Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hall

Mike Hall

General Manager, The Westin South Coast Plaza

An accomplished hotel industry veteran, Mike Hall is The Westin South Coast Plaza's general manager. Since 2002, he has been at the helm of the luxurious 293-room property in Costa Mesa, California, considered to be Orange County's landmark hotel. Mr. Hall has also overseen major renovations at the hotel, where a multi-million dollar upgrade is slated for next year. During Mr. Hall's distinguished career he has held senior management posts with international hotel chains and resort properties, and leadership roles in hospitality industry organizations. Mr. Hall's previous experience with Westin includes serving as general manager of the Westin Horton Plaza Hotel, a 450-room upscale property in San Diego. There he oversaw major renovations of guestrooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. Mr. Hall was previously managing director of the luxurious Westin Diplomat Resort County Club & Spa in Hollywood, Florida, handling the pre- and post-opening of the $750 million oceanfront resort. He has also overseen regional operations for Starwood/HEI Hotels on the West Coast, including the 460-room Westin Long Beach. Mr. Hall's other senior management posts include serving as vice president of Operations, North America for Olympus Hospitality, and as regional vice president of Operations for Renaissance International Hotels & Resorts for the Western U.S., including Hawaii. Additionally, Mr. Hall has been the general manager of the Anaheim and Marina del Rey Doubletree Hotels, the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, the Lincoln Hotel in Dallas, the Hilton Hotel in Waco and at several Clarion Hotels chain properties in Colorado, Texas and Phoenix. Mr. Hall chairs the Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau and previously was chairman of the Long Beach Visitor and Convention Council. Under Mr. Hall's leadership, The Westin South Coast Plaza achieved the coveted “Best in Class” distinction in the annual Meeting Planner Satisfaction Index (MPSI), won a “Sales Leader of the Year” award from Starwood Hotels, and “Most Profitable Hotel” honors from HOST Hotels, and was rated first by the hotel's associates in “Best Place to Work” competition among all Starwood properties.

Mr. Hall can be contacted at 714-540-2500 or mike.hall@westin.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.