Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Araya

Andres Araya

Managing Director, Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain

A consummate hotel executive with 25 years of experience with leading luxury hotels worldwide, Chilean-born Andres Araya took the reins of Spain's exclusive and historic Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine hotel in 2010. During the first two years, he guided the 900-year-old abbey through a sensitive restoration to convert it to a unique hotel, that earned it an award from the European Union for conserving cultural heritage, and committed to making LeDomaine a property that would be on the wish list of every discerning global traveler. He opened the new hotel in March 2012 with the first complete butler service in Spain and in 2015 oversaw the addition of a spa that is among the best in Spain. As part of his F&B strategy to position LeDomaine as a world-class culinary destination, he partnered with one of the world's superstar chefs, Spaniard Andoni Aduriz; within two years, in 2014, the hotel had earned a Michelin Star. Today, LeDomaine is one of Spain's most renowned properties, recognized as the country's #1 hotel in several prestigious magazine and industry rankings, while the Abadía Retuerta wines have been recognized as being among the Top 100 Best in the World by Wine Spectator. Mr. Araya's distinguished career includes serving as managing director of internationally acclaimed, Five Diamond Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, and holding executive positions with the Ajman Kempinski Hotel & Resort, United Arab Emirates; Conrad Cairo Hotel & Casino, Cairo, Egypt; St. Regis Aspen, Colorado; Sheraton María Isabel, Mexico City, and The Palace of the Lost City, Sun City, South Africa.

Please visit http://www.ledomaine.es for more information.

Mr. Araya can be contacted at 34-983-680-368 or info@ledomaine.es

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.