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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Decker

Discovering Hotel Azul de Oaxaca: Key Insights & OnSite Analysis for Growth & Branding Opportunities

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

We founded Immrse Partners on the fundamental belief that our full immersion in every aspect of a property is the most effective way to understand and define its true essence. By investing time onsite, we gain invaluable insights into the true guest and employee experience, allowing us to craft tailored branding and business strategies based on each property’s unique needs. Having that face time is crucial, and unlocks opportunities to reveal compelling stories that secure press coverage, captivate audiences, and foster meaningful staff connections.


Taylor and I had the privilege of spending an entire week at Hotel Azul in Oaxaca during September. Our time there was priceless, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with the property, staff, and surrounding areas. During that time, we were able to effectively define possibilities for the brand by merging our in-person experience with their existing online presence.


Our experience served as a foundation to offer strategic optimizations for enhancing community engagement, polishing their brand identity, and clearly showcasing their amenities and value. From this, we were able to provide guidelines on how to integrate our recommendations within paid and organic efforts to increase bookings and build brand love.


Entrance of Hotel Azul de Oaxaca
Entrance of Hotel Azul de Oaxaca

Hotel Azul de Oaxaca - Hotel and Gallery: Where Artistry Meets Hospitality


Nestled in the heart of the enchanting and historical city of Oaxaca, Mexico, Hotel Azul de Oaxaca is a boutique hotel that seamlessly blends art, culture, and warm hospitality. Hotel Azul captures the essence of Oaxaca's rich heritage and contemporary vibrancy, and offers lodging, amenities, and food options that are truly unique and grounded in authenticity.


The property offers 20 guest rooms, five of which are spacious suites that are each designed by local artists from Oaxaca. While we were staying at Hotel Azul - we learned that this wasn’t just a place to stay; the property is a destination in itself that celebrates the cultural richness and artistic spirit of the city.


On-Site Learnings & Observations


Hotel Azul does a great job at showcasing their property, amenities, and brand on their website and social channels, but after staying on-site and reevaluating their digital presence, we found that the hotel is much more magical in person.


We found so many opportunities for Hotel Azul to integrate their charming and elegant personality into their digital assets to truly capture and highlight who they are, what they value, and what makes them so special. Some of the things we learned while we were with them are:


  • Hotel Azul’s brand prioritizes and values artistic elegance.

Hotel Azul is a living canvas of creativity. We learned that each guest room and common space was designed by local artists and features handcrafted artworks and textiles, reflecting the region's celebrated artisanal traditions. We also learned that the hotel itself has art throughout the space that’s swapped every 3-4 months (and at times more frequently when they’re purchased by guests!).


Their website and social platforms highlight that rooms are designed by specific artists, but doesn’t specify that they’re local to Oaxaca. Currently, there’s no mention of the common areas designed by local artists, the consistently rotating art features throughout their space, or that featured art on the premises is for sale.


  • The on-site restaurant provides substantial breakfast and dinner menus.

The hotel's website and online presence mentions that they have a restaurant that showcases the diverse and flavorful cuisine of Oaxaca – but there’s no way to look up the menu online to see the wide variety of options available, what meals they serve, and what the hours for their restaurant are.


  • Their prime location is the safest neighborhood in Oaxaca

Situated in the historic center of Oaxaca, Hotel Azul isn’t just centrally located providing easy access to the city's cultural treasures (the Santo Domingo Church, the Zócalo (central square), and Mercado Benito Juárez), but is also one of the safest neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca. Any time of day or night, from 6AM to 2AM, we felt safe exploring the surrounding area of the city.


  • The hotel staff’s warm and attentive service is unparalleled.

Hotel Azul’s staff consistently goes above and beyond to ensure every guest's stay is memorable, offering personalized recommendations and assistance. Leading up to our stay and while onsite, the hotel’s team kept in constant communication via Whatsapp and email to ensure that we had all of the resources we needed including airport transfers and excursion/tour reservations.


  • Hotel Azul has a variety of partnerships and amenities that enhance the guest experience.

Hotel Azul has a variety of partnerships with local tour guides, and will provide group bookings and travel coordinations, as part of your stay. Guests can partake in cooking classes, mezcal tastings, and explore the vibrant markets and artisan workshops nearby. The hotel also has a very robust partnership with Casa 2 Lagos, a beautiful events venue, if you’re coordinating an event for any occasion.



Translating On-Site Learnings & Insights into Strategic Action


  • The brand prioritizes and values artistic elegance.

