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Bathrooms As a Make Or Break Experience – Part II

In an article written a while ago, I expanded on how important the bathroom is for the overall guestroom experience. It’s such a personal, private space that any minor annoyances are especially hard to forgive because of their heightened impact on one’s emotional state of being. You simply need to browse through TripAdvisor or other third-party review site comments to see how vital it is to provide for a superior washroom experience. Before diving into a whole new batch of grievances, let’s recap what was already covered: Bathroom not properly cleaned Not enough towels, floor mats or hand towels Not enough hygiene products Mold, rust, grime or other forms of deterioration Poor lighting Small mirrors Cramped countertops Perplexing showerheads and controls With those already explained (or an explanation that should be fairly straightforward from the bullet points), let’s move on to several more that have cropped up over the last …

Larry MogelonskyBathrooms As a Make Or Break Experience – Part II
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Successful Summer Strategy: Boston Harbor Hotel Gets It Right

A recent trip to Boston landed me at the 230-room Boston Harbor Hotel. For those unfamiliar with the property, start by looking it up on Google Maps. Literally on the harbor and next to a busy downtown wharf, the hotel is uniquely situated to offer its guests ferry rides to and from the airport. This makes for a rather exceptional way to experience the airport commute, a mode of travel which is otherwise mostly uneventful. Arrival by sea; so quintessentially Boston. And talk about first impressions! Having been to the property several times before, I was well familiar with their expertise in operations, food & beverage and guest service. These are areas where this property not only meets luxury class standards but sets the bar even higher for others to follow. This was my first time, however, staying in peak summer season. While still the bastion of hotel excellence, I …

Larry MogelonskySuccessful Summer Strategy: Boston Harbor Hotel Gets It Right
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Guestroom Design and Meeting Productivity

Like all other aspects of a hotel, the connectivity afforded to us by the growth of the internet has forever changed the landscape of meetings. In this virtual world, people do not necessarily have to meet face-to-face, or be in the same country, to open a dialogue or efficiently conclude business agreements. But even with this grand technological advancement, the act of meeting together in a preordained conference setting is still an especially productive activity. When we as hoteliers discuss improving the meeting environment in order to facilitate greater productivity and better states of mind amongst our conference guests, often this conversation is limited to technological, special or service tips pertaining only to the meeting rooms or otherwise designated space. We repeatedly neglect the importance of the guestroom in this context and the reciprocal relationships these private spaces have on public business gatherings. This is not to say that guestrooms …

Larry MogelonskyGuestroom Design and Meeting Productivity
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Before and After at the Audubon Inn

I’ve known Keith Hill for quite some time now, having worked with him on a few hotel projects in the past. Recently, Keith made a move that would surprise many of you working comfortably within a larger hospitality organization. He abandoned the corporate world, bought a small hotel in Mayville, Wisconsin, and has begun restoring it to its former glory alongside building a new tourism base in this small town. What motivates such a radical shift? How can a hotelier apply his or her skills to resuscitate an 18-room inn? Let’s find out. Larry Mogelonsky: Tell me a little bit about your background. Keith Hill: My hospitality career started while in college, serving tables to make ends meet. I was somewhat introverted prior to my service career and appreciated the way hospitality impacted me as a human. I eventually found myself working in flagship New Orleans restaurants, including Ruth’s Chris …

Larry MogelonskyBefore and After at the Audubon Inn
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‘Hotel Hell’ Season Two Review

Having just wrapped its second season, “Hotel Hell” represents a solid hour of television — albeit a slight guilty pleasure — with many important lessons for hoteliers. Nearly two years ago, I reviewed the first season to mixed sentiments. As the centerpiece of the show, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s bold and confrontational persona is what holds it together and keeps us thoroughly entertained, even as the episodes devolve into a formulaic structure of oddball or obstinate owners and cookie-cutter solutions. Yes, the producers likely canvassed the United States to find the worst of the worst in order to create the most excitement, but I still can’t help but feel as though certain characters are exceedingly dramatized. I guess the word got out after the first run of episodes, and now people are “playing up” for the camera. Moreover, at times I don’t see eye to eye with Ramsay’s suggestions, even though his …

Larry Mogelonsky‘Hotel Hell’ Season Two Review
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A Totally New Web Concept for St. Eugene Golf Resort

St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino wanted a web solution that helped triage the viewers’ needs. This meant having a means for the viewer to self-select their informational requirements based upon their reason to travel: golf, vacation, group, casino or wedding. This ‘opt-in’ process results in much simplified navigation and a very pleasing web experience. Visit the site and see for yourselves!

lmaadminA Totally New Web Concept for St. Eugene Golf Resort
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State of the Nation – Lessons From a Week on the Road

The past week was spent traveling to half a dozen different properties in the Northeastern US and Canada. A wide range of hotels and resorts were visited, including a small country inn (21 rooms), a limited service chain (120 rooms), a luxury resort (375 rooms) and a landmark city property (700 rooms). While somewhat overcome by the 24+ hours of time on the road between evening arrivals, the experience provided me with an insightful firsthand snapshot of our industry. Here are my observations: 1. Properties were crowded and happy guests abound. Without a doubt, I have never experienced a week of such happy guests and positive vibes. Perhaps we’re finally seeing a full recovery of the economy (at least in the middle-upper segment). In any event, there were none of the usual complaints overheard at the front desk or by staff (typically behind management’s back!). And, upon asking, I learned that …

Larry MogelonskyState of the Nation – Lessons From a Week on the Road
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In Vino Veritas Part XXVI: German Giants

Coming at you fresh off a FIFA World Cup victory and right on time for Oktoberfest, which this year takes place from September 20th to October 5th. For those of you who can’t take the time off work to travel to Munich, there’s a lot you can do to bring the spectacle home for your guests to enjoy, both for the duration of this quintessential German celebration and for the rest of the year. The title of this blog series denotes wine, but our first thoughts about Germany and Oktoberfest lean more towards beer. After all, the nation does have a proud and deep-rooted heritage of brewing, so you definitely won’t be buying bland beer by stocking one or more golden lagers from the big six sponsor breweries (Augustiner-Brau, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner and Spaten). Outside of Bavaria is a plethora of delicious beers of all varieties ranging from white …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas Part XXVI: German Giants
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Follow Your Skills And The Passion Will Come

Normally I like to start off September with a rallying cry to start the fourth quarter off strong so that you can lay the groundwork for a healthy holiday period sooner rather than later. There’s a lot to gain by spending long hours in the office over the next week to get the marketing engine chugging for traditional periods ahead on the calendar as well as to plan the next year’s budget. To put it simply: summer is over, time to get back to work! Let that sink then put it behind you. The focus today is that of passion versus skills. Many would say that the best path in your career to follow your passion. Find what you love and move towards it by developing skills which support this pursuit. Passion will also be the undercurrent for your mental perseverance through thick times and thin. Likewise, when hiring we …

Larry MogelonskyFollow Your Skills And The Passion Will Come
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A P&G Canary in the Coal Mine?

I read with interest, the recent news that Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies, was eliminating about 100 brands (the actual number in the press varies). A foremost leader in branding and the place where I learned the ropes in marketing, this is fascinating news, for me at least. The cited rationale for this decision was that it would allow them to focus on their major businesses (Tide, Pampers, Gillette etc.) and, ultimately, lead to an increase in profitability. The stock market responded promptly and positively to the announcement, with shares instantly popping a few percentage points in value. This made me wonder about our hotel industry. It seems that every time I turn the page or click through an online hospitality editorial, one of the leading hotel corporations is launching another new brand. While on a different scale, would it make sense for …

Larry MogelonskyA P&G Canary in the Coal Mine?