One of the biggest trends to come from the millennial generation is the combination of work and travel. That generation loathes the idea of being chained to a desk. In reality, most generations share the sentiment, but it is the millennial generation that is actually doing something about it.
As technology improves, job markets change, flight prices decrease, and social media becomes an unshakable pillar of society, 20- and 30-somethings are trading in their retirement packages for plane tickets, hitting the road, and dubbing themselves "digital nomads." And now there is a new hotel concept that caters exclusively to this market.
Selina is a hotel brand created specifically for nomads and travelers that combines sleek, modern accommodations; beautiful destinations; and a central concept of connecting with others. The experience is more akin to an elevated, luxurious hostel, where socialization and connectivity are the prime selling points.
Created by Rafael Museri and Daniel Rudasevski, the concept came out of their real estate work in Panama. After globetrotting and connecting with locals wherever they went, they decided to take a stab at changing the hospitality industry, and they opened their first property in Venao, Panama, in 2014.
Now the company has properties 19 properties in six locations, including Mexico, (they are in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica as well). There are 28 in the pipeline. Each Selina property aims to minimize its footprint, and therefore revitalizes existing properties, upcycling old inventory and turning it into furniture. It offers volunteer activities and hosts awareness workshops, and it uses integrated waste management and recycling programs, all elements that are incredibly important to travelers nowadays, digital nomads most of all.
In Mexico there are Selina properties in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and San Miguel de Allende. Choosing a Selina hotel is, as the company describes it, choosing an adventure, whether it's beach, jungle, or city. The hotels have curated an inventory of local tours, adventures, and surf activities.
But what really sets Selina apart is helping travelers find that work-life balance. To do so, each hotel has a coworking space, which are open-plan office spaces with premium wifi, all with beautiful destination backdrops.
Each of the three Mexico locations have prime real estate: the San Miguel hotel is just a few steps from the main Cathedral, while the Playa property is right on Fifth Avenue. Selina Cancun gives travelers a different taste of traditional Cancun, with a city location, instead of one on the beach. It's not often that travelers will go to Cancun and stay in the city, but it appeals to that millennial traveler who tries to see a side of things that few other travelers see.
And Selina hotels keep costs low, because millennials want to see the world but not spend a fortune. Rooms at the Mexico properties can start as low as $15, but an average room rate hovers around $60.
What Selina is selling is a community. It's not a model that is for everyone, but then again, neither is digital nomading. But for those to whom it appeals, it's a combination of all the ingredients that millennials are hungry for.