Symbol of Canada

The Sesquicentennial Sojourn

A long word for something so simple! Canada is gearing up for its 150th anniversary as a nation, being celebrated from coast to coast on July 1st. Leading up to this date, hotels across the country are expecting record numbers that will last throughout the summer. Rather than regurgitate a litany of positive statistics, though, there are a few good takeaways for hoteliers around the world to note. I was inspired to write on this subject after attending the 11th annual Leisure Travel Summit held earlier this June in downtown Toronto and hosted by Best Western. The five-person panel – comprised of all women I might add, and something we should be seeing more often – noted that now more than ever is time to explore the Great White North and that this sort of influx of visitors haven’t been seen since the Expo ’67 days. Rather than proscribing this …

lmaadminThe Sesquicentennial Sojourn
Smiling female receptionist

Why We Love the Hotel Business in Ten Parts

Have you ever sat back for a moment to reflect on the profession of hospitality? With all its ups and downs, could you think of any other business you would rather be in? As someone who admittedly has never been at the helm of a property with the exception of short term MOD responsibilities, I feel as close as anyone can be to hotel management. Yet I recognize that it is not the same as the burden of being general manager, where day-to-day decisions can make or break the budget as well as destroy hard-earned asset values. I am humbled by many of the GMs I’ve met and in awe of their ability to stay calm in the midst of multiple mayhem constantly surrounding them. Perhaps this is why hotel management is such an adrenaline rush – the landscape changes hourly and there is no time to get bored. It’s …

lmaadminWhy We Love the Hotel Business in Ten Parts
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

The Hotel Mogel’s 2016 Hotel of the Year Awards

It’s awards season: the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the Oscars and now the Hotel Mogels. What began as a fun little exercise last year in sharing some of the key insights from my yearly travels is now even more relevant this year as I’ve continued to traverse the globe and have stayed at 45 exquisite properties. And so, I’m happy to present to you the second annual Hotel of the Year Awards. As always, the goal is not merely to congratulate these fine establishments, but to provide inspiration and instruction for other hoteliers to emulate. Even though this is a biased list as it pertains only to my own journey, each property was nonetheless memorable for one reason or another and, when you have slept in so many different beds year-in year-out, you start to notice the patterns for what works and what doesn’t. This year’s winners are all well-deserved, …

lmaadminThe Hotel Mogel’s 2016 Hotel of the Year Awards
Portrait of young businessman with his tablet in a hotel lobby.

Respect Your Hotel Titles

The workplace today is vastly different than it was 50 or even 20 years ago. Organizations have a flat structure, people opt to work from home, attire is far more casual and we’ve all but stopped addressing our superiors by their formal titles. While most of these progressions are indeed progress and advantageous for productivity, employee happiness and innovation, it’s the latter one that may cause some problems specific to the hospitality industry. A while back, I wrote about how the phasing out of the neck tie for front desk staffers (for the men at least) will change guests’ perceptions of a hotel. I argued that even though this change may invoke a more casual and breezy attitude for the brand, there is nevertheless something to be said about a sharp dressed man. When you dress for success, then you will get exactly that. Upholding a brand standard of neat …

lmaadminRespect Your Hotel Titles
Stock image of person wearing business suit and boxing gloves

Hotel Lessons from Muhammed Ali

In early June, we all watched the news as a titan of professional sports passed away. Muhammed Ali was one of the most colorful athletes that ever lived – as entertaining in the ring as he was in the press box, and not without his own dose of controversy. Whether it was a Thrilla in Manila or a Rumble in the Jungle, he was always more than just a boxer, striving to win the hearts and minds of his audience well before facing his opponent. And as winning hearts and minds is the name of the hotel game, we can all benefit from a careful reflection on his career and what made the late, great Ali shine above his peers. Here are five for you to consider. Never Level The Playing Field So often in business, success comes from not simply eviscerating your competition in a straight head-to-head matchup, but …

lmaadminHotel Lessons from Muhammed Ali

Hear Ye! Hotel Lessons From Ben Franklin Himself!

Ben Franklin (1706-1790) is one of the founding fathers of the United States – a politician, author, printer, postmaster, scientist, poet, inventor and diplomat, he is the definition of a renaissance man. While his acclaim lives on the history books, a historical actor-entertainer named Bill Robling (pictured above) has spent the last 30 years bringing Ben Franklin to life. Normally a staple of the Philadelphia tourist scene, he recently sojourned to my hometown of Toronto for a media event. While attending this affair, I pulled Bill aside for a fun interview about our industry. While channeling his questions through the voice of Ben Franklin, it is nevertheless clear that Bill has quite a few observations for hotels to take note of, and I hope you will learn that, even after two centuries and countless technological innovations, the core of hospitality remains the same. Larry: Ben, we’re in a bit of …

lmaadminHear Ye! Hotel Lessons From Ben Franklin Himself!
Senior woman typing using a computer at home or in an office

The Six Rules of Semi-Retirement Consulting Success

For financial or a variety of other reasons, many folks in our industry refuse to accept any form of clear-cut retirement. This typically results in the transition from an employee to a semi-retired entrepreneur. This can be a daunting task. Typically, the higher up you are in any organization, the further away you are from the basic tasks required just to manage your new ‘one person’ consulting operation. The myriad of functions previously completed by your support staff now occupy your time. For example, some former executive colleagues of mine did not even know how to set up their own email or how to manage their own websites. (If you’re reading this and think that I’m describing you, I apologize…but you should know!) Being a humble scribe has opened a channel for those in the industry considering a move into later life consulting to contact me regarding their ideas and …

lmaadminThe Six Rules of Semi-Retirement Consulting Success
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