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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
The biggest tech buzz in the biz right now is the iPhone 5, which will go on sale later this month.
Tech writers attended the launch event yesterday and shared details about what will make this product superior to (or at least different from) its predecessors. CNN played with the upgraded iPhone 5, as well as the iPod touch and iPod nano, and shared their impressions. From the front, the iPhone 5 looks just like the iPhone 4 and 4S, although it is somewhat taller. The display is the same retina display in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and now, the new iPod Touch, but is now 4-inches instead of 3.5-inches. The new iPhone has a faster, A6 processor that the site notes renders gameplay "incredibly fast." Also noticeably speedy was the new panorama feature in the camera app, which processed a 360-degree image of the room almost instantly. For many similar third-party apps, there's a short wait time while the images are stitched together. The demo devices were all running the new version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 6, which has Apple's first Google-free maps app. The Flyover feature turns cities into interactive, 3-D images, which will help hoteliers and concierges pinpoint attractions (and restaurants) for guests. The site notes, however, that Flyover is "more fun than functional," but perhaps the stunning graphics and turn-by-turn directions will distract consumers from what's newly missing from the Maps app, like the very useful public transit directions feature. But one notable feature that will impact users and hoteliers alike is the new port at the bottom of the phone: The New York Times notes that the Lightning port, as Apple calls it, is smaller and shaped differently from the old one, instantly rendering obsolete the millions of spare charging cords, docks and iPhone-ready clock radios that its customers have accumulated over the years. And while iPhone/iPod radios have become ubiquitous in hotel rooms, managers will now need to either replace their gadgets, or shell out for an adaptor (which, in turn, could be easily pocketed and swiped by less-than-forthright guests).
Marriott International, Bethesda, Maryland, has agreed to spend 75% of its 2013 FF&E budget with suppliers who are part of the MindClick Hospitality Sustainability Performance Index.
The index measures suppliers' corporate social responsibility, environmental operations, and product sustainability efforts. "Utilizing the MindClick Index to make sustainable FF&E purchasing decisions will help us choose suppliers who will improve our hotels' sustainability, reduce costs and enhance the guest experience," said Dave Lippert, Marriott's vice president of A&C procurement. "Ultimately, improving our environmental impact extends beyond our hotels and into our global supply chain."
Four Seasons is rolling out complimentary Wi-Fi connections in all house cars and contracted limo services, at all Four Seasons locations around the world.
Already in place in many destinations including the new Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, the service will be implemented company-wide by October 1. Cars may also be equipped with iPads offering hotel information such as dining and spa menus, and multi-adapter device chargers. "Four Seasons has always anticipated the needs of business travellers," said Chris Hunsberger, executive vice president, product and innovation at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "Just as our hotels have always been like a home away from home, for business travellers, it's an office away from the office. As we continue to introduce new innovations, we're taking that service approach beyond the hotel itself and into our house cars and limos, helping our guests maximize their productivity from the moment they leave the airport - and even while they move around town."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the premier manager of ultra-luxury properties around the world, is pleased to announce the appointment of Adrian Norbury to Director of Sales & Marketing for The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York City. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing innovative sales and marketing strategies for the legendary property. Prior to this position, Norbury served as Director of Sales & Marketing at Rosewood Crescent Hotel in Dallas for six years. In 2002, Norbury joined Rosewood Hotels & Resorts as Regional Director of Sales based in London and was responsible for sales efforts in the U.K. market. He then relocated to Texas to assume the role of Director of Sales for Rosewood's two Dallas hotels.
Renowned Australian chef and restaurateur Dietmar Sawyere has been named Chef and Director of Restaurants at Hayman, Australia's most awarded private island destination in the Great Barrier Reef. Swiss-born, Dietmar is recognized in Australia and internationally as one of the finest exponents of the ultimate culinary experience achieving benchmark levels of service and dining at the many award-winning establishments with which he has been associated. His long list of professional accolades includes being named Chef of the Year by the London Culinary Academy, being named Chef of the Year twice by the New Zealand Chefs Association, as well as garnering a host of restaurant awards before arriving in Australia in 1988. Dietmar has been a driving force in the evolution of Australian restaurants having created and run Le Restaurant at The Regent Melbourne, Gekko at Park Lane, Sydney and the legendary Forty One Restaurant, Sydney which won more than 45 best restaurant and wine list awards as well as holding 3 Chef's Hats in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for many years and winning Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Of The Year. Overseeing a brigade of 150 food and beverage professionals on Hayman, Dietmar is committed to delivering Australia's top resort food and beverage offering, "building upon Hayman's long-standing reputation for quality food and wine in a beautiful setting".
The Latest in Hotel Openings
A new hideaway private estate as unique as it is exclusive is to grace the northern shores of Indonesia's Bintan Island in the first half of 2013, aiming to put the island getaway on the map for sophisticated international travellers for the first time. Located on the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia, just 40km south of Singapore and a fast boat ride away, The Sanchaya is an exclusive beachfront Estate spread out over an expansive 1,300 hectares in the secluded Lagoi Bay area of Bintan. The ‘home-away-from-home' concept is conceived by a group of passionate and dedicated individuals, and takes as its inspiration the legacy and heritage of the various rich cultures of Southeast Asia. The Sanchaya, which is Sanskrit for "collection", is a bespoke collection of just 19 individually designed villas and 9 suites offering the highest standards of personal luxury, with top quality features including Bang & Olufsen televisions and integrated sound and vision systems throughout, and 462 thread-count Egyptian cotton Percale bedding in all the guestrooms. The guest experience on the estate will be warm and welcoming, like a private residence, which combines an all-inclusive-style service with the finest creature comforts, celebrating the opulence and mystique of the East.
The Greater Knoxville Metropolitan area welcomes a newly opened environmentally friendly Hampton Inn Hotel located in Clinton TN. Clinton is located along the Clinch River in a beautiful part of South eastern United States surrounded by the Smoky Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. "To protect the beautiful environment surrounding the hotel it was crucial that water and energy efficiency strategies were a key factor from the beginning stages of development" states Alpesh Patel Owner of Kana Hotel Group "It is rewarding to see the Hampton Inn Clinton, TN open its doors knowing that we were successful incorporating several solutions that will lessen our overall environmental impact".
Hospitality major Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group will open 14 new hotels in India by the end of 2012 in different segments. The hotels will be across the company's four brands -- Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza, which cater from mid-scale to premium segment.
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