Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Emmenes

Michael Van Emmenes

Director, Food & Beverage, Landsdowne Resort

Born in South Africa, with a passion for food/beverage, service and travel, Michael Van Emmenes left his country and jumped on cruise ships to travel gain exposure to various cultures, customs and people. He was very fortunate enough to travel through Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Mediterranean. All ports of call offering him new insight into various foods, beverages and service levels. Post cruise ships, Mr. Van Emmenes knew the importance of an education and attended the Swiss Hotel Management School in Caux, Switzerland - studying Hotel Management with a specialty in Events. While attending college he was fortunate enough to land internships at the prestigious Lausanne Palace in Switzerland and then at the One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai (part of the Kerzner Collection). After graduating Mr. Van Emmenes secured a position at the Hilton Atlanta where he honed his service skills; while working there he had opportunities to travel and assist various sister properties (including opening of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort). After 3 years in Atlanta Mr. Van Emmenes received a promotion and moved to Chicago where he worked at the historic Palmer House Hilton; assisting the hotel through the $200m renovation of the hotel and creating the hotels new concept restaurant and bar. Mr. Van Emmenes was then asked to join the opening team at the Hilton Orlando Convention Center. The hotel won the Connie Award for best service within the company - an accomplishment he believes is from the execution of hiring the right team for the perfect job. Mr. Van Emmenes has now settled down in Northern Virginia at Lansdowne Resort as Director of Food and Beverage and hopes to bring his service culture, personality and passion for the industry to his new found home.

Mr. Van Emmenes can be contacted at 703-858-2107 or mvanemmenes@benchmarkmanagement.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.