Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Urbat

Christian Urbat

Senior Vice President, Technical Services, Americas, Carlson Rezidor

Christian Urbat joined Carlson as senior vice president, Technical Services, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Americas, in January, 2011. Mr. Urbat's responsibilities include translating brand standards into technical standards; overall technical leadership for the owned and managed hotels—with a clear focus on the Carlson Hotels Real Estate Company (CHREC) portfolio and key flagships; and ensuring compliance of franchised properties with the agreed upon technical standards—overseeing the definition and execution of property improvement plans (P.I.P.) or other strategic investments in single properties. In this compliance work he will provide consulting assistance to the owners to help ensure alignment with the strategic direction of the brands. He further works in close cooperation with the Development and Operations teams. Mr. Urbat, who was born in Porta Westfalica, Germany, previously held various positions with Hyatt International as vice president of Technical Services for Europe, Africa and Middle East in Zurich, Switzerland, responsible for all building and site related pre- and post-development activities as well as renovations. Prior to that, he worked for Hyatt in various corporate positions and in Food & Beverage Operations across the U.S., China and Germany. Mr. Urbat has a master's degree in Culinary Art and a Bachelor of Arts degree in hotel management from Hotel Management College in Altötting, Germany.

Mr. Urbat can be contacted at 763-212-5451 or curbat@carlsonrezidor.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.