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Steven Ferry

In an industry that is completely premised on the idea of service, and in which service is a key differentiator, it's a no-brainer to institute butler service. Butlers have always represented the pinnacle in service quality. After the initial required training, the running of a butler service is not much more expensive to provide than regular service, yet it allows rack rates to be raised and creates a loyal following of repeat visitors, as well as enhancing word of mouth and thus new business that make the investment most sound. Instituting butler service can be done gradually, perhaps instituting it on one floor, and at not such a great cost, especially when considering the return on investment. Fifteen rooms can be well serviced by four butlers on three shifts, for instance, with one of them assigned as Head butler. If service is to be 24-hour, then a fifth butler would be needed. Assuming an owner or manager decides to institute butler service, the next question is, "How?" READ MORE

Steven Ferry

The likelihood that any single hotel will be the target of a terrorist act is very small indeed, given the number of hotels in the world. The risks increase with the size of the hotel, its location, it being a trophy building or the destination of guests whose views are antipathetic to those of any of a variety of terrorist groups. Or perhaps the fact that it is an easy, soft target and offers a way of doing what terrorists do best: destroy buildings and lives, undermine the peace of mind and economies of whole nations. So how safe does that make any hotel? READ MORE

Steven Belmonte

How often do you as a hotel owner or manager stop to help an employee who may be struggling to keep up with his or her day-to-day tasks? What have you done to motivate the employee who simply doesn't care about doing a good job or going the extra mile to please a guest because it's just a job, a way to collect a paycheck?. With no risk and no up-front-cost, hoteliers can increase a line-level employees' take-home pay by as much as $130 a month, provide better voluntary benefits to employees, and thus decrease employee turnover. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Spas in resort and hotel properties are no longer an amenity that sets the property apart from its competitors - - spas are now a necessity and as a necessity, require more than build-it-and-they-will-will come planning. For the hotelier who is exploring the advantages of hiring a consultant or is already convinced that a spa consultant is a necessity for the project and wants to make a good choice, this article is intended to be helpful in understanding the role of the full service spa consultant and how to sort through the maize to find the right consulting firm for your property. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Spas are a necessity for resorts and hotels. The Spa Business is experiencing an exponential growth rate. The number of Spa Goers is growing. Spas are hotel profit centers. Great statements! Great trends! What are the realities that these trends bring? The supply of spas has grown to the point that competition and consumer knowledge has changed the face of the industry. Now it is not just "a spa" that is necessary for a resort or hotel, it is a spa with an experience that is special for each guest along with service that is so seamless that the guest is not aware of it. No matter how spectacular the architectural features, or chic the interior design, or how creative the spa menu; if the experience and service delivery falls short, then guests do not recommend or return to the spa. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

Thirteen years ago, when I entered the Spa Industry as the manager of a new Resort Spa, the number of spas and spa-goers were few and having a spa at a hotel or resort was a novel amenity that was not expected to be profitable. Soon it was realized that there was a demand for the spa experience along with greater expectations. Hotels and resorts then began to take the bull by the horns and realize that not unlike their other retail outlets; good concept planning, management and marketing were important to the spa's success. With the change in the spa's financial expectations came spas that were managed and marketed with increasing know-how. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

As everyone in the Hospitality Industry knows, our guests arrive with more than their luggage - - they also have their own personal baggage, which in turn interferes with their immediate enjoyment of their hotel-resort experience. Your hotel-resort spa is one of the quickest ways to help guests shed themselves of their stresses and begin to relax and appreciate the hotel-resort and its amenities. Spas are no longer a frivolous amenity to a hotel-resort. According to the International Spa Association's Spa Industry Survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, spas are a booming industry that will continue to grow. READ MORE

Jane Segerberg

You are probably reading this because you are anticipating building a spa within your hotel/resort property or you currently have a spa that could improve its performance. In the short history of spas in hotels and resorts, the definition of success has changed dramatically from a hotel amenity that should break even to an amenity that adds to the resort/hotel's market appeal, guest satisfaction and profit. Spas remain a very small portion of the overall hotel/resort gross sales, however, spa sales have risen and overall resort/hotel spa profits have risen dramatically. READ MORE

