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 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.