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How Are You Using Linked In for Your Hotel?

Linked In User Base

Linked In, founded in 2003, has grown dramatically into a platform geared to drive business.

If’ you still think of Linked In as an “online resume posting site,” you’re missing out on the power of this unique social media platform.

With more than 433 million users — 41% of those US users having an income of more than $75,000 — Linked In is a powerhouse for the professional market.

While the recent publicity about Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of the social media site as put the platform back in the spotlight, it’s easy to overlook this important platform’s ability to connect your hotel to an array of constituency groups including customers, vendors, employees and industry trade professionals.

For customers:

Social Media Marketing’s Industry report shows Linked In as the most important platform for B2B marketing, now even more important than Facebook. Further, 62% of business owners use the platform. Linked In’s focus on business and professionals means focusing your message slightly.

While Facebook might be your first thought for marketing, don’t forget your business travelers. According to the American Express Global Business Travel report, one third of all travel is done by business travelers, with them traveling 21-30 times each year. Business travelers also influence the leisure travel market, both in that they can afford to travel for vacations, but also in that they are often deciding — or influencing — the decision making process for choosing where to stay.

Further, a US News article shares that these same business travelers are also bringing loved ones — and even pets — along as they travel.

Take time to develop a great business page for your hotel.  You can use it to highlight your hotel through photos, reinforce brand values (ie: through your news about the hotel), or hiring mission.

Also – don’t forget about group/meeting planner market: Linked In can connect you thousands of people in industry who are making decisions about this burgeoning business.

For employees:

Professional networking sites are important for recruiting practices, as LinkedIn’s own research has shown.  Recruiting use has increased 73%.  “LinkedIn Recruiter allows us to target great candidates who are not actively seeking employment. Oftentimes, individuals highly engaged in their current positions are the top performers in their fields.  They will not be searching for job opportunities, so it is up to us to find them, and LinkedIn Recruiter allows us to do just that. We have found success in using this tool, especially for filling higher level management positions,” Elaine Lai, Regional Training Manager for Delta Hotels & Resorts shared through go2hr.com.

For vendors:

Again, Linked In’s forums are a super place to get to know potential vendors in your industry. You can also use Linked In’s powerful search function to focus your efforts — looking for specific types of vendors in certain markets.

Let’s connect on Linked In! 

Orlando Salazar Linked In Profile

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From Around the Web: New Survey Reveals Water Conservation Trend Among Hotels

hotel sustainability trend

AHLA surveys its members every two years to uncover trends in the hotel industry. Photo credit: Westin Seattle.com

This survey, funded by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), shows that in addition to advancing consumer service, hotels are also giving back, making charitable contributions and being good stewards of the environment. Environmentally-friendly programs, such as towel reuse programs, recycling capabilities and water savings programs are increasingly popular, with overwhelming majorities of hotels participating. For more details about the AHLA biennial hotel study, click here

 

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From Around the Web – Five Top Hotel Execs Discuss Amenity Trends from Wellness to Wi-Fi

Omni Hotels omnihotel.com

“All of the hotel brands participating in the webcast are ramping up their array of in-room fitness amenities. Part of this is due to feedback from female guests who are uncomfortable working out alone in gyms early in the morning or late at night. For example, Omni Hotels’ Get Fit Kit provides stretch cords, jump ropes, Kettlebells, dumbbells, etc., on arrival for loyalty guests who request that on their profile.” Photo Credit: omnihotel.com

In a webcast with C-suite hotel executives, the Wall Street Journal’s business travel writer, Scott McCartney, asked the hotel leaders about hotel amenities.  Based on a Smartbrief study titled, ““The Guest Experience: Innovative Trends for Creating a More Personalized Stay,”  the executives from Kimpton Hotels, JW Marriott, Morgans Hotel Group, Trump Hotel Collection and Omni Hotels & Resorts shared their perspectives.

Santora represents the majority of responses, saying that Omni Hotels appeals to a broad base of guest demographics with a wide range of hotel product. He did, however, commit that the brand is popular with Boomers due in part to hefty conference business. “From Omni’s perspective, we do see a lot through that Boomer category, and when you think about that, they’re really the most homogenous of the generations in history, and probably the most traveled…. So when we think about amenities for them, we really want them to have this wide range.”

 

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Hotel Spending Is Back: Is Your Hotel Ready?

Hotel spending trends

Photo by mentalfloss.com.

