Customer Loyalty and Toronto’s New Luxury Hotels

A few week’s ago, local newspapers lauded the sale of a $28 million penthouse suite in the new Four Seasons in Toronto, currently under construction.  With a sale price in excess of $3,000 per square foot (quite possibly the highest anywhere in Canada), this opulent transaction sparked me to reassess and lend my thoughts on the surprising luxury hotel construction boom well underway here in my hometown. It seems as though every luxury hotel chain on Earth decided that this city is the place to be, and all within a narrow timeframe.  Looking at the luxury hotel segment, here are the newcomers, in order of their opening date: Thompson Hotel, opened Spring 2010, 102 rooms Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square, opened Fall 2010, 171 rooms The Ritz Carlton, opened early in 2011, 267 rooms Trump International Hotel & Tower, scheduled to open late in 2011, 256 rooms Four …

Larry MogelonskyCustomer Loyalty and Toronto’s New Luxury Hotels

An Interview with Sir Royston Hopkin of Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada

Spice Island Beach Resort is a benchmark for Grenadian tourism and a key influencer of Caribbean luxury as a whole. Leading this prestigious property is chairman and CEO, Sir Royston Hopkin. His property is an upscale hideaway nestled along the palm-studded Grand Anse Beach on the island of Grenada. Hopkin’s expertise on luxury Caribbean travel is exemplary, and discuss here he discusses emerging trends. Tell us a little bit about this five-star paradise called Spice Island Beach Resort. Spice Island Beach Resort is, in essence, exactly what Grenada’s hospitality is all about. Grenada is the opposite of a mass-market destination, where the emphasis is on boutique properties instead of the high-rises found elsewhere. Our guests choose Grenada because they want a culturally authentic experience without the crowds one would find at other destinations. Spice Island Beach Resort delivers unparalleled luxury and privacy accented by world-class service and a gourmet culinary …

Larry MogelonskyAn Interview with Sir Royston Hopkin of Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada

LMA Launches New Website for CAPCO Health Group

Based out of Toronto, CAPCO Health Group provides major medical insurance for Canadians and international markets.  Partnered with Lloyd’s London and HCC Medical Insurance Services, they offer Executive Health Options and travel insurance to both individual and corporate accounts along with Health Assistance Services. The new website was a complete redesign from the ground up with a fully optimized site architecture and navigation.  In terms of content management systems, the Used Structure module of ExpressionEngine2 was employed to handle nearly every part of the site, including refined control of the homepage rotator, a password protected section for Producers and YouTube video integration.  Check it out and see for yourself!

Jerry GrymekLMA Launches New Website for CAPCO Health Group
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How Hotels Can Use Hipmunk

If you think that online hotel queries start and stop at Expedia, then you’ll be missing out on a neat website that has just recently gathered steam. Before I divulge on the nuances of this search engine, let me first digress and explain that the term “hipmunk” describes bringing a new sense of simplicity and suaveness to an otherwise established industry, delighting customers in the process. And Hipmunk.com does just that for online hotel searches. Starting first as an online fight search engine late last year, Hipmunk promptly expanded to hotels, modeling their website on speed and ease. The creators don’t want you to waste any time finding what hotel is right for you, and when you visit the site, this aspect becomes quite apparent. The only criteria for you to choose are the city, arrival and departure dates, and the number of rooms and guests. “If it’s so simple, …

Larry MogelonskyHow Hotels Can Use Hipmunk
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Meet the Managers: A One-Two Punch of Social Media and Face Time to Heighten Loyalty

Here’s a marketing creed that was scribed into textbooks well over 30 years ago, back when I was an MBA student: People connect with other people, and not necessarily with businesses.  For a long time, this wasn’t exactly feasible. Even in the hospitality world where personality is king, managers meeting customers on a one-to-one basis wasn’t always in the cards. Nowadays though, sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are paving the way for a resurgence of quality communication from management directly down to the consumer.  But look closely at this practice: nothing has really changed.  Even with the leaps and bounds of electronic messaging systems, people still crave that personal touch. Hence the title.  Whenever, or wherever, you can get your guests to ‘meet the managers,’ you’re not only giving your hotel a real face, but drastically enhancing client retention.  With this in mind, social media presents both a challenge and …

Larry MogelonskyMeet the Managers: A One-Two Punch of Social Media and Face Time to Heighten Loyalty
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SEO: Modern Day Snake Oil?

It never ceases to amaze me, as to how many unsolicited emails my clients get from companies promising to do wonders for a hotel’s website in terms of search engine optimization. Usually, these missives are well written in an onerous tone that has GM’s questioning their website, their web agency, their director of marketing and often all of the above. What’s a GM to do? Just how important is SEO, and can a “specialist” company really help? Above all, is there any value to the whole exercise in terms of true revenue generation? First, some notes. This article focuses on Google, which at this current time processes roughly two-thirds of all search activity. For those who purchase Google Ad Words, these appear as sponsored links on the right hand side or top of the page and are not influenced by SEO tactics. Positioning your product in this arena, combined with …

Larry MogelonskySEO: Modern Day Snake Oil?
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Advanced Facebook for Hotels: How to Turn Fans Into Influencers

This is THE big fish that should be on every hotelier’s mind. We all know that Facebook is important and that your status is first and foremost measured by your numbers of fans, but what does this number really mean? Is having 10,000 fans versus just 2,000 directly correlated to the fiscal amount of business you do? Fans range from people who have liked your page once to those who check in from time to time or visit multiple times a week. Frequencies aside, how do you gauge which of your fans are spreading the good word? Are they consistently recommending your hotel to their friends? Are they going out of their way to help grow your business? I don’t mean to discount a large fan base, not in the least. Brand awareness is the first move toward sales, but there are still many steps in-between. Instead of fans, what …

Larry MogelonskyAdvanced Facebook for Hotels: How to Turn Fans Into Influencers
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The Power of a Handwritten Note

Communication is too easy nowadays. With the trifecta of a computer, a cell phone and a printer, there’s no need to write out personal correspondence anymore.  That is, unless you want to make an impact. Take hotel welcome cards for example.  You arrive at your room and a colorful tray of fruit is waiting there ready to serve; a nice touch in and of itself.  But then you notice the greeting letter is a printed note.  It could have been made just for you or it could have been made from a template built years ago.  You don’t know. Now suppose that same greeting letter is a handwritten note with your name on it.  Regardless of length or what’s said, you know that someone had to physically take the time to write that note, and that it probably hasn’t been sitting around for too long either.  It sends a persuasive …

Larry MogelonskyThe Power of a Handwritten Note
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Hotel Manager Talk: A Podcast Dedicated to Hotel Employees

One of Larry's recent hospitality discussion article, “Double Deviations: Two Wrongs Never Make a Right” was recently featured on Issue #48 of Hotel Manager Talk.  Check out their website to listen to some great hot topics in the hotel world!

PRHotel Manager Talk: A Podcast Dedicated to Hotel Employees