Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Shindle

Don Shindle

General Manager, Westin Verasa Napa

With more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, ranging from rooms division, food and beverage, to sales, marketing and finance, Don Shindle brings a wealth of knowledge, strong leadership, and a passion for luxury hotel operations to his role as general manager of The Westin Verasa Napa. Before moving with his family to Napa, Shindle pursued his career in hotels throughout his native Canada, including The Algonquin in St. Andrews NB, The Delta Chelsea Inn in Toronto Ont., The St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort in Canbrook BC, and The Westin Resort & Spa in Whistler, BC. Before his current role at The Westin Verasa Napa, Shindle served dual roles as general manager of The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain in Ontario and Regional Vice President of Intrawest Hospitality Management (IHM), dividing his time among the company's North American destination resorts. While in that position, Shindle was responsible for implementing the design, development, opening and ongoing operations of several of Intrawest's North American properties, including The Westin Monache Resort in Mammoth, Calif., The Westin Imagine in Orlando, Fla., Honua Kai Resort on the Island of Maui, Hawaii and The Westin Verasa Napa. Under his watch, The Westin Verasa Napa was named the 2011 Gold Magellan Award Winner for Hotels and Resorts in the Lobby & Common Space Design category, the 2013 Silver Magellan Award Winner for Hotels and Resorts in the Pool Design category; won the Great Wine Capitals' Napa Valley 2011 Best of Wine Tourism award in Accommodations; and was honored with the AAA Four Diamond Award in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 which recognizes upscale facilities, attentive service, and a high standard of hospitality. Shindle is the recipient of the 2012 Napa Valley Community

Mr. Shindle can be contacted at 707-257-1800 or info@westinnapa.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.