News Archive Search
Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Cruise employee gets revenge with workers' review site.
A cruise line employee is getting his own back by setting up a website forum to complain about problem customers. Launched this week, HowMayIAssistYou.co.uk is for workers in the service industry to swap stories. Founder Chris Bowen, who has worked six years for luxury cruise liners, said with so many customer complaint forums, it was time the workers had somewhere to vent their views. Bowen said the site is free to use and easy to register, with topics such as "Guest Say Whaaa?!?" and "Things Do Go Right Sometimes". He said: "Some things that I've heard coming from a guest's mouth can make your jaw drop."They expect everything to go without a hitch and if it doesn't, they are ready for an unrelenting attack on the nearest worker in order to be compensated with a gift voucher or free bottle of wine. Pathetic! " HowMayIAssistYou.co.uk is a forum that helps workers let off steam by sharing these horror stories with each other." "Websites whereby people who have sailed on ships can post reviews of their voyages inevitably turn into quite a negative place with crew members' names being revealed in negative scenarios." He added that sometimes guests would 'threaten' to name staff on review websites. Bowen plans to create a hub for people in the service industry which will include job searching and training sessions in the future.
Couples are still making honeymoons a priority, spending nearly three times more on this trip than a typical vacation, according to an Allianz Travel Insurance 2013 Travel Trends Survey of agents.
According to the survey, 67 percent of couples spend $2,500 to $5,000 for their honeymoon while another 23 percent spend between $5,000 and $10,000. The survey, which sought travel agents’ predictions for 2013 trends in travel, also asked what strategies honeymooners use to reduce costs. Twenty-eight percent of agents reported that budget-conscience honeymooners favor all-inclusive vacations, while 22 percent said couples shorten a honeymoon’s duration as a way to save money. Responding to the Allianz survey, 70 travel agents who offer Allianz Travel Insurance products provided their insight on honeymoon trends. With all the stress of wedding planning, agents said it’s no surprise that newlyweds opt for such relaxing destinations as the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, which are the most popular honeymoon venues. Tahiti and Europe were also named as favorite spots. When asked about the most popular time to honeymoon, 71 percent of the bookings were between May and September, with June being the most popular month at 44 percent.
Following a successful pilot programme, Westin Hotels & Resorts has launched its innovative fitness gear lending programme with New Balance.
Reinforcing the brand’s ongoing commitment to making fitness convenient for travellers, all 190 Westin hotels around the world are now offering the exclusive product loan programme to guests, enabling more travellers to stay healthy and fit on the road. "Westin's mission is to enable our guests to pursue their wellbeing when on the road and our partnership with New Balance not only makes packing much easier but provides a solution for those travellers who forget their workout gear or decide to exercise last-minute. The programme also helps us to continue to deliver on personalised experiences for our guests around the world”, said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Hilton Worldwide announced the appointment of Miguel Eugéne as cluster general manager of two hotels in Costa Rica: the 202-room all-inclusive Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa and the 169-room Hilton Garden Inn Liberia Airport. With 25 years in the hospitality industry, Eugéne joins Hilton Worldwide from Meliá Hotels International where he served as resident manager – director of operations of the Gran Meliá Cancún. Prior to this role, Eugéne acted as director of operations for Park Royal Hotels & Resorts leading the operation of eight resorts. He has also held general manager positions with Occidental Hotels in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean, as well as management roles at several hotels in Europe. Eugéne brings extensive operations experience having managed a number of hotel openings and renovations. Additionally, he is skilled in crisis management after leading the reopening plan of a property impacted by Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
Choice Hotels International, Inc. has announced that Thomas P. Bernardo has joined the company as regional vice president of franchise sales, reporting to David Pepper, senior vice president of global development. Bernardo has an established career in franchise sales, selling and supporting the growth of several franchised hotel brands, and brings extensive franchise experience to Choice Hotels. He will head up franchise sales for Choice’s distribution brands Quality, Clarion, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn for the U.S. Eastern region. Prior to joining Choice Hotels, Bernardo served as a key executive and sales professional for over 17 years with Hospitality Franchise Systems, later known as Cendant Corporation and recently Wyndham Worldwide, Inc. He has also served on various boards and committees throughout his career including, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association Advisory Board. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Resturant Admminstration from Cornell University.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
From the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced plans to open 50 new hotels in Europe over the next five years, increasing its European hotel portfolio by 30%. This year, Starwood will open nine new hotels across the continent, primarily in fast-growing markets, a key focus of Starwood’s long-term development strategy in Europe. At the same time, Starwood and its partners are making significant investments to restore and enhance some of the company’s most iconic European hotels. “Europe continues to be home to many of the world’s most sought-after destinations and to attract travellers from markets around the globe,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “There is strong demand for all of our brands on the continent and, after years of tight supply, we are seeing great deal signing momentum in Europe both in established and rapidly growing markets.”
A fixture on the Sunset Strip since the day it opened, Morgans Hotel Group unveiled the latest transformation of its celebrated Mondrian Los Angeles property with the introduction of three new public spaces this month including new poolside cabanas, a lobby bar and café, and specialty curated lifestyle shop, BASE. Originally designed by the visionary Phillipe Starck in 1996, with recent design updates by the acclaimed Benjamin Noriega Ortiz in 2008, this month Mondrian Los Angeles also completed a chic remodel of the hotel's lobby and celebrated nightlife destination, Skybar, achieving the perfect balance of glamour and serenity.
Switzerland's Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz completed the $7.7-million renovations of its seventh and eighth floors. The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland was also supplied with new furniture. Furniture was brought from all areas of the hotel to Austria, revitalized and delivered again to St. Moritz. At the end of the renovation period, a refurbished public area and a new bel étage with 28 suites were presented.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has unveiled plans for a 215-room luxury hotel in Madrid, its first property in Spain. The hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2017, will be part of a mixed-use development housed in a series of historic buildings comprising what's known as the Canalejas complex. Other components of the project will include Four Seasons-branded condminium residences, a high-end shopping center and a parking garage. The location is in easy walking distance to Madrid's major landmarks and city center.
Visit our sponsors