It’s official! People are traveling again!

While many of us have known for some time that travel is on the uptick, the recent quarterly earnings announcements confirm our own suspicions.

Recent quarterly sales findings in the retail sector have been disappointing, with executives from everyone from Macy’s to Nordstrom to Target reporting anemic sales figures, thanks in large part to the consumer market spending less on clothing.

But if people aren’t spending money on clothes then what are they spending their money on?

The consumer research arm of Thompson Reuters knows the answer: nesting and travel.

Consumers are foregoing clothes and investing in bigger ticket items: cars, homes and experiences – travel.

income at starwood hotels

The Starwood Hotels group is part of the larger, Marcus Hotels, brand. Image by Royal Contract Lighting (royalcontract.com)

And these figures hold true in earnings reports. Hotel owners Marcus (IHG, Starwood, Hilton, Pfister, Heidel House, Grand Geneva and Timber Ridge), Royal Caribbean Cruises and Boyd Gaming (who owns more than 20 casinos) show earnings growth rates of 344.4%, 185%, and 130% increases respectively.

This also holds true with what we’ve been seeing as of late. The tide is turning from buying “things,” and Millennials, plus the older end of Generation Z (and younger Gen Z who are influencing their Gen X parent’s spending decisions) are flexing their interest in travel.

Is your hotel ready for an influx of guests?

 

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From Around The Web – Sensible Sustainability: The New Standard for Hotels

Leeds Certification Hotel Sustainability BCDN Hyatt Photo

Leeds Certification is one of the most popular green building certification programs used world wide. Photo Credit: BDCNetwork.com

There’s pressure on the hospitality market to incorporate sustainability into their hotel design and renovation projects.  “KA’s Davies contends that LEED is “an aspirational goal.” He says that the most insightful developers and the best projects first devise a number of sustainability strategies, and that LEED is a second step to see how those aspirations measure up. Only then, he says, can adjustments be made to assess whether the hotel’s design and construction can be stretched to a higher level of efficiency and sustainability.” Read More…

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From Around the Web: Smart Hotel Brands Are Already Thinking About Generation Z

Generation Z and Hotel Stays

Photo Credit: Skift.com

While thinking about your hotel planning, renovations and marketing, keep this important generation in mind. “Even though most of Generation Z is still in school, smart hospitality brands are already marketing to this highly influential group of future hotel guests to generate loyalty.”  (Skift)

 

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Branded Experiences: It’s More than Just a Logo

It’s no secret: Customers are wanting more than just utilitarian solutions when they travel. They want an “experience” – something new, unique or memorable.

Not that long ago, standardization was key to just about anything. Think of it like the “McDonald’s” formula: a customer could walk into a McDonald’s anywhere from Spokane to Sarasota to Stockholm… and it would be the same experience. The customer would know exactly what to expect. The McDonald’s experience would always be the same.

While setting high standards is important, and there are operational benefits to standardizing, cookie-cutter approaches to the customer experience aren’t the answer.

Think about it: Even McDonald’s adapts its international menus to appeal to local markets. J

Today, customers are delighted by brands that can still maintain their own personality – and yet give a nod to the local environment or community.

Just as McDonald’s might serve pasta at its Italian locations, so too are hotels finding that they can still be part of a brand family, and yet be unique by being highly connected to the local community.

So what does that mean for your hotel? Here’s a few ideas for breathing some personality into your specific hotel location, yet while still honoring any branding concerns you may have as well.

Art Exhibits in Hotels

Reach out to a variety of artisans – metal workers, large format sculptors, painters, ceramicists, etc. – your backyard to create an impactful connection to your local community. Photo Credit: productfind.net

The Ties That Bind: Creating a Community Connection

Not only are hotels are striving to be part of the local community, but they are also positioning themselves to be communities – destinations — themselves: Where the local bar or fabulous restaurant – the place to go – just might happen to be in a really cool hotel.

This sort of “presence” in a community means that even when you have empty rooms, you might still have locals coming to dinner, hanging out in your bar, or interested in a local weekend get away from home.

Another way hotels can honor their local roots – thus differentiating themselves from just being “yet another hotel” — is through art. Local art can infuse a hotel space with the culture and character than will entice visitors further into the community and bring guests back.

You don’t have to have a local artist like world renown glass artist Dale Chihuly in your backyard – or include large scale art installations into your hotel space.

