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 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.