Guest takes room key card at check-in desk of hotel, close up

Early Birds Are Angry When They Don’t Get Their Worm

A wedding in the family served a worthy excuse for a Saturday night sojourn to a resort hotel in a small city two hours away from my hometown of Toronto. The venue was immaculate, the bride was stunning, the speeches were uproarious, the food was great and the whole shebang went off without a hitch. But an issue arose when I tried to arrange an early breakfast with my sister for the Sunday morning after the festivities. She had to leave relatively early at 9am because she had a grueling seven hours ahead of her for the commute back home. Unfortunately, the main restaurant at our hotel didn’t open until 11am. While not an outright deal-breaker, it was definitely cause for chagrin – a 9am start-time is vastly different than 7am or the crack of dawn when the real ‘early birds’ want their worm. Yet as an active member of …

lmaadminEarly Birds Are Angry When They Don’t Get Their Worm
Top view of four people having dinner together while sitting at the rustic wooden table

Redefining Casual Luxury Dining, LA Style

One of the cities I’m lucky enough to travel to for work on a regular basis is Los Angeles, where style meets substance and innovation abounds, especially where it concerns places frequented by whimsical celebrities or any other shiny-new-toy chaser. During a previous visit to the Montage Beverly Hills – an opulent five-star property in this uber-chic of chic neighborhoods – I sat down with the general manager, Todd Orlich, to discuss the choice to convert their premier and perennially successful restaurant, Scarpetta, into a whole new venture called Georgie. To sum up the rationale in a nutshell, when you are market leader in the luxury segment, sometimes you have to predict (and often create!) new trends in consumer behavior. Georgie is the result of anticipating a turn in the tide and acting before revenues or reputation suffered. On my most recent return to the sprawling metropolis, I finally had …

lmaadminRedefining Casual Luxury Dining, LA Style
Young Attractive Woman on a Farm. Woman Farmer picking fruit from her organic garden. Agriculture: woman picking ripe apples in garden during fall.

Become a Biodiversity Leader

As an avid supporter of the locavore movement, there is one other related and seldom discussed food initiative your property can take to both elevate your cuisine and to further help the environment. Firstly, the advantages for promoting local foods are clear. They strengthen your bonds to the community (which can result in additional business via word of mouth), they help reduce food miles as less petroleum (or other form of energy) is devoted to their transportation and, above all, they taste better. The moment you uproot a vegetable or pluck a fruit from a tree, the flavor clock is ticking as the molecules start to breakdown and bacteria accumulate. If you’re skeptical about this last point, compare the taste of a tomato fresh off the vine to one that’s been in the fridge for two weeks. While buying from local producers is a great first step, supporting biodiversity is …

lmaadminBecome a Biodiversity Leader

A Case Study in Soft Brand Conversion

The number of properties converting to soft brands such as Marriott Autograph, Hilton Curio, BW Premier, Loews’ OE and the like demonstrate a significant upswing in traction for this hybrid hotel category. Seemingly, a fine balance between the hotel having its own unique identity and gaining in operational expertise, loyalty programs and web booking advantages have wide appeal with both owners and the larger financial community that provides the necessary capital. In Philadelphia, with a new Four Seasons Hotel in the making, the brand’s venerable Logan Square property represented an ideal opportunity for a newly independent hotel to make its mark on the City of Brotherly Love. The resultant property makeover, managed by Sage Hospitality, is now part of the Hilton Curio group. The senior team saw this rebranding as a chance to develop a truly independent, destination property that builds upon James Logan’s historical significance to the city as …

lmaadminA Case Study in Soft Brand Conversion
Two glasses of white and red wine with food at sunset, toned

In Vino Veritas L: Love Every Region

As this is the 50th edition of the ‘In Wine There Is Truth’ column, it’s a good time to reflect on many of the oenophilic topics addressed in the past. As the Roman numeral for 50 is ‘L’, the first word that comes to mind is ‘Love’. That is, once you begin to truly engross yourself in viticulture, you’ll start to relish in all the details that distinguish the subtle characteristics of one bottle from another. Once you deepen your knowledge of all things related to this worldly grape libation, you’ll realize that wine is as much about what’s in the bottle (varietal, production methods, vintage) as it is where the bottle came from (terroir, climate, regional traditions). As such, it’s important to have a few key facts handy about each name of origin to further develop the narrative and appeal for a customer. In this sense, communicating that you …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas L: Love Every Region
Multi Generation Family In Sand Dunes On Winter Beach Smiling