Though Hotel Azul's online presence and marketing efforts hint at their devotion to art, delving deeper into the roots of this commitment and the extent to which it defines their brand convinced us that they should amplify this aspect in their messaging to accentuate their passion. This can be implemented by:


  • Specifying Local Ties: Mentioning Hotel Azul’s support within the local community by specifying that the artists who designed the rooms, common areas, and have featured art on the property are local is an allure for tourists and the community alike. Another way to highlight this support would be to link out artist’s websites or galleries when they’re mentioned on their website and social pages – which will enhance their reach of audiences for performance, and increase the number of backlinks for each site, making it a win-win situation.


  • Elaborating on Inspiration: The website mentions that the suites are designed by local artists, but doesn’t dig any deeper into where the inspiration stemmed from, and how the artists collaborated with the hotel to get the final product. Knowing the story of how each room was designed, and making that more prominent, gives the guests a deeper appreciation for the attention to detail throughout the property and makes it more memorable.


  • Showcasing Rotating Art: Neither Hotel Azul’s website or social channels advertise how frequently they rotate featured art on the property. Telling the stories of the artists and how the pieces got there not only gives the hotel more content from a unique angle, but also assists the artists.


  • Advertise that Art is for Sale: Informing guests during check-in or visitors who dine at the restaurants on-site that the artwork is available for purchase is an excellent means of supporting the artists and ensuring everyone knows these pieces are for sale. Another effective method is to place plaques or QR codes near each piece, highlighting this unique feature.


  • The on-site restaurant provides substantial breakfast and dinner menus.

Hotel Azul has very diverse and sophisticated breakfast and dinner menus that offer a wide range of fresh foods. Although the menus are locally inspired, the items offered are unique and gourmet, most of the dishes cannot be found in other restaurants around the property.


  • Add the English and Spanish Menus Online: Linking out your english and spanish menus within a PDF on your website to review what’s currently available isn’t only a useful tool to current and prospective guests, but also to visitors who may want to eat at your restaurant who aren’t staying on the property.


  • Register the Restaurant on Google Maps: Enhance your restaurant's online presence by registering it on Google Maps. This not only boosts your digital visibility, but also entices outside visitors to check out your property in person, all while allowing you to effectively display your menu and offerings.


  • Their prime location is the safest neighborhood in Oaxaca

Google Trends shows us that within the last 6 months (6/25/23-9/21/23) over 1,000 people have searched for “Safe places to stay in Mexico”, 100% of that traffic coming from the United States.


  • Showcase your neighborhood’s selling points: Outside of showcasing selling points of your area like restaurants, historical sites, stores, and art galleries - research search trends to see what other relevant selling points you should highlight on your website to help with organic search results, guest communication, and supporting your unique selling propositions.


  • The hotel staff’s warm and attentive service is unparalleled.

Hotel Azul has numerous positive reviews regarding their staff across review platforms, and guests consistently rave about the accommodating and warm atmosphere they create on-site, and their considerate attention to detail.


  • Share positive guest testimonials on your socials and website: Sharing positive testimonials from previous guests is an excellent way to enhance credibility. By showcasing aspects such as exceptional service and delightful food from the guest's point of view, you establish a solid foundation of trust and pique the curiosity of potential guests.


  • Feature employee highlights on your social pages: People are naturally curious and have an affinity for stories. Numerous guests mention specific employees for their exceptional hospitality and service within their reviews of the property. Consider recognizing team members online; this allows past and prospective guests to develop deeper connections with your staff.


  • Hotel Azul has a variety of partnerships and amenities that enhance the guest experience.

Between tours and event space partnerships, there’s a lot of resources available to guests and visitors alike at Hotel Azul. Although there are tours listed on the website, and link-outs to event space partnerships, it isn’t immediately clear what those relationships are, what you’ll be doing if you book, how long they’ll take, and what’s included.


  • Prioritize clear communication: If your hotel has partnerships with local wedding venues, communicate this clearly. Provide in-depth information about your relationship with the venue and any advantages of booking through the hotel. For tours, offer comprehensive details, including pricing, schedules, location, itinerary, and inclusions. If the tour involves creating something or offers souvenirs, provide specific examples. Encourage past participants to share their reviews, which can be featured on your website. This way, prospective guests can gain insights into what to expect and the value they'll receive.


What can you take away from our experience at Hotel Azul?


Hotel Azul possesses numerous strengths and abundant opportunities to attract future guests, restaurant patrons, and tour bookings. To tap into these opportunities, it's crucial to clearly convey the hotel's efforts and value to its target audience.


While hotels often offer more than they advertise, failing to showcase these offerings on owned media channels like your website and social media can leave potential guests in the dark about the full experience. Never underestimate how these details can sway prospective guests and set your property apart from competitors.


If your property is seeking innovative ways to discover and promote its unique niche, stand out in a competitive market, and fully embrace its brand's vision, consider consulting with an expert. Unlock the power of a fresh perspective – let's chat!

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