An emphasis on a local art connection can be displayed on a smaller scale such as local art displayed in rooms or incorporating local artisans’ ceramic, glass or metal work in your fixtures, tile work, or furnishings in room.

It’s these little details that all add into creating a saturated branded experience for your customers that they will ever forget.

These connections and attention to detail reclassify your hotel from “a place to sleep,” to “THE place to go if you want to visit [a particular city.]”

Think Fusion.

hotel design trends

The “real” look of wood in a ceramic form. Photo Credit: South Cypress.com

When you’re rethinking interior designs for your hotel, take some sage advice from Chanel: “Fashions fade. Style is eternal.”

A foundation of high quality furnishings, rich textures, intensely saturated colors, and excellent lighting in your rooms and hotel space creates sensory and ephemeral luxury.

But don’t be afraid to set yourself apart: create your own fusion of classic style and local culture. Give a nod to your community’s local history, roots or influences.

A hotel by the shore could include sea glass inspired accent tiles into bathrooms. A heavily forested region might draw on ‘wood-like’ tiling that has a reclaimed, authentic feeling in baths or entryways. A statement color wall or textured wall materials (bamboo, rattan etc.) can make a huge impression.

Green Still Pays.

hotel design living green walls

Gorgeous “living walls” are another way many firms are bringing the outdoors inside. Photo credit: Ambius.com

Consumers are more environmentally conscious and savvy than ever. They understand there are lot’s of ways to save the environment – and it doesn’t take a lot of money to do it either. Hotels are wise to incorporate these tactics into their operations in such a way that also publicly affirms the hotel’s commitment to the environment. Sustainability can be included through:

  • local sourcing of suite furniture,
  • locally grown food for your hotel restaurant,
  • conscientiously thinking of and designing rooms with oversized windows to capitalize on natural lighting,
  • “green” plant life walls,
  • grey water recycling,
  • electronic/water-efficient faucets and tubs,
  • or “even supplying their own energy,”

The key is to create an identity for your hotel brand that shapes every element of the customer experience. Create a branded experience that resonates with both your own company values as well as honoring your local environment. Build that experience so that your customers will want to come back again and again.

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From Around the Web — Bathroom Design: Tub vs. Showers

Hotel bath or shower trend

Photo Credit: Hotelmanagement.net

“While separate showers and tubs have been a mainstay of high-end hotel bathrooms for years, many luxury properties are opting for spacious walk-in showers, eschewing tubs altogether.” What will your hotel be doing? 

 

 

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Hotels: Create Spa-Like Get-a-ways… Just Don’t Unplug Too Much

by Christina McCale 0 Comments

Knowing your market has never been more important for the travel industry. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information now available about the largest generational market.

Researchers have found that the Millennial generation (those born from 1980- 1996) in particular know and appreciate the opportunity for retreat: time to recharge and rejuvenate. Time to keep things in balance. They also happen to like to hang with mom and dad.

Hotel Spa-like baths

Spa-like experiences appeal to all of your guests’ senses. Photo credit: luxurylaunches.com

Spa-like retreats and get-aways aren’t unique to the Millennial generation, but given this 80 million customer-market now out of college (or close to it) these young professionals command a significant part of the economy, coupled with the growing interest in unique experiences, rethinking your hotel spaces is worth some serious consideration.

Better Than What’s at Home.

As hotelier (and Hollywood heavyweight) Francis Ford Coppolla says, hotel baths should be “better than what the [guest has] at home.” A get-away is just that: getting away from what the average consumer has at home. It’s not a get-away if the hotel’s bath is just a different color scheme of one at home. That’s utilitarian. Normal. Nothing to write home about. While there is always a need to be practical elements, hotels shouldn’t have miniature, en masse replicas of what the average consumer has at home.

And while spa-like bathrooms are the ideal that magazines often write about, most home owners/renters don’t have “spa-like baths.” They might have elements of spa-experience items. They might even fantasize about having that spa-like bath experience. But most of your guests won’t have the “total” experience. Hotels have a unique opportunity to create the “total spa-bath experience” in their guest suites. Consider including the ephemeral luxury of:

  • Oversized soaking tubs
  • Extra-large, plush bath sheets
  • Rainfall or water fall shower stalls

Wellness

Heath and wellness has infused itself into every industry – and the travel industry is certainly not immune. Taking a holistic approach to your overall suite design will appeal to all your guests senses. Consider including:

Even small spaces can feel roomy and luxurious with the right design. Rethinking the hotel suite layout can change a guest’s energy. Consider blurring the boundaries between “work spaces” and “sleeping spaces” and bathrooms with the use of sliding screens, glass block or smoked glass. Such elements can keep natural light flowing in, open spaces, and yet allow guests to create privacy when needed.