Arthur Weissman

The biggest obstacle to greening the hospitality industry - that is, trying to make its operations (including purchases) more environmentally sustainable - appears to be its presumption that being green has no real business benefit. In previous articles in this series, we have made a number of points to show ways in which greening can increase business revenue and reduce costs, but a more formal business case still needs to be made. In this article, we will discuss why such a business case is needed; what does and does not constitute a business case for greening; efforts to date to make the case; and what still needs to be done. READ MORE

Jane Renton

"Never relinquish clothing to a hotel valet without first specifically telling him that you want it back." Wits and wags throughout the ages have made much fun at the expense of hotels, usually for their failings. Oscar Wilde, while lying in a Parisian hotel, famously said, "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do." He died before the d'ecor was changed, or so the story goes. But, it is rare to find a joke about the failure of training. In suggesting that a hotel valet might need reminding to bring her clothes back, the American writer Fran Lebowitz may have made the only one about a subject that can be, after all, dreadfully dry. Or is it? Beyond someone simply looking for a bed for the night, the number one desire of most hotel guests, I believe, is to feel good. That may mean different things for different people but, overwhelmingly, it means, first and foremost, to be treated well, not by things but by people. READ MORE

Steven Ferry

How does one turn individuals from no matter what culture, country, familial and social background, who follow certain moral codes or not, into the epitome of a British butler and the quintessential service provider? Not a question most people ask, but it is one that has challenged trainers at the International Institute of Modern Butlers and which parallels the task facing trainers around the world trying to bring about some standardized level of high-quality service by employees in their hotels. We look for those with a service heart, with service experience, with some starting point upon which to hang the service culture established by corporate. And the result is generally mixed, ranging from very good to passable, more often the latter. Perhaps nowhere is it more important to think globally and act locally than in the hospitality industry of a global economy. READ MORE

John Tess

Recently, HVS International completed a nationwide study of over 120 historic hotel properties with a total of 27,935 rooms, comparing their operating performance against national averages. Their findings: Historic properties have outperformed national averages in both occupancy and average rate levels. This performance is particularly evident in superior revenue per available room levels. HVS ascribes this result in part to the more affluent nature of the patrons of historic hotels. Of particular value is providing a hotel alternative to "cookie-cutter" lodging experiences, often supported with added value by leveraging the historic character of the property with unique interpretive programs. This perspective is supported by a Travel Industry Association of America 2003 market study that noted a general increase in the travelers' desire to experience cultural, art, historic and heritage activities. The study revealed that 81% of travels who took a trip away from home in 2002 included at least one such activity in their trip. READ MORE

Peter Goldmann

Hotels, restaurants, casinos and resorts are notoriously desirable targets for thieves and con artists, mainly because of the large sums of cash flowing through these businesses. And, indeed, statistics do show that theft and fraud take a serious financial toll on the bottom lines of most hospitality entities. According to industry statistics, as much as 5% of annual food and beverage revenue is lost to fraud by hospitality companies. The good news is that there is a lot that hotel management can do to prevent and detect illegal activity that they're not doing now. READ MORE

Lynn McCullough

More often than not, your meeting planner clients will come to you with a set budget for their event-with set parameters for what they want in terms of food and beverage, decor and logistics. While it is good when clients know what they want, it is also good to suggest ways to enhance their event so that they look even better-and equally as important, these enhancements can improve a facility's bottom line. That is where upselling comes in. READ MORE

Steve Kiesner

With the cost of all energy supplies rising, the nation's electric power industry is committed to ensuring that electricity, one of our most versatile energy sources, remains affordable and reliable. We are investing in the nation's electricity system today. And we are advocating public policy positions to ensure that the supply of electricity can meet the country's ever-growing demand tomorrow. These supply-side measures will take time, but they are essential to keeping electricity affordable and reliable. In the meantime, hotels, and indeed all electricity customers, can help by making sure that they are getting the most value they can from each dollar they spend on electricity. READ MORE

Coming up in January 2024...