feedback concept, write review online, rating on internet

Close The Feedback Loop

Does any hotel still offer customer satisfaction surveys? Do you, as a hotelier, rely upon comment cards as a quality control for your operations? A decade ago, the answer would undoubtedly be yes, but now it isn’t so black-and-white. Let’s reflect on what’s happened, specifically related to the advent of internet-born travel websites. With the success of online review sites, including the behemoth that is TripAdvisor, it’s all too easy to surmise that their growth was primarily because of how they aggregated hotels and cross-linked to OTA booking engines. However, we must also stomach the fact that it’s our own fault that these channels proliferated. We gave these watchdogs an abundance of meat to chew on because our properties were rife with unchecked service errors. These sites gave angry customers a place to vent. Eventually we woke up, realized we had created a monstrously powerful beast, then attempted to rein …

lmaadminClose The Feedback Loop
Architectural project construction project concept

The Dirty Dozen Of Hotel Renovation

With the kids gone, it was time to follow the footsteps of many other boomers and downsize to a condominium. What started as a mere paint job, however, morphed into a $150-per-square-foot renovation of the entire apartment comprising appliances, lighting, flooring, soft goods, mirrors, kitchen and plumbing fixtures. What we ended up having on our hands was a genuine case of ‘scope creep’ – something not uncommon in any property refurbishment. Hotel renovations are a necessary dread of our industry in order to keep apace with the constantly giving décor trends, star rating requirements and technological advancements. They are also stressful and frustrating. Having gone through dozens of this large-scale projects over the past four decades, I was able to navigate the treacherous waters of my own apartment’s scope creep by following a general guideline of these twelve tips. Define your objectives. Be as specific as possible, and make sure …

lmaadminThe Dirty Dozen Of Hotel Renovation
Fountain pen on  antique  letters and empty sheet

Handwritten Notes Will Elevate The Service Bar

On a recent Delta Airlines trip from Boston to Minneapolis, I was surprised by a folded paper napkin handed to me by the flight attendant. Odd, I thought, as I had not made any requests. Handwritten was a simple instruction providing details regarding my connecting flight. Legibly signed, I could not help but be both appreciative and duly impressed. Handwritten notes are an excellent way to build a rapport with guests – this we should all be well-familiar with by now. But they can also be counterproductive if done wrong. Looking back, there was nothing out of the ordinary on that flight. As expected, the business class meal was just above cafeteria-basic while the wine was barely palatable. Yet, this one simple act transformed a seemingly mundane journey into something remarkable. Thus, this note which could have been more easily relayed through a quick chat was successful in elevating the …

lmaadminHandwritten Notes Will Elevate The Service Bar
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In Search of Hotel Excellence: Kapalua Bay

In the rarefied world of uber-luxury resorts, $1,000+ nightly rates are de rigueur (in season). Rooms, facilities, amenities, F&B, and guest services must be delivered flawlessly and all in perfect harmony. The GM tends to be more symphony conductor than hotelier in the traditional sense, as every member of the resort’s team hones their performance daily, knowing all too well the importance of delivering consistent, quality service. Maui, recognized as the jewel in the Hawaiian archipelago, serves as ground zero for several examples of the world’s finest resort chains, notably Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria. A recent entry (opened mid-2014) by Montage provides a further refinement to the definition of the ultimate resort. Located at Kapalua Bay and next door to the Ritz-Carlton, the property comprises just 50 residences tucked into a larger residential complex. All accommodations face the ocean with spectacular views of the property’s grounds and, in …

lmaadminIn Search of Hotel Excellence: Kapalua Bay
Ties in a man fashion store.

Is The Necktie Making A Comeback?

Call me a traditionalist. Each morning as I walk past my tie rack, I pause to admire the vividly colored collection of Ferragamo and Brioni masterpieces, all neatly hanging in ordered rows and beckoning me to ‘tie one on’. Alas, though, the office-casual nature at my workplace is far more amiable to the sweater and jeans attire, with nary a collared shirt even under the slightest of considerations. And so whenever the opportunity comes my way, a tie is knotted around my neck without a moment’s hesitation, partly for the pleasure of dressing up but also for the nostalgia of a bygone era when this piece was all but compulsory. Being of a more ‘scholarly’ age, donning a suit and tie comes naturally to me. Looking in the mirror, I selfishly feel at least a bit more professional in demeanor with a psychological boost in tow. What is equally refreshing …

lmaadminIs The Necktie Making A Comeback?
Folded umbrellas on the beach before the storm on the coast of Greek , pefkohori.