Unplug – But Not Too Much.

Spas or spa-like environments evoke a sense of “unplugging.” But don’t think that “unplugging” means that you can skimp or cut back on technology. Just like a bad hair cut or old eye glasses, nothing dates a hotel faster than inadequate, out of date, or poorly implemented technology.

While technology means more than just well placed outlets, truly thinking through how your customer uses and carries their technology around. For example, do your customers use their smart phones as their alarm clocks? Do they play music on their smart phones while in the bath or shower relaxing? The savvy hotelier anticipates how customers incorporate their technology tools into their stay and tries to accommodate their needs.

That doesn’t mean you have to have the latest tech toys, but it does mean you need to think about the technology that will matter to your customers – and that it works. Consistently. Consider creating:

  • additional self-check in capabilities,
  • your own app to being able to text the concierge, make reservations, or order room service,

Incorporating the right mix of technology will create a unique extension of the customer experience – and one that would appeal strongly with a majority of your traveler market.

And maybe by thinking through how your customer really uses their technology, you’ll give them the peace of mind and the ability to relax that other market players don’t.

 

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Project Spotlight: The rise of technology in bathrooms – Hotel Designs

by Orlando 0 Comments

It’s fair to say our daily lives are in the midst of an ongoing ‘digital revolution’. So many day-to-day aspects of our lives have now been digitised — no more so than in our homes where technology plays a considerable role in how we do simple, everyday tasks. So it figures, we expect the same if we’re staying at a hotel when travelling — essentially a ‘home away from home’.

 

This has definitely begun in a whole host of areas ranging from check-in to temperature control. And one such area that is benefiting from the rise of technology is the bathroom. And these innovations aren’t just making life easier and more convenient, but can now offer a personalized, luxurious touch as well.

 

Color in hotel bath design

Photo by hoteldesigns.net

 

This shower is an amazing example of the use of color in bath design.

Digital technology has arrived in the bathroom and it is here to stay. The next step will be to enable even more efficient networking between the different types of digital products and create truly comprehensive digital solutions for the smart home of tomorrow. Hotel Directory members GROHE are pioneering digitization in sanitary technology and have been at the forefront of industry progress for more than a decade, with products like the GROHE Ondus beginning major design trends…

Intuitive operation for enhanced comfort What all digital GROHE products have in common is that they can be operated intuitively – their user interfaces are simple to understand and self-explanatory, designed to make life easier for the user. At the same time, they incorporate modern technologies to create unique water experiences, which users can enjoy time after time.

F-Digital Deluxe – GROHE

hotel bath design

photo by hoteldesigns.net

Technologies for personalized luxury GROHE F-digital Deluxe takes the concept of luxurious and personalized showering to the next level. A user can simply select a colored GROHE Sensia® shower toilets also offer high levels of user comfort. Their cleansing functions can be set and activated via a remote control unit or, for the Arena model, via an app. Simple, intuitive symbols on the keys or touchscreen provide direct access to all functions. All settings – including the temperature of the water, the pressure of the spray and the position of the shower arm – can be personalized to meet each user’s individual needs and preferences.

GROHE Sensia® shower toilets

Hotel bath design

photo by hoteldesigns.net

 

I have to believe this is just a display of what that toilet looks like, I would not choose this open design for the toilet in this part of the room, it’s not private at all. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

 

GROHE Sensia® shower toilets also offer high levels of user comfort. Their cleansing functions can be set and activated via a remote control unit or, for the Arena model, via an app. Simple, intuitive symbols on the keys or touchscreen provide direct access to all functions. All settings – including the temperature of the water, the pressure of the spray and the position of the shower arm – can be personalized to meet each user’s individual needs and preferences.

GROHE Sensia® shower toilets

All digital products from GROHE are designed to enhance their users’ daily lives and create distinctive and enjoyable experiences. In addition, many digital functions also help to save water and energy, allowing users to enjoy a deeply relaxing shower, while also feeling good about saving water and energy.

www.grohe.co.uk

Editor, Hotel Designs

 

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