Monthly Archives: March 2017

Jamaican jewels

Trens hotel last year

1. Hotel restaurants get interesting

Michelin stars and hotels have long been an apposite pairing (Paris and London hold constellations), but in 2016, many hotels are saying goodbye to cloches and cheese carts and turning the idea of a resident hotel restaurant on its head.

Following Rene Redzepi’s successful Noma residency at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo last year, chefs of similar acclaim are setting up temporarily at hotels. Grant Achatz, three Michelin-starred chef at Chicago’s Alinea, will take over at the new Faena Hotel Miami Beach, while Albert Adrià, of the inimitable elBulli in Spain, will host a 50-day dining concept at London’s Café Royal.

Over in Dubai, the new Palazzo Versace opens restaurant Enigma in January, where the chefs will change four times a year. Likewise, east London hotspot the Town Hall Hotel is planning to host a rotating list of global mixologists at their award-winning cocktail bar Peg + Patriot, alongside their existing ‘bed and beverage’ offering, whereby rooms are stocked with homemade cocktails straight from the bar.

2. Hotels go smart

2015 was the year that saw Japan successfully pull off a hotel manned solely by robots. Hotels will continue in a techie vein this year, focusing on a smoother experience for guests.

Arrive hotel, opening in Palm Springs, is the creation of Facebook millionaire Erza Callahan. It’s a hotel for the social media age, with easy check-in at the hotel bar, multi-functional staff (all will be able to do check-ins, park your car or deliver room service), and in-room Netflix and Apple TV. Rooms won’t, however, include landline telephones – instead all services will be available by text message. Similarly, in Baja California, guests of new hotel Mar Adentro will have personalised tablets in rooms which control everything from the air-con, to ordering room service, to declaring any dietary requirements. Wi-Fi will also be as strong on the beach as it is in the hotel.

Hopefully stronger Wi-Fi will trickle down into the mainstream: Best Western, the first hotel brand to introduce free Wi-Fi, is leading the industry once again with its new Li-Fi technology. Showcased last year, it would mean that 5g technology could be transmitted through lights, meaning an unprecedented connection speed in rooms – and no more having to visit the hotel lobby to get a decent connection.

Check-in and out will also be a big focus. Late check-outs for no extra charge are becoming more popular (Only You in Madrid already live by this rule, alongside an all-day breakfast), and hotels will start experimenting with the 24-hour blocks (already adopted by The Patina hotel group). This would mean that if you check in at 4pm, for example, you will not be asked to check out before 4pm the following day.

Hotel Marketers Celebrate this July 4

This Independence Day, hoteliers are not only celebrating a long weekend bustling with holiday travelers, but all the other indicators that prove there are more sunny skies ahead for the industry:

1) A Winning Trifecta: Thriving Group Business, Stable Economy & A Positive Hotel Market 

The hotel industry’s up cycle has exceeded expectations. Occupancy rose 1.5 percent, driven by an increase in demand of 3.4 percent. ADR increased 2 percent and RevPAR rose by 3.6 percent – making May 2017 the 87th month of consecutive RevPAR growth.

Even after two months with a declining pipeline of new rooms, the number of new room construction reached 192,000. This is a small increase (April 2017’s count was 189,000) and shows that the pipeline of new construction is flourishing, but at a slower pace.

Most of the new construction focuses on select-service hotels without substantial meeting space, which is a boon for hoteliers overseeing full-service properties who continue to see an uptick in their booking pace as large groups compete to lock in venues. 

2) Owners’ Investment in a Remarkable Product

You can be out-of-this-world creative. You can have the wittiest, most clever and memorable hotel marketing concept. You can even have a generous hotel marketing budget to pay for massive exposure in front of all the right audiences.

Yet, all of that means nothing without a truly differentiated hotel product.

If your property is providing a lackluster experience with frayed edges, outdated décor, and musty smells, no amount of brilliant marketing can save you from the downward spiral of lost revenue.

New hotels with bold concepts and fresh guest experiences are springing up in all directions, so hotel owners need to invest in their properties to keep up with modern expectations. Thankfully, more and more hotel owners are realizing that the best hotel marketing investment they can make is in enhancing their property, the experience and the service.

3) The Lowest Summer Gas Prices in Years

The start of summer is not normally a time for low gas prices, since so many people are taking to the road and creating demand. However, with the recent drop in oil costs, travelers are elated to find some of the lowest summer prices at the pumps for the first time in 12 years. In fact, this holiday weekend’s prices could be the lowest 4th of July gas prices since 2005. According to AAA, gas prices have been falling every day since June 2nd and are expected to keep dropping. Consider us pumped for all the road travelers ahead.

4) Expanding Awareness of Book Direct Benefits

Fueled by affordable digital marketing tools and increasing comfort in deploying them, hotel marketers are feeling more confident and emboldened to push for direct bookings instead of relying on OTAs to fill their rooms.

In April, Hyatt Hotels became the latest brand to offer a discount to guests who book directly from the Hyatt website, following similar programs by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. These moves by the major chains are heightening public recognition of the benefits of booking direct and are chipping away at the myth that OTAs save money. With the stage set by industry titans and all the advanced marketing tools and metrics available to hoteliers, we expect this momentum to continue to swell.

Competitors in the Sydney Hotel Industry1

Friendships with competitors can improve the performance of organizations through the mechanisms of enhanced collaboration, mitigated competition, and better information exchange. Moreover, these benefits are best achieved when competing managers are embedded in a cohesive network of friendships (i.e., one with many friendships among competitors), since cohesion facilitates the verification of information culled from the network, eliminates the structural holes faced by customers, and facilitates the normative control of competitors. The first part of this analysis examines the performance implications of the friendship‐network structure within the Sydney hotel industry, with performance being the yield (i.e., revenue per available room) of a given hotel. This shows that friendships with competitors lead to dramatic improvements in hotel yields. Performance is further improved if a manager’s competitors are themselves friends, evidencing the benefit of cohesive friendship networks. The second part of the analysis examines the structure of friendship ties among hotel managers and shows that friendships are more likely between managers who are competitors.