Boutique Super-Luxury Lives Amidst Behemoth Luxury Brands

The Hazelton Hotel is a very fascinating case study. Situated in the heart of the chic Toronto shopping enclave of Yorkville, this 62-room and 15-suite independent hotel opened in the summer of 2007 to instant applause and 5-star status. Since then, it has become a landmark for Canadian ultramodern hospitality as well as for its feature restaurant ‘ONE' and for celebrity spotting, especially during the Toronto International Film Festival. The Hazelton is also weathering a surge of new luxury brands to the city including the Thompson Hotel (opened June 2010), a Ritz-Carlton (opened February 2011), a Trump Tower (opened January 2012), Shangri-La (opening late summer 2012) and a new Four Seasons (also scheduled to open late summer 2012) – all of them substantially larger and able to leverage international corporate engines. Yet no one at the Hazelton is overly worried, especially David Mounteer, the GM, who believes that his hotel's …

Larry MogelonskyBoutique Super-Luxury Lives Amidst Behemoth Luxury Brands

300,000 Rooms Complete, 15,700,000 To Go

Summary: Clean the World is a three-year-old sustainability initiative to help improve hygiene and sanitation in third-world countries by partnering with North American hotels to recycle leftover soap bars in exchange for eco-friendly PR exposure. Because soap saves lives. It would be a rare GM or owner that would shun their responsibilities to our environment. Guests are known to appreciate the work done by a property to achieve LEED or Energy Star certification. These programs offer operational savings, but more often than not, the capital costs rarely pay off in the short-term. However, sustainability should be looked at not only within the property, but also in a broader sense; the world community. Forward-thinking operators are always looking for ways to contribute, especially when the benefits are measurable and the costs of execution are negligible. Clean the World is an Orlando, Florida-based not-for-profit organization. Yet, in the three years since it …

Larry Mogelonsky300,000 Rooms Complete, 15,700,000 To Go

In Vino Veritas: Making Your Wine List Work For You

Wine can be a big source of revenue for your F&B stream. It can also be intimidating. In addition to price, confusion and lack of knowledge are two barriers to purchase. Luckily, both can easily be avoided with a comprehensive menu redesign. (This article is more of a “Wine 101” for those properties without a well-defined wine program already in place. So, if this comes off as overly simplistic — which is one of the key points of my argument, by the way — then stay tuned for a later post when I discuss some more “sophisticated” wine strategies.) To begin, let’s use the example of the Yellow Tail wine brand, which was wonderfully illustrated in the marketing book “Blue Ocean Strategy.” The parent company, Casella Wines, worked hard to diffuse any bewilderment surrounding wine purchases by making it very simple for those with limited experience to understand. At its …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas: Making Your Wine List Work For You

Is Healthy In-Room Dining Possible?

When talking about the in-room dining experience – order-in menu, minibar and all – there appears to be a very powerful ‘healthy food never sells' stigma amongst hoteliers. I don't believe this to be entirely true. Guests want healthier options, but the problem is that the quick-and-now tendencies of our genetic makeup can overpower any drive for dietary perfection, especially when it comes to hotel dining and away-from-home cuisine.  It's the same fundamental reason that proper weight loss dieting is so hard to sustain. We're hardwired for junk food; that is, any calorie vehicle that delivers an instantaneous fix to replenish a brain's sugar levels. And our brain craves sugar. Most people have enough basic nutrition knowledge to understand that fruit is a better source of sugar than a candy bar and that a salad is better than a greasy burger. Unfortunately, junk food is simply too readily accessible. No …

Larry MogelonskyIs Healthy In-Room Dining Possible?