Gray is the Green Part 18 – The Sandwich Generation

Generally ascribed to working parents in their late 30s through to their 50s (or older), a Sandwich Generation describes those among us who are caring for both those younger as well as those older in the family line. It can be quite an ordeal to raise children in addition to providing for enfeebled elders. But such burdens don’t stop travel, or more specifically multi-generational travel, and this is where your marketing team should spend some time considering your options. As a brief aside, although all four of my wife’s and my immediate ancestors have passed away, there was a stretch of time nearly two decades ago when both of my kids were young and the first step of every family trip was to consider the grandparents’ schedules. Paying for four airfares to Europe (plus that of whichever other blood relative was tagging along) was a tad out of my price …

lmaadminGray is the Green Part 18 – The Sandwich Generation
Autumn birch forest

Birch is the New Maple

In my ongoing pursuit for hotels in every corner of the world that are taking chances and offering truly exceptional experiences for their guests, I recently found myself in Cranbrook, British Columbia (BC) at St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, a 125-room property built 15 years ago. Located in the East Kootenays – the easternmost valley of the Rocky Mountains with the Purcell range to its west – the region is not only the sunniest part of the province but one of the few areas of the world that has more elk than people. Also close to the US border, Cranbrook has long catered to the forestry industry while the neighboring villages of Kimberley and Fernie are skiing meccas. Visiting St. Eugene in early June, though, outside was sweltering and instant proof for how Interior BC is able to make such great wines at such a northern latitude. While winter …

lmaadminBirch is the New Maple

Aerial Photography For Your Property

The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now imagine what a video says! Last year, some 750,000 drones – known to the professional industry as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and abbreviated as UAVs – were sold through big box retailers, with a forecast of over a million transactions this year. In parallel are frequent stories on the evening news recanting tales of UAVs making close contact with commercial aircraft in tandem with the fitting calls for regulation of this fast-growing, seemingly recreational activity. If you own or operate a large resort, golf course or rural property, aerial photography seems like a natural enhancement for your website or other digital marketing purposes such as sales videos. What would once have been an expensive, helicopter-based photo session can now be delivered cost-effectively through the use of UAVs. But before you ask your neighbor’s kid to pop his GoPro camera onto …

lmaadminAerial Photography For Your Property

Anticipating the Need for Change at a Successful Hotel Restaurant

Picture yourself as the manager at one of the finest hotels in the city, a property that is immediately recognized for five-star service, amenities, facilities and F&B. Your numbers haven’t just been consistently healthy for the past half decade, they’ve been superb with occupancy and guest satisfactions both holding steady as you increase ADR. With your business and operations in such a secure position, what are your steps? Anyone who has read more than one management textbook will tell you that nothing stays the same. While in this industry we pride ourselves on our hospitality traditions, we must nevertheless continue to try new features, adapt and implement fascinating new services if we are to stay afloat. In this particular case where the grass is already a shimmering verdant green, you must anticipate the need for change as a means to stave off the inevitable. This was the situation facing Todd …

lmaadminAnticipating the Need for Change at a Successful Hotel Restaurant
Delicious and healthy breakfast with fruits, berries and cereal, horizontal

Healthy Foods as a Wellness Trend for Any Hotel

I remember my early post-college days working for a Fortune 50 firm where there was limited regard for one’s health. Meetings held in a haze of tobacco smoke; cholesterol and calories were mere words undeserving of their accounting ledger; and trans-fats weren’t even known let alone demonized. We’ve learned quite a lot in the past few decades when it comes to health and wellbeing. Science has illuminated a better way of living while society has in turn become more receptive to these findings. In other words, there is now a growing and mainstream demand for products and services that will increase one’s vitality. This is doubly true now that boomers are beyond their prime and are looking for every means possible to live to their fullest. As a member of this demographic, I too can attest that once you hit a certain sexagenarian age, money becomes far less important than …

lmaadminHealthy Foods as a Wellness Trend for Any Hotel