Goal for 2018 – No More Offseason

Consider this your quarterly performance audit, but thinking a bit more ambitiously, it is already time to look ahead to 2018! Now that we have gone through three whole months of 2017, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate the goal we proclaimed at the beginning of January, but there’s also enough time to plan something bold for next year. A major issue that many hotels confront is the cyclical nature of their revenues and occupancies. Although seasonality affects resorts and rural properties more so than urban hotels, the latter can also suffer from week-to-week or intra-week fluctuations due to their targeting of primarily the corporate and groups segment. Even though most of these suggestions pertain to the leisure segment where the highs and lows are more pronounced, making weekend traffic at business-catering urban hotels should still be a foremost initiative. In fact, regardless of your particular situation and however much …

lmaadminGoal for 2018 – No More Offseason
Chiang Mai, Thailand - April 26, 2016: man hand holding screen shot of Uber application showing on Asus Zenfone 2 mobile phone. Uber is an American multinational online transportation network company.

How the Sharing Economy Impacts Select-Service Hotels

Outer space may be the only place to escape the onslaught of the newly famous cadre of alternative lodging companies categorized as a part of the sharing economy, including but not limited to HomeAway (owned by Expedia), HomeToGo, Vacation Rentals By Owner (otherwise known as VRBO), Couchsurfing, onefinestay (recently acquired by Accor), FlipKey (owned by TripAdvisor) and, of course, the behemoth that is Airbnb. Even those select service, limited service and all other hotels that primarily cater to the business crowd have largely escaped the direct impact on their occupancies and ADRs from this rapidly burgeoning section, it is only a matter of time before the alternative lodging industry starts to influence every hospitality establishment in every corner of the earth and becomes a direct competitor for your property. On its most fundamental level, the sharing economy is changing the way consumers think about travel and how to go about …

lmaadminHow the Sharing Economy Impacts Select-Service Hotels
fire in a high-rise building.

Mitigating the Risk of a Fire

In the past few months, my neighborhood in Toronto has seen two, five-alarm fires. Fortunately, in both cases, there was no loss of life nor personal injuries reported. In one instance, a residence only a few months after completion experienced an attic conflagration, destroying a family’s dream of a domestic paradise. As for the other, a recently renovated, century-old racquet club inferno left more than a thousand members ‘in the cold’ with no preferred meeting place or exercise facility. Not being a member of the fire marshal’s office, I can only surmise the causes and the full extent of structural damage. Both events share a common result, though – unanticipated displacement and a loss in revenue for the business. As a hotel general manager, no doubt a property fire would be among your worst nightmares. In your position, you have a dual responsibility. First is to mitigate any risk of …

lmaadminMitigating the Risk of a Fire
Group of green sprouts growing out from soil

Spring Is Here! What Are You Doing About It?

With daylight savings flipping our clocks an hour forward on the 12th and with the sun crossing the equator this past weekend during the March equinox, we are now officially into spring. This stretch of time can be quite variable for the books so it is deserving of particular attention so that you can set a precedent for recurrent stability and healthy occupancy. While corporate and groups are perennially strong during this time with the zenith of group activity coming only after the schools have resumed the tail end of their semesters, the season can be meddlesome for the leisure front excluding any spring break family or college student getaways. Still, though, there is much that can be done to drum up sales between now and Memorial Day which traditionally marks the beginning of summer and the peak travel period. First off, there aren’t many ‘rallying points’ during this stretch …

lmaadminSpring Is Here! What Are You Doing About It?
Statue of Bacchus the Roman god of agriculture and wine, similar to the Greek Dionysus

In Vino Veritas LVI: Happy Liberalia

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is something I extol with a grain of salt as today’s holiday, which is supposed to be a heartfelt celebration of Irish history and culture, has been somewhat hijacked in recent years by rowdy revelers and college kids in search of their next excuse for intoxication. There is, however, a defunct Roman holiday – the Liberalia – which also occurs on this day. While the modern leprechaun is keen on beer, the Roman counterpart upheld wine as its hallowed libation, and therein lies a profound takeaway by contrasting the two occasions and their beverage of choice. Without going into specifics about the weird and hypersexualized rituals that the ancient Italians had for the Liberalia, what’s interesting is that it was not just a celebration to honor the god of viticulture – that is, Liber Pater, but not Bacchus or Dionysus who were the Roman gods …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas LVI: Happy Liberalia