Is it Possible That We Are Experiencing the Best of All Worlds?

By Naomi Stark President, Stark Service Solutions, LLC | April 09, 2017

The question that the Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Resort and Spa is exploring an answer to, as are many others, is: “How do we honor authentic hospitality, our rich history, our unique timeless gem of a property, and remain relevant for future generations – starting with Millennials?”

The sad, but honest truth is, the guests that have been patrons of this particular historic landmark are getting older. As they travel less, their business is coming to a close. So how does this property and all in the industry for that matter, ensure that Millennials and future generations choose them to create their time honored traditions and memories? The answer just might be one of the easiest hoteliers have had in over 20 years.

An Experience for the Books

Just over 20 years ago, I had what I consider to be, the best start in the hospitality industry. I was part of the early days of what was then, the Orchid at Mauna Lani, a Sheraton ITT Luxury Collection property. I ‘was just a server’ who wanted to get as far away from cold snowy New England weather as possible. I was ready for adventure and wanted to meet people from around the world. What better way to do that than to work in the hospitality industry! The adventure was just beginning. Even then I recognized that I was part of a very special team, at a very special time. Now, more than 20 years later, props to LinkedIn, many of us who worked together ‘back in the day’ are still connected and have gone on to build exciting careers. I am willing to bet that if you ask anyone from that ‘era’ they will tell you that it was a moment in time that we will all cherish. The experience was one for the books!

Why am I sharing this story with you? Because, that experience epitomizes what we are all striving for – an experience – whether as a guest or as an employee – we want to experience things. We want to matter and we want to make a difference. We all have jobs, careers, titles, whatever, but being part of something, part of an experience, that is the ideal.

Besides the fact that I always like talking about my Hawaii experience, there actually is a lesson from that hotel experience that is directly relevant to Hotel Executive’s April theme. Experiences are what Millennials – the tech-centric generation are actually looking for. How does this benefit hotels and their bottom line?

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Joey Yanire
Scott  Watson
Banks Brown
Jerome G. Grzeca
David C. Marr
Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.