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
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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