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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
In-room tablet computers are becoming increasingly common - but what features should they offer guests? SuiteLinq Inc., a single-source provider of in-room, on-site and mobile content, connectivity and commerce to hotels, has 10 suggestions.
Guest Services: Present concierge services, food-and-beverage promotions, restaurant reservations, room-service ordering, wake-up call, housekeeping requests, surveys, etc.
Integration-Ready POS: Connect spa management systems, ticket purchasing, and similar reservation-booking engines enabling commerce from the room.
Message Center & Marquee: Engage in two-way messaging between staff and individual rooms, floors, group codes, or the entire property.
My Account: Allow access to folio review, express check-out, loyalty program integration, parental controls, and language preferences.
Travel Info: Display flight tracking, local weather, local traffic, world time, boarding pass printing, and airline and transportation information.
Maps and Wayfinding: Help guests travel from point A to point B by offering easy to navigate wayfinding tools. Identify hotel outlets, meeting rooms, recreational facilities, and surrounding area activities.
Business Services: Provide Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint file creation and sharing plus from-room document printing.
Social Media: Drive new followers and use positive posts as content to drive on-site venue patronage.
Embedded media advertising: Invite third parties and local retailers/entertainment venues to share in revenues by promoting their services to guests.
Booking Engine: Entice your guests to make a reservation for their next stay at your hotel offering rewards for immediate booking while they are thoroughly engaged in their stay experience.
Asia Pacific, with its relatively strong economy, is likely to see the strongest growth among regions in both spending and the number of meetings in 2013, according to new data from American Express.
The number of meetings in Asia Pacific is expected to increase 6.4% while the overall meeting spend will increase 4.2%. In North America, economic uncertainty is expected to keep meeting spend and number of meetings relatively flat, while Europe will likely experience declines in both as it continues to face a currency crisis and, due to political instability in some markets, Central/South America is also expected to see slight declines overall, especially in spend.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Gordon Burniston has been appointed General Manager of Wood Hall Hotel & Spa, a splendid 18th century mansion near Wetherby, West Yorkshire, part of the award-winning Hand Picked Hotels collection. Scottish-born Gordon, 41, who started his hotel career at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, joined the Hand Picked Hotels’ team in 2009 and spent three years as Deputy General Manager of Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa in Nantwich, Cheshire. He is delighted with the move, and is enjoying life in Yorkshire. He said: “I went to university in Sheffield so I’ve always had a soft spot for the region. I am keen to build on Wood Hall Hotel & Spa’s presence as part of the local community. It is a stunning venue – perfect for events, special occasions and weddings.”
KOP Hospitality, a subsidiary of KOP Properties, has appointed Aloysius Michael as General Manager of Montigo Resorts, Nongsa, a sprawling 12-hectare property located on the exclusive north-east shore of Batam Island, Indonesia. Aloysius, in his new role, will be responsible for all operations, sales and marketing aspects of the five-star resort. Michael has an extensive background in the hospitality industry and was most recently with Dusit International as Corporate Director of Rooms and was instrumental in the opening of the Dusit Thani Maldives. During his tenure with Dusit, he also held various leadership roles as Resident Manager for the company’s hotel apartment in Dubai Marina, and as Resident Manager for the 457-room Dusit Thani Pattaya. Aloysius started his career in hospitality as Guest Services Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, where he also assumed management roles such as Communications Manager, Rooms Division.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson have opened their second 21c Museum Hotel, this time in downtown Cincinnati. The new hotel is located in the restored Metropole Hotel. Deborah Berke gave the property its comfortable and contemporary design in collaboration with architect Alan Weiskopf of Perfido Weiskopf + Goettel. The design preserves the exterior terra cotta tile, the staircase that leads to the second-floor ballroom, and the original mosaic tile floors in the restaurant and elevator lobby. The 156-key hotel will launch a spa soon and a rooftop bar in the spring.
Accor's luxury Sofitel brand will make some major inroads in the Middle East next year: Hotelier Middle East is reporting that two properties will open in Dubai, while another opening was announced earlier for Riyadh. In Dubai, Sofitel The Palm will be the first of two hotels to open in the first half of 2013 on the east crescent of the Palm Jumeirah island, with 361 guestrooms and suites, its signature So Spa with 28 treatment rooms, including four outdoor cabanas, four meeting rooms and a 600-person ballroom, as well as 10 F&B outlets. The second property to open will be the Sofitel in Dubai’s Downtown area, in the second half of next year. The hotel has not been officially named yet, but is expected to include 350 rooms and suites, five restaurants and four lounges. A ‘Magnifique terrace’ overlooking the Burj Khalifa will have event facilities for up to 700 people. The Downtown property will also include a ballroom and 12 meeting rooms.
Although the Caribbean is largely seeing a drought of new development, Harlequin Hotels & Resorts is an exception to the trend. Harlequin has revealed details about its upcoming H, Barbados hotel, the first property under its lifestyle H brand, as well as other hotels under development in the Caribbean. The 69-room H, Barbados, located on a Hastings Beach boardwalk in Christ Church, is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2014. The hotel, a B$11 million (US$5.5 million) conversion of the former Allamanda Beach Hotel, will feature Mazu Restaurant & Bar, a new Harlequin Hotels & Resorts F&B concept, spa & fitness center, an HQ coffee shop and a retail boutique.
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