Monday, February 6, 2017

The Steady Rise of the Boutique Hotel Collection

With many different hotel options, boutique hotels have become a top option for travelers of all types.  Boutique hotels are intimate in size and feeling, but big in personality. Most are typically centrally located in urban areas, so you can completely immerse yourself in the heart of the city. These properties offer exceptional, personal, and individualized service with a focus on customization. In the hotel restaurant and bar, you are likely to see a celebrity chef listed on the menu alongside the name of the mixologist who came up with the craft cocktail you are sipping on. This is just part of what creates the 5-star boutique experience.

Over the past few years, major hotels brands have jumped on the boutique hotel bandwagon and opened their own “soft” brand of stylish, intimate, and trendy hotels tailored to clientele that are not particularly interested in large brands. For example, Marriot kicked things off in 2010 with its Autograph Collection, now with over 100 locations around the globe. Hilton and Starwood followed suit with their collections, Curio in 2014 and Tribute Portfolio in 2015. Hyatt Hotels most recently launched the Unbound Collection with locations in North America, Europe, and Latin America.

So whether you prefer the more intimate feel of a B&B or the amenities of a big name brand, you might find just what you’re looking for in a boutique hotel!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Closing 2016 and Looking to 2017

2016 is ending with a bang for the hospitality industry, as we have seen record setting growth for about the past 6 years and it’s been primarily a seller’s market. While REVPAR and other indicators have shown some market increases for 2017, most indicators we follow show a slowdown in the meetings and hotel economy. 2017 is expected to be near flat which will provide more opportunities for planners. While we are optimistic about this shift, we are not there yet and the market remains a seller’s game for now. On top of this, the merger of Marriott-Starwood, has made it more difficult than ever to negotiate hotel contracts. While it appears that we have more options, there’s actually less competition out there. Our roles as meeting managers have become increasingly strategic and forward thinking as we seek more creative ways to negotiate and make the overall meeting experience memorable, experiential, and focused on learning retention. Looking forward. we are in a fragile time with the uncertainty of a Trump presidency and all the worldwide security issues. We remain cautiously optimistic as President Trump is a hospitality veteran who is likely to promote business policies that benefit our industry and who has actively been in support of business overall. We are excited about the potential opportunities that lie ahead for us in 2017 and about the buyer-seller relationship shift.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Voluntourism: Kick Back and Give Back

Ever wanted to go on vacation, but also give back to the local community? With the holidays near and spirit of giving in the air, you might want to give voluntourism a try!  More and more hotels are getting involved in supporting local charities and are coming up creative ways of integrating their services with charity.

Marriott and Renaissance hotels in New Orleans have created the "Big Easy Spirit to Serve" program where a portion of your room rate goes to "New Orleans Habitat for Humanity". Additionally, the hotels provide a Care Concierge service that recommends volunteer opportunities in the area.

Never let your soap go to waste at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. After you check out, they will donate your used soap to "Clean the World", which recycles and distributes soap around the world.

Earn free room nights at the Maldives Soneva Resorts by spending some of your stay working on local community projects, such as planting trees, marine conservation, and teaching underprivileged children.

Next time you're think of taking a vacation, do some research and see what hotels partner with charities. Whether it's volunteering your time or just booking a room, incorporating voluntourism into your holiday plans will make a difference in someone's life.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Escape to the Magical Family Paradise of Aulani

On August 29th, 2011, the Ko Olina resort on Ohau, Hawaii, transformed into the magical paradise of Aulani. The resort provides world class fun for all ages, awarding it one of the best family resorts in 2015. With enchanting themed pools, exciting Hawaiian adventures, and night-time cultural entertainment, families are ensured to have a memorable experience at Aulani.

The magic of the island combined with the magic of Disney creates an atmosphere for the perfect family get away. The resort itself includes a series of private coves with white sand beaches and lively reefs. The coves are protected by rock formations that minimize waves and provide a safe environment for exploring. Guests can explore the nature and beauty of the island and the resort activities all in one exclusive location. Children can take part in activities at Aunty’s Beach House, a complimentary, supervised activity center, while adults can golf miles of private golf course greens. Guests can also venture out around the island with many unique island excursions the resort offers. From swimming with dolphins to discovering hidden waterfalls, the island’s possibilities are amazing.

Are you ready for paradise yet?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Trump International Trumps the Vancouver Skyline

Just opened, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver will be the second tallest building on the Vancouver skyline. The mixed use tower began construction in 2013. $360 million dollars later, the hotel now twists up 616 feet high with 57 floors. Besides its height, the tower stands out with its sleek design and interesting architecture.

The tower includes 147 guest rooms, world class restaurants, a personalized Ivana Trump Spa, gorgeous banquet rooms, and conference rooms. The mixed use tower also includes 218 residential condos at over $20 million per condo.

The central location in downtown Vancouver, along with the champagne lounge and award-winning fine dining, makes it a great place to mix business with pleasure. Even in the middle of the city, the tower captures impressive Vancouver mountain views from afar. The tower also includes services like the Luxury Trump Rolls Royce car service and Trump Attaché service. The Trump Attaché program goes above and beyond regular concierge services and is dedicated to providing unique, customized services to guests.

Bookings for the Trump International are now being accepted, so pre-book your rooms before it’s too late!