Hilton Blue Paper Reports on Emerging Global Spa Trends

  On July 17th, 2012, Hilton Worldwide published their Blue Paper, a report on emerging global spa trends. This report summaries input from Hilton’s spa team, industry experts and 6000+ survey respondents in Australia, China, Great Britain and USA. This document, which I thank Hilton for posting publicly, coincides with the launch of eforea: spa at Hilton, a new concept coalescing aspects of the spa experience from different parts of the world to better appeal to today’s global traveler. You can find the full document here, of which I would like to highlight and reinforce several of their key findings. One of the first insights mentioned is that, whether a guest intends to use it or not, having a spa on property is wholly indicative of luxury. At an initial glance, this may seem like a regurgitation of the status quo, as a spa is already a benchmark for most …

Larry MogelonskyHilton Blue Paper Reports on Emerging Global Spa Trends

Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” by Larry Mogelonsky Hits the Shelves

Are You an Ostrich or a Llama? Essays in Hospitality Marketing and Management. By Larry Mogelonsky   Written by one of the world's most published authors in the field of hospitality, this 396-page book represents a radical departure from traditional industry. Targeted at hotel management, this book serves as a platform for discussion on current issues relating to the performance of hotels and resorts. Through a combination of real life examples and an examination of current challenges facing the hotel industry, the book comprises one hundred and twenty individual segments each dedicated to a single thought or concept. These standalone articles are then combined into ten chapters, each dedicated to a specific topic. The book has been written so that hoteliers of any level, from apprentice to seasoned general manager, will be able to gain value from the contents. While the bulk of articles deal with marketing aspects, many of …

PRAre You an Ostrich or a Llama?” by Larry Mogelonsky Hits the Shelves

Success Tips from the Google Cafeteria

This may seem like old news by now, but perhaps we can still glean some fresh insights from what Google does behind the scenes. For over ten years now, the internet giant has maintained what employees and critic alike rave as a world-class in-house restaurant and café program. Their menu is healthy, organic, locally sourced and delicious, with a diverse range of foods to satisfy the diverse tastes of their workforce. For awhile there, the motto was, “I eat at Google!” from satisfied Google employees. From fresh ahi tuna and scallops to free-range eggs and eggplant ratatouille, this was and continues to be a massive expenditure. But it has paid off; the two most visible benefits being time saving and nutrition. With a corporate cafeteria fare this good and considering that it’s open at all hours and free, employees have much more incentive to stay close to work during their …

Larry MogelonskySuccess Tips from the Google Cafeteria

Use your SMUCA now!

Do you SMUCA? And, if not, why not? In this ever-changing, advertising-cluttered world, the attention span of your target audience is measured in nano-seconds. So, how do you break through to the craniums of those critical potential guests? I’ve come to the conclusion that you have to SMUCA your communications. Here’s what my take on this acronym stands for: Social Media Active: It starts with a true web site blog. By true, I mean one that is in tune with your guests, your community and your property. Whether managed in-house, or through an external agency, your blog should be considered paramount in terms of delivering your message. The level of activity is obviously based upon your property. A resort with a golf course and a spa is probably bound to have more to talk about than a downtown office-tower-complex. Whatever you’re writing, make sure your activity is relevant. The weather …

Larry MogelonskyUse your SMUCA now!

Optimize Your Revenue Through a Reservations Center Enhancement

Recently, I had a chance to sit down and discuss some of the benefits of outsourced inbound central reservation offices (CRO) with John Smallwood, chief executive officer of Travel Outlook (www.traveloutlook.com). Consider the operations of your own reservations center: Who answers reservations requests during lunch breaks, on weekends, or after hours? Does a call to reservations go to voice mail? In peak hours, do inbound reservations requests roll over to the front desk, where telephone calls interrupt guest service activity? Or, does a reservations call ever go on ‘hold,’ pushing a guest determined to stay with you to their favorite OTA to make their booking, or heavy forbid, to a competitor? And, what does a poor reservations call say about your guest service level? All of these scenarios are real. Their impact on revenue generation is substantial. Since the 2008-2009 downturn, most hoteliers have resisted adding staff to all departments, …

