Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. McConnell

Emily McConnell

Spa Director, Dana Hotel and Spa

With over ten years of experience in the spa industry, Emily McConnell brings a strong background in dedicated leadership as well as aesthetics to the spa at the Dana Hotel and Spa. Ms. McConnell has previously worked as an aesthetician and a spa manager at a variety of prestigious Resort Spas in Chicago. Realizing at a young age that the spa industry was her passion, Ms. McConnell first attended Eastern Michigan University to earn a degree in Business. Shortly after college, Ms. McConnell traveled throughout Australia, Asia and Europe to research spa practices and treatments of diverse cultures. After working in the industry, Ms. McConnell decided to gain a more intimate knowledge of spa processes and operations. She went back to school to earn her Esthetic's License at Pivot Point International. She continues to use that vast knowledge and background to uphold the Dana Hotel and Spa name when it comes to quality and prestige. Ms. McConnell coordinates the development and technique of the spa treatments offered, and continuously researches new methods and products while referencing her extensive experience in esthetics.

Ms. McConnell can be contacted at 312-202-6064 or emcconnell@danahotelandspa.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.