Dubai, UAE - September 11, 2013: The Atlantis the Palm hotel and limousines. It is located on man-made island Palm Jumeirah.

Mutual Success Through Product Placement

Have you ever watched a movie and noticed that all the cops and robbers were driving only one brand of car? Or that every actor on a television show only drinks exclusively Coke or Pepsi but never both? Product placement has been part of the Hollywood scene for decades as savvy producers must find ever-creative ways to squeeze every ounce of profit out of their films – something that looks especially worthwhile when such brands are willing to pay upfront and thereby offset the usual cashflow issues of movie production. After all, if the script doesn’t specify the specific type of automobile being driven, smartphone adjacent to the name actor’s ear or beverage being consumed, why not earn some decent bucks in the process? More recently, hoteliers have started to realize that hotels can offer perfect symmetry with many brands that want trial from their target audience, especially when those …

lmaadminMutual Success Through Product Placement
Photo of row of computers in classroom of college or other educational institution

An Obituary for the Hotel Business Center

Born in the early days of personal computing, the hotel business center had its peak in the mid-1990s. At its zenith, the facility was a high priority for road warriors who needed to refine presentations, print materials, prepare travel itineraries or work on other business matters, all while hotel staffers stood at the ready to assist wherever they could. Businesspersons from all the world have come to pay their respects, some with bouquets of flowers and freshly dampened handkerchiefs while others ceremonially shovel dirt and obsolete fax machine parts onto the open grave. The advent of mobile devices, tablets and streamlined laptops proved to be the hotel business center’s downfall, rendering it as obsolete as the stapler and three-hole paper punch. Many have come to blame the millennial’s preference for new third space lobby modalities, but it’s likely that the sheer convenience of a smartphone and its numerous apps are …

lmaadminAn Obituary for the Hotel Business Center
Friday 13th on Grunge paper

Are You Superstitious?

Well, are you? Seems like an apt question for a Friday the 13th article. While the Western World increasingly moves toward a scientific and largely atheistic approach to natural phenomena, there are still many people on this pale blue dot who strongly believe in the supernatural and mystical numerology which for those of European descent includes the number 13. As hoteliers, it is our job to be accepting of other belief systems and to accommodate special requests, no matter what the logic behind those requests is. Before we dive in to guest service protocols for superstitious guests, now would be a good segue for explaining why 13 is such an unlucky number in Western cultures and, while we’re at it, identifying any other numbers to be wary of. While web sources spin a good yarn about betrayer Judas, the 13th guest as Jesus Christ’s last supper, or how some medieval …

lmaadminAre You Superstitious?
Man covering ears by pillows because of noise

The Sound of Silence: In Search of Quiet Guestrooms

I’m fascinated by the sounds of a hotel or, should I say, the distinct lack of sound. But before I delve into this topic, here is a quick basic primer. Sound travels in waves and you can’t see them. The amplitude of a sound wave is a measurement of how forceful the sound wave is. This measurement is expressed in decibels, or dB of sound pressure. A decibel meter allows you to measure just what level of sound exists in any environment. We all hear (pun intended) about extremely loud noises and the dangers of prolonged exposure to such cacophony. In fact, there are maximums to the acceptable environmental standards for worker exposure to sound. It is important for hoteliers to understand this for back-of-house locations such as the laundry, kitchen, machine shops and boiler/furnace rooms. The following chart gives you a standard scale of sound levels. The amount of …

lmaadminThe Sound of Silence: In Search of Quiet Guestrooms

A New Year Means A New Third Space

The modern hotel is not only a place for a good night’s sleep; it’s a place to see and be seen. Lobbies all over the world are being refitted to accommodate a renewed vigor for what is popularly known as ‘The Third Space’ or ‘The Third Place’, both denoting a public locale that serves a hybrid role somewhere between the home and the office. The third space is one of productivity but also relaxation; one of quiet reflection but also socialization; one of sustenance but also libation. As the average workday trends away from a strict nine-to-five protocol, we are witnessing the rise of a labor force that thrives on this blending of the first and second spaces. Now, with the New Year’s clock ticking down, undoubtedly a lobby remodeling (or modifying of another well-trafficked space) to fit this new standard is on many of your resolution lists. Rightfully so, …

lmaadminA New Year Means A New Third Space

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

Third spaces enrich guests’ lives and loyalty

You’ve probably heard the term “third space,” and you’ve probably given it some thought. With all the recent shifts in consumer behavior, however, it’s important that you understand this concept in full and how you might use it to enhance a property’s atmosphere. To summarize, the third space describes a place where people congregate outside of the home (first space) and the office (second space). If you can engineer parts of your hotel—the lobby, the restaurant, the bar, the café and so forth—as flourishing third spaces, then it will play to your advantage for higher occupancy levels and hotel cachet. Originally coined by the sociologist Ray Oldenburg in his book “The Great Good Place,” the term is formally used to represent public or neutral centers for community building, civic engagement, intellectual discourse, peer encouragement and group validation. Cafés, markets, bazaars, pubs, bars, clubs, shopping malls, plazas, gyms, spas, barber shops, …

Larry MogelonskyThird spaces enrich guests’ lives and loyalty

A Sense of Place

Helping a client organize a conference set in my hometown of Toronto, I sent several employees down to a big chain four-star hotel located in the heart of the financial district where the attendees were staying. Their job was to direct the attendees towards the evening’s reception venue a dozen or so blocks away. When we all converged, I asked one of my team members, “What did you think of the hotel?” Although it may not seem significant to the layman, his response shocked me. “It was just a hotel,” he said, shrugging his shoulders with a blasé tone. Just a hotel? He had just spent well over an hour in the lobby interacting with the hotel staff, the conference attendees and the physical space. Was this was the best he could muster? It’s not like this was an economy roadside motel either. This was a swanky downtown hotspot, bustling …

Larry MogelonskyA Sense of Place