Larry MogelonskyOptimize Your Revenue Through a Reservations Center Enhancement

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Wickaninnish Inn

In late June, I took my summer vacation by flying out to the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, staying at the renowned Wickaninnish Inn (www.wickinn.com) just outside of the remote, surfing mecca of Tofino and right on the rocks overlooking the mighty Pacific. But what caught my eye first were its ratings. Travel + Leisure readers voted the Wickaninnish Inn as their top-rated Canadian resort in 2012, and the Inn has consistently ranked as their top Canadian resort, or near the top, since it opened its doors in 1996. Additionally, Condé Nast Traveler ranked the Inn on their Gold List as Best for Leisure Facilities in 2012. So, what makes this place so perfect? Becoming an official member of Relais & Châteaux only 15 months after its opening, the Wickaninnish Inn has a strong family origin. Construction began in the summer of 1995 with 46 deluxe guestrooms and The …

Larry MogelonskyIn Search of Hotel Excellence: Wickaninnish Inn

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Abigail’s Hotel in Victoria, BC Canada

By all accounts, Abigail’s would not be on the radar of most travelers. After all, the property is unaffiliated with neither a major chain nor a representation firm such as Leading Hotels of the World, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, or Relais & Chateaux. Yet, with Abigail’s ranking as the #1 property in Victoria in TripAdvisor, I decided that a further inspection was warranted. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, Canada’s western-most province, with a population of 330,000. Located off the mainland on Vancouver Island, Victoria is considered as a haven for Canadian retirees, and my quick survey of the tourist scene confirmed this. (At age 59, I felt young again!) The downtown, waterfront district is dominated by Fairmont’s majestic Empress Hotel, with other major chain properties located snugly around the rejuvenated port area. Abigail’s Hotel is about five minutes by car (10 minutes walking) from the center of town. …

Larry MogelonskyIn Search of Hotel Excellence: Abigail’s Hotel in Victoria, BC Canada

Rest In Peace IE7

As an operator of an agency that helps create new websites for hotels, it irks when my hotelier clients sound the alarm over site-related errors in Internet Explorer version 7 (IE7). Yes, a website should be perfect across all platforms. But, is it enough to delay a major and potentially revenue increasing website update or re-launch? Launched in late 2006, IE7 soon became the mainstay browser for computer terminals in hotels. It’s what many back-end departments like sales and marketing use to access the company’s own websites. But a lot have changed since 2006 and you’d be hard-pressed to find a consumer who still uses this platform. Let’s review some facts. Although Internet Explorer still holds a substantial and significant share of the web browser market, IE7 represents 5% at the high end of estimates. In reality, it’s more like 2%. And if you assess it on a month-to-month basis, …

Larry MogelonskyRest In Peace IE7

Ten Quick Ways to Get the Most of This Summer Season

  Ah, the long hot days of summer. Plenty of sunshine, plenty of heat. While many properties are hoping for their best few months, here are 10 ideas to consider as ways to step it up a notch and invigorate your team. Set a personal goal for yourself. It starts with rumination. Then, write it down and commit to having it completed by Christmas. My top one for this season was learning how to welcome a guest perfectly in Mandarin. As another example, if you are one of those few who have not embraced a tablet computer, buy an iPad and learn everything you can about where technology is headed. Exterior photographs. Unless you’re in the throws of renovation, late summer brings with it magnificent lighting conditions. Now is your chance to get those great exterior pictures you’ve been meaning to take, but have somehow forgotten. Reward your best group. …

Larry MogelonskyTen Quick Ways to Get the Most of This Summer Season

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Hotel Berlin, Berlin

A recent trip to Berlin saw me stay at Hotel Berlin, Berlin (no this is not a typographical error, the property’s name is Hotel Berlin, Berlin located in Berlin… that’s an impressive alliteration). And while I have been to Germany many times, it was my first trip to the capital city. As a relatively frequent traveler to Europe (typically 3-4 times per year), my travels have generally taken me to London, Paris or when on holidays, to more Mediterranean destinations. Berlin, somehow, never made it to my radar. So, before discussing the property, let me give you a brief overview of the city. If you are a baby boomer, perhaps your thoughts of Berlin are to President Kennedy and the Berlin Airlift. Or, if you’re younger your memory might move to the scenes of the wall being dismantled, remarkably now some 20 years ago. Neither of these images is appropriate: …

Larry MogelonskyIn Search of Hotel Excellence: Hotel Berlin, Berlin