create lasting memories.


This exclusive article is written by Nisha Sharma, Operations Director – India at Eight Continents Hotels & Resorts for

The Fragrant Touch: Understanding the Rising Demand for Candles in the Hospitality Sector

The Fragrant Touch: Understanding the Rising Demand for Candles in the Hospitality Sector

By Author

Published on May 4, 2024

In the realm of hospitality, attention to detail reigns supreme in ensuring guests' satisfaction and comfort. Recently, candles have transcended their decorative role to become indispensable components in curating memorable experiences. This burgeoning demand reflects a deeper understanding of how scents can profoundly impact mood and well-being.

According to a report from Grand View Research, the global candle market boasted a worth of USD 12.88 billion in 2022, with projections indicating a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2023 to 2030. This remarkable ascent is fueled, in part, by the surge in wellness tourism and the resurgence of the hospitality sector on a global scale.

The wellness tourism market, expected to soar to USD 2.1 trillion by 2030, represents an upswing of 12.42% CAGR from 2023 to 2030. This niche sector caters to activities aimed at enhancing individuals' physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Candles have seamlessly integrated into this milieu, finding extensive utility in hotels, spas, and restaurants to cultivate an ambiance of tranquility and warmth.


The allure of candles in hospitality transcends their aesthetic appeal. Their calming properties and air-purifying abilities have ingrained them as indispensable elements in the self-care regimens of many. Wellness candles, specifically tailored to foster relaxation and stress alleviation, have witnessed a surge in popularity in India, where they serve as potent antidotes to the frenetic pace of modern life.

Crafted from organic materials such as beeswax, soy, and botanical extracts or essential oils, wellness candles exude fragrances like lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, and sandalwood known for their soothing and sedative effects. These aromatic nuances hold the power to induce profound relaxation and rejuvenation, benefitting both mind and body.

The integration of wellness candles into the hospitality sector isn't merely a transient trend; it has emerged as a formidable force in the wellness landscape. Here are several compelling reasons why candles have assumed pivotal roles in the hospitality experience: 

Stress and anxiety reduction: The serene aromas of wellness candles foster relaxation and alleviate stress and anxiety, providing a sanctuary of serenity for guests.

Enhanced sleep quality: Wellness candles, with their sleep-inducing properties, offer a welcome addition to evening rituals, catering to the needs of weary travelers.


Mood elevation: The therapeutic scents of wellness candles uplift spirits and evoke feelings of joy and well-being, enriching the overall guest experience.

Sensory indulgence: The gentle glow and enchanting fragrances of candles create a sensory haven that aids guests in unwinding and destressing.

Aromatherapy benefits: Essential oils infused in wellness candles offer a myriad of therapeutic benefits, contributing to a holistic wellness experience tailored to individual needs.


As the hospitality landscape evolves, the demand for candles, particularly wellness candles, is poised for continued growth. Fueled by consumer preferences for natural and eco-friendly alternatives, coupled with candles' versatility as decorative accents and thoughtful gifts, the Indian candle industry is primed for sustained expansion.

Candles have transcended their role as mere embellishments in the hospitality sector; they have evolved into potent instruments for cultivating tranquility and well-being, aligning with the burgeoning demand for immersive wellness experiences. As the industry adapts to the evolving preferences of modern travelers, the fragrant allure of candles is poised to remain a defining element in shaping the future of hospitality.

This article is written by Umesh Singh, Founder & Director, Tara Candles.


About Tara Candles:

Tara Candles, founded in 2005 by Umesh Singh, is Asia's leading candle manufacturer, renowned for its commitment to quality and innovation. Specializing in pillar, floating, and container candles, Tara Candles caters to a diverse clientele, spanning thirteen regions within India and expanding its reach internationally. 

With a focus on organic materials such as beeswax, soy, and botanical extracts, coupled with essential oils known for their therapeutic properties, Tara Candles crafts products that not only elevate ambiance but also promote holistic well-being. 

From supplying candles to esteemed establishments like the Taj hotel chain, J.W. Marriott, Grand Hyatt, and ITC Sheraton group of hotels, to venturing into the pharmaceutical industry, Tara Candles has continually expanded its horizons. As the preferred choice for discerning clients seeking distinctive candle solutions, Tara Candles remains steadfast in its mission to illuminate spaces and enhance experiences through the timeless art of candlemaking.

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