Last week, the Kessler Collection announced its newly-accepted mode of payment making it the first luxury American hotel chain to embrace the cryptocurrency boom. The Kessler Collection owns eight establishments within the US; Mansion on Forsyth Park, JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Elliot Park Hotel, Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Beaver Creek Lodge, and the Grand Bohemian Greenville. Its move to accept cryptocurrencies is effective immediately at all eight of its hotels.
To facilitate this new arrangement, the Orlando-based hotel chain teamed up with BitPay, an Atlanta bitcoin payment service provider. With BitPay, the hotels under the Kessler Collection will accept several cryptocurrencies as payment, including, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Dogecoin. Cryptocurrencies have already been accepted as a form of payment in several other luxury industries such as real estate, automobile, and art. With the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, it begs the question, why not hospitality as well? Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Kessler Collection, Richard Kessler felt that cryptocurrencies were “one of the most innovative concepts in the hospitality industry right now.” Thus, prompting him to push for the Kessler Collection to accept payment through this mode.
“I believe cryptocurrency is only going to gain acceptance, and partnering with Bitpay allows us to offer more choices in the payment process,” Kessler said.
Fravy Collazo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Kessler Collection, was similarly enthusiastic about the acceptance of cryptocurrency. “This move will make it easier for guests traveling globally, both in time saved from going to a local currency exchange and in money saved with a lower exchange rate,” said Kessler’s CFO.
The Kessler Collection’s announcement included details on how the payment process would work. According to them, guests would receive an email invoice from the respective hotel, after which they would be able to select their preferred cryptocurrency for quick and easy payment.
On the partnership between the Kessler Collection and BitPay, Sonny Sigh, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of BitPay explained that payments done using cryptocurrencies were easier and would be beneficial to the travel and hospitality industry.
“Bitcoin payments are cheaper than credit cards and help international travelers make payments easier,” Singh said. “The Kessler Collection is one of the premier luxury hotel groups and is being very innovative and catering to their customers by allowing them to pay in bitcoin and cryptocurrency.”
However, despite the move to accept cryptocurrency payments, it remains to be seen if patrons will actually choose to use this new transaction method. One of the strategies preached by many Bitcoin investors is to “hold on for dear life”, or “HODL”.
As the Head of Business Operations and Strategy at Kraken, Thomas Perfumo explained to Business Insider, “If you are optimizing for growing your investments, a better question is ‘why would you go on vacation if you can invest those funds in crypto?”
Despite the gloomy outlook, one cannot deny that the Kessler Collection’s decision to accept cryptocurrency payment was an innovative one. While investors are largely advocating that we HODL, the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies could mean that in future it would become a more widely accepted transaction method. The Kessler Collection’s latest announcement could therefore, offer us a glimpse into the future of hospitality.