Lessons Learned from the Film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

  After being told by a friend to ‘run, not walk’ and see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I rushed to the theatre for a weekend matinee. Despite having been released several weeks prior, the film was still sold out. “Fair enough,” I thought, and made plans to see it the following Monday. But it was sold out that day, too! Clearly, this film was resonating with its audience, and I was now more determined than ever to see what all the commotion was about. After booking tickets in advance (like I should have in the first place!) and sitting in a still-very-packed theatre, I can safely say that the fuss is justified. Steering clear of all the CG effects, droning explosions and ADD-inspired editing which seem inescapable these days, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel focuses on what makes for genuinely great cinema: strong storytelling and well-drawn characters. The movie …

Larry MogelonskyLessons Learned from the Film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

More Commoditization as Google Joins the Fray

Have you had the time to check out Google Hotel Finder yet? If not, I suggest you go there right now (http://www.google.com/hotelfinder). Still in beta, this new software platform is bound to be a powerhouse of change in the next two years once it’s fully operational. But not all of its changes promise to be good for hotel brands. Google Hotel Finder is fast and sleek. Harnessing the power of Google’s search engine, Google Maps and any other web tools operated by this industry leader, the system makes it very easy for people to find hotels in a given location. The simplicity and universality of the map-overlaid, quick-click design makes it near impossible for Hotel Finder not to catch on. As with Adwords and the core functionality of Google’s paid search listings, this system chooses its top search results based on advertisement bids plus quality scores, with organic results popping …

Larry MogelonskyMore Commoditization as Google Joins the Fray

Ocean Crest Spa Site Debut

We’re pleased to announce another new website, one fitting the luxurious Ocean Crest Spa. With easily accessible information the focus is put on the ocean-inspired treatments and the packages offered by Ocean Crest. Social media buttons adorn the top and the Spa Menu and Spa Packages sections come to life showing off the tempting therapies. Please click here to visit the website.

Jerry GrymekOcean Crest Spa Site Debut

Chandler’s Coastal Cuisine Site Debut

Highlighting the beautiful view, open feel and first-class dining, we have launched the new website for Chandler’s Coastal Cuisine, the restaurant located in the new Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa. The website includes the ability to book a table through opentable.com, a gallery of food shots and blog posts highlighting the staff. The menu and wine list are easily accessible and social media buttons allow for the website to be easily shared. Please click here to visit the website.

Jerry GrymekChandler’s Coastal Cuisine Site Debut

The Hazelton Hotel Introduces its Newest Amenity: The Art Concierge

The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto’s ultimate luxury property, announces its newest amenity: the art concierge. The Hazelton, located in Toronto’s prestigious Yorkville neighborhood, is the city’s top art-centric hotel, boasting an extensive on-site contemporary art collection. The art concierge will serve as an educational resource for guests and the general public regarding the surrounding art community; the Bloor-Yorkville neighborhood alone is home to nearly 40 art dealers and galleries. The art concierge will also act as a go-to source for the hotel’s contemporary Canadian art collection. Visitors to www.thehazeltonhotel.comcan interact with the art concierge via a “Live Chat” function. “With the increased recognition of Toronto as one of North America’s leading fine art centers, we felt it critical to provide community leadership with the creation of a new and unique staff position, the art concierge,” said David Mounteer, general manager of The Hazelton Hotel. “With a significant
in-house contemporary collection, we needed …

PRThe Hazelton Hotel Introduces its Newest Amenity: The Art Concierge


Brand Karma, New Technology for a Mature Social Media Age

Brand Karma (www.brand-karma.com) is one of the hottest social media monitoring tools to emerge in the face of too many online networks to keep track of and too much information. Experiencing exponential growth in the past 18 months, Brand Karma works by sifting through and analyzing the thousands of online reviews and posts. I approached Jamie Pagel, the Senior Vice President, to find out more about what makes Brand Karma tick. Tell me a little bit about the genesis of Brand Karma. How did you get started with this program conceptually? The three co-founders (Morris Sim, CEO, Mario Jobbe, COO and George Mitchell, CTO) were doing social media analysis at Microsoft and were tasked with connecting an online mention of them with brand favorability and ultimately revenue. Soon after, they left Microsoft, launched a search product that tapped into the collective wisdom of the web through natural language processing of …

Larry MogelonskyBrand Karma, New Technology for a Mature Social Media Age