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Derrick Garrett

Just as the days of endless, tasteless buffets are gone from the all-inclusive resort experience, so are the endless, thoughtless playlists that come from the on-property sound systems. The à la carte restaurant approach that has become common place at all-inclusive hotels needs to be applied to music in the hotel industry. We'll take a look at how much music has evolved in the hospitality world and what needs to happen for it to come full circle as part of the branding and upfront story. Music is an important driver when it comes to the guest experience and the bottom line. Read on...

David Ashen

A rising renaissance in the roadside motel has prompted a growing trend in the transformation of the formerly dated designs to reinvented brands for the modern traveler. Building on nostalgia, the millennials' desire for authenticity and romance combined with wanderlust, David Ashen, principal and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores some of the more interesting trends in this category, including, for instance, the conversion of a typical Super 8 motel into an independent and funky property offering local and unique experiences that pay homage to the brand's past while highlighting today's conveniences and tastes. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

The explosive increase of hotel brands in recent years has reached an astounding level. Smith Travel Research recently listed 1,073 brands globally. Of the major hotel companies, Marriott, following its merger with Starwood, has accumulated 30 brands; Hilton has 14 brands, AccorHotels has 34 and InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has 14. New independent brands continue to pop up at a rapid rate fueled in large part by the insatiable appetite of millennials for new and unique experiences in their lodging choices. In this article we explore the advantages and disadvantages of brand proliferation and look at some of the unique new brands in some detail to understand their appeal. Read on...

John Tess

A quarter of the population, millennials are increasingly a targeted hotel consumer. Boutique hotels historically presented an alternative to standardized chain. Their edge however has been eroded by the arrival of soft brands, such as the Marriott Autograph and Hilton Curio. Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels, with 2,500 rooms under its control, attempts to expand on the boutique hotel by creating a truly unique place. As envisioned by its President, Bashar Wali, Provenance Hotels defines its audience as "forward thinking creatives" and sees its opportunity by smaller-scale properties that provide a more handcrafted or curated approach to design, operation and experience Read on...

Kurt Meister

Managing any hotel renovation requires management of a myriad of issues: budgets, deadlines, contractors, expectations and ongoing services to name a few. What often isn't top of mind in the early stages of a renovation is a plan to manage the inherent risk. This article addresses nine considerations every hotel operator needs to prioritize at the start of any renovation project. In fact, these nine considerations must take higher priority over your other considerations. Why? Because if you botch any of these nine considerations, many if not all of those other priorities mentioned above will be negatively impacted. Read on...

Cristine Henderson

Everything from clothing to condos are now produced with some degree of sustainable measures in mind. The extension of this practice to the hospitality industry might come as a surprise to some, especially with the added competition of short-term rental services such as Airbnb. However, sustainability has made its mark on the hotel industry and shows no signs of slowing down. Not only does this innovation help the environment and perpetuate social responsibility, but consumers love it. Read ahead for a more thorough investigation by Cristine Henderson, AIA, NCARB of Hoefer Wysocki of how the hospitality industry is incorporating sustainable measures to rebuild its foundations through design. Read on...

Steve Lee

Autonomous Driving Technology is opening a new era of Transpitality, a new form of Hospitality merging transportation and hotel into one form. Autonomous Mobile Hotels equipped with basic sleeping, working, and washroom functions will be providing door-to-door transportation service in between traveler's home and destinations, letting travelers use their travel time more efficiently and productively. Using Autonomous Driving technology, the Autonomous Mobile Hotels will serve as a personal vehicle and mobile hotel room, offering flexible schedules, lower costs, privacy, and comfort. With growing amounts of Autonomous vehicles on the roads, there will be emerging needs of Hospitality to fit the new paradigm. Read on...

Felicia Hyde

Travel has no age limit. This is one of the many reasons it's one of the world's fastest-growing industries and enjoyed by many age groups. From baby boomers to millennials to Gen X to the growing Gen Z cohort, each group has needs that drive their purchasing behavior. Pointedly, a hotel that appeals to one group may not resonate with another, so hoteliers must deliver a custom experience that leaves their target audience wanting more. To achieve this, consider these key design strategies that have transformed the multifamily industry when designing your next hotel. Read on...

John Tess

In a marketplace that increasingly places a premium on authenticity and extraordinary, historic hotels offer a spectrum of event venues, from elegant to quirky, but typically unique. There is always a temptation to concentrate on operational efficiency and standardization in designing new space, and certainly, flawless service is a key to a successful event. But whether a grand dame hotel or an adapted vintage building, there is value in embracing the special places and unusual character of older buildings, capitalizing on historic architecture to create memorable venues – which in turn feed the bottom line. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Hotel developers are realizing financial, marketing and operational advantages of building more than one brand on a single site and in many cases sharing a single building. Multi-branded hotel developments usually share back-of-house operations, administration, staff, recreational facilities and meeting rooms, but in order to maintain brand recognition and foster brand loyalty, they most often have separate entrances, separate lobbies and individual architecture and decor corresponding to each one's particular brand standards. In this article we will look at this relatively new product, how it is being developed today and what the prospects are for future development. Read on...

Stephen Jacobs

'Urban Resorts' are among the top trends in hospitality design right now, catering to people looking to escape to the city, rather than away from it. Urban Resorts offer the best of everything, allowing guests to stay in the urban core, while getting that sense of suburban retreat, with designs that bring the outdoors in, lots of natural light, rooftop amenities, sustainability and more. In a city like Toronto, which is at the forefront of North American tourism, we wanted to invite guests to feel like they're at the center of the excitement, without feeling like they couldn't escape it. Read on...

Alan Roberts

Whether developing a hotel in a major metropolis or rural town, the key to success is a collaborative effort between the hotel brand and ownership group that infuses flexibility and open communication at every stage. Alan Roberts, global head of Embassy Suites by Hilton, and Gregory Steinhauer, president of American Life, Inc., discuss how they worked together to marry out-of-the-box thinking with proven Embassy Suites' best practices when developing the Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Pioneer Square. The result is a customized and high-performing property that stays true to both its location and brand standards, delighting guests by delivering the amenities they have come to expect with unique locally-inspired flair. Read on...

Jackson Thilenius

Why should we consider hostels a hot new market? With the rise of the sharing economy and the power of millennial spending, there is a lot to unpack as to why hostels are thriving in this economy. Beyond being a growing trend, hostels are quickly driving more market share as they become a "go-to" for today's generation of savvy travelers who will spend less so that they can travel more without sacrificing value-based amenities they rely on. Jackson Thilenius, Principal at Retail Design Collaborative, elaborates. Read on...

David Ashen

With hoteliers' attention split between the boomer generations' affinity for luxury and the younger guest's preference for high technology and social interaction, David Ashen, principal and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores how hoteliers are catering to each group, separately-including trendy rooftop bars and combination bar/lobby areas for the younger set and refined restaurants and luxurious amenities for boomer guests-and the importance of flexible design elements to balance guest wants and needs across generations. Read on...

Ray Chung

Hotels today can and should use F&B to establish a unique personality. As guests increasingly look to bar and dining experiences for entertainment, hotels can take advantage of their venues to express themselves and leave a lasting impression. Restaurants, bars and even the event catering service can define a hotel as local, unique, lively and entertaining. To be competitive and ensure success in the long run, hotels should pay close attention to guest preferences, the design of F&B areas and the culture of the region and neighborhood, always striving to be original. Read on...

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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.