When an Urban Resort is the Concierge

By Michael Tall President & Chief Operating Officer, Charlestowne Hotels | November 19, 2017

Todayís travelers are drawn to urban resorts not only for their centralized locations, but for the feeling of connectedness within the larger destination they provide. When travelers walk through the door of the urban resort, they are stepping into an extension of the city.

Many different generations, from millennials to baby boomers, are seeking out urban resorts. Travelers perceive urban resorts as special, unique, interestingóand people of any generation with the mindset for authentic travel will flock to these hotels.

In order for the concept to work, the hotel has to provide certain amenities that distinguish it as an urban resort. Itís not enough to simply call a property an urban resort if the service, offerings, and amenities donít match up to the claim. The question is: Does your urban resort have the aspects that will appeal to todayís guests?

It Starts with the Team

While some players in the industry may think the urban resort concept starts with physical attributes such as dťcor, itís the people who truly make the experience. The hotelís team needs to be connected to whatís happening around the city in order to help facilitate a sincere bond between the guest and the destination. From the moment a guest steps on property to the point of departure, every staff member who interacts with a guest must make themselves available as a concierge, offering key insights and knowledge to empower the guest to craft a curated local experience.

Experiences, therefore, are central to the urban resort process for both employees and guests; without experiences, the concept remains an abstraction. By engaging employees with the ethos of their hotelís brand, they become inspired by its purpose and understand their role in delivering a guest experience that enables them to be in touch with, and be fascinated by, the richness of the culture that surrounds them.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: The Greening of Your Bottom Line

There are strong moral and ethical reasons why a hotel should incorporate eco-friendly practices into their business but it is also becoming abundantly clear that “going green” can dramatically improve a hotel's bottom line. When energy-saving measures are introduced - fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, linen cards, lights out cards, motion sensors for all public spaces, and energy management systems - energy bills are substantially reduced. When water-saving equipment is introduced - low-flow showerheads, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and serving water only on request in restaurants - water bills are also considerably reduced. Waste hauling is another major expense which can be lowered through recycling efforts and by avoiding wastefully-packaged products. Vendors can be asked to deliver products in minimal wrapping, and to deliver products one day, and pick up the packaging materials the next day - generating substantial savings. In addition, renewable sources of energy (solar, geothermal, wind, etc.) have substantially improved the economics of using alternative energies at the property level. There are other compelling reasons to initiate sustainability practices in their operation. Being green means guests and staff are healthier, which can lead to an increase in staff retention, as well as increased business from health conscious guests. Also, sooner or later, all properties will be sold, and green hotels will command a higher price due to its energy efficiencies. Finally, some hotels qualify for tax credits, subsidies and rebates from local, regional and federal governments for the eco-friendly investments they've made in their hotels. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating sustainable practices into their operations and how their hotels are benefiting from them.