Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Destination Hotels and Commune Hotels & Resorts Merge

Destination Hotels and Commune Hotels & Resorts completed a merger in late January. The companies together have 92 hotels, about $2 billion in property management revenue and now claim to be the largest independent boutique hotel operator in the country. 

Commune, which includes the Thompson and Joie de Vivre brands, mostly operates in urban areas, while Destination hotels are primarily found in resort areas. Commune CEO Niki Leondakis said the merger will fuse complementary businesses. “So it was a natural thing to ask what we can do if we come together,” Ms. Leondakis said.

The name of the new company and little details have been released about the ownership structure, however, the company will headquartered in Denver, Colorado where Destination is headquartered. The current Commune headquarter office in San Francisco will be maintained as a satellite office, along with offices in New York, Singapore and Shanghai.

Terranea Aerial Primary Image
Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
(Destination Hotels)
Smyth, Tribeca, New York City, NY
(Commune Hotels & Resorts)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meeting Trends for 2016

  • It's still a seller's market. Negotiating with hotels has been difficult and will continue through the new year. In addition, hotels will less likely commit to events that are further out.
  • Healthier options for hotel menus has become a trend and some hotels are taking it to the next level with organic, vegetarian, locally sourced, and gluten-free options. As this is a significant cost for hotels, it comes with a higher menu price for planners.
  • The need to create a more compelling and memorable meeting will continue to be a trend. Planners are looking to create more sensory experiences with lighting changes, lounges with music, and educational experiences with food and beverage.
  • More interaction with mobile event apps to engage attendees and improve communication with schedule changes or sharing documents.
  • Hybrid meetings to reach a broader audience and to reduce in-person costs and travel.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Isn't the Sheraton Grand?

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Introduces Sheraton Grand

The Sheraton Grand is a rebranding of Sheraton with a focus on excellence in service and guest experiences. The first 10 span from Bangalore to Beijing, Dubai to Edinburgh, Miyazaki to Seoul, Taipei to Bangkok, and Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. By the end of the year, they expect to have 50 newly-designed Sheraton Grand Hotels around the world with plans for 100 by early 2017.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Recommendations for Productive Virtual Meetings

1. Send an agenda in advance with clearly identified topics, outcomes and timelines for discussion. Identify any prep work wanted from participants ahead of time.
2. Set ground rules for the call like reminding everyone to mute their phones when not speaking, to refrain from side conversations and multi-tasking while on the call. Also, remind everyone to identify themselves by name before speaking.
3. Follow the agenda on the call, solicit feedback from everyone (calling on anyone not volunteering feedback) and pay attention to audible cues.
4. Encourage a respectful dialogue free of friction by asking participants to keep their comments based in facts instead of opinions. Remind attendees to stay focused on the collective goals of the meeting instead of side-bar or personal intentions.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Marriott International to Buy Starwood Hotels

Did you hear the big news in the hospitality industry today?  Marriott International has agreed to buy Starwood Hotels for 12.2 billion which will create the largest hotel company.  Although it may seem like bigger is better, the new merge may be bad for our industry since it will inhibit competition for other hotel companies and may lead to higher rates.  What are your thoughts?