Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Carlen

Jill Carlen

Global Director of Spa Brands, Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Jill Carlen is the Global Director of Spa Brands at Hilton Hotels and Resorts overseeing the spa concepts and strategies for all Hilton brands including Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Conrad, Tapestry, the iconic Waldorf Astoria and the newest hotel brand, Signia Hilton.

Having spent almost two decades in the Spa and Hospitality industry, Ms. Carlen now applies her operations experience with her creativity and passion for wellness to provide hotel guests with the most innovative and exceptional experiences.

As an exchange student in high school, Ms. Carlen lived near a lavender farm in France. It was during this time where she learned about the healing properties of lavender, marking the beginning of a lifelong passion for wellness. Ms. Carlen would move to New York City later in life, where her love of everything spa led her to work in some the city's most renowned Spas including Exhale, Bliss, The St. Regis New York and The Deepak Chopra Center. In addition, she launched multiple spas and wellness facilities while working at the prestigious consulting firm Lexi Design.

Ms. Carlen then went on to run The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, winning Travel + Leisure's World's Best Hotel Spa Award. Ms. Carlen then took her years of experience in operations to her next adventure of launching L'OCCITANE spas all over North America in luxury hotels. She has been a frequent contributor to multiple publications including Elle Canada on line, Preferred Magazine, Sharp magazine and several beauty and wellness blogs.

Ms. Carlen holds a BFA from Florida State University and is a board member of the International Spa Association.

Please visit http://www.hilton.com for more information.

Ms. Carlen can be contacted at +1 703-883-6992 or jill.carlen@hilton.com

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.