Industry News

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May 2017

Bouchon Bakery teams with Bardessono resort in Calif.
Hotels Online
Guests at the Bardessono Hotel & Spa in Yountville, Calif., will enjoy a new array of desserts and pastries thanks to a partnership between the resort and chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. Complimentary Artisanal Breakfast Bites also are part of the deal.

 

April 2017

Benchmark taps chef Stephan Pyles to oversee F&B
Hotel Management Online
Chef Stephan Pyles is taking the helm of the food and beverage programs at 70 Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection properties. Pyles will oversee recruitment, restaurant design, menu development and training.

Four Seasons Baltimore adds residences, restaurant
The Business Journals
Atlas Hotel Group will develop a 250-seat restaurant on the top floor of the Four Seasons Baltimore, a hotel that is dedicating floors 19 through 27 to residences.

Hilton Garden Inn expands food, beverage choices
TravelPulse
Hilton Garden Inn is offering a wider range of food and beverage options, including 24/7 service and a cooked-to-order breakfast option. The initiative to enhance the upscale hotel chain also includes redesigning dining areas as social spaces.

There’s cheese in cheese for hotel restaurants
Hotel Interactive
The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, is making the most of its cheeses, using them with everything from wine to desserts. Few hotels “are properly leveraging these savory pairings to enhance the overall dining experience and subsequently turn a better profit,” Larry Mogelonsky writes.

 

March 2017

Top chains go to school on food waste problem
Environmental Leader
America’s largest hotel chains are addressing food waste in pilot programs conducted by the World Wildlife Fund. Prevention strategies include training staff, measuring waste, educating customers and revising menus.

Redevelopment project will add hotel to former Chicago restaurant space
Curbed
A redevelopment project is bringing a new 13-floor hotel to the Old Town neighborhood in Chicago where a shuttered, beloved restaurant stands. O’Brien’s Restaurant & Bar is likely to reopen as a ground-floor anchor for the project.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo teaches guests how to cook Italian
Vogue Online
Italy’s Grand Hotel Tremezzo is offering guests lessons in classic Italian cookery. “The offerings have proved so popular that the hotel has expanded them to include a wider variety of dishes and even some Italian language instruction,” writes Hayley Phelan.

5 steps to correctly interview a chef
ILHA News
Chefs have a special blend of skill, personality, experience, motivation, passion, leadership and technique that rarely identifies itself clearly on a resume. Find out how to identify these traits to hire the right chef for your team

Famed chefs throw spotlight on hotel restaurants
New York Times
Hotels are increasingly spicing up their restaurants by recruiting notable chefs, often investing heavily in the venue to seal the deal. New York City stands out with its pool of homegrown chefs.

Hotels feed Gen Y cravings for authentic dining experiences
SmartBrief/Food & Beverage
Hotels are increasingly tailoring their food and beverage offerings to millennials who crave authentic local flavors when they travel. “This generation is bringing out a creative side in all who shape food and beverage programming because they seek a unique experience every time they enter the hotel,” said Shawn Hauver, managing director of The Knickerbocker in New York City.

Midmarket making premium coffee a standard hotel offering
Hotel Management Online
The expectation of premium coffee availability has percolated down to the midmarket hotel segment in brands such as Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Any coffee used to be fine in the midscale tier, but InterContinental Hotels Group’s David Neves says that in the last three or four years, “our guests are more interested than ever in a flavor, a special roast and a better cup of coffee.”

Hotels highlight importance of the honey bee
Hotel Management Online
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Bee Sustainable program and the “B.Aware” dinner experience at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center highlight the industry’s efforts to draw attention to the importance of honey bees to the food chain. Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook maintains 10 hives.

 

February 2017

Growth of “grab and go” lifestyle hotel trend
Hotel News Now
Hotels are cashing in on the “grab and go” trend, with fresh and convenient food available for guests and locals alike to bring in additional income and cater to the changing demands of hotel consumers. As food and beverage sales are increasingly important to the industry, prices must be kept competitive with neighboring restaurants.

Houston hotel’s new restaurant ready
Houston Chronicle
The newly renamed Sam Houston Hotel has unveiled a brand new bar and restaurant, The Pearl, which opened just ahead of Super Bowl weekend. The Pearl’s highlights include the oyster bar and the seafood-themed menu, while the decor pays tribute to the building’s 1924 origins.

New Fla. hotel will feature culinary theater
The News-Press
A hotel planned for downtown Fort Myers, Fla., will feature a culinary theater so guests can watch and learn from top chefs. The hotel will have more than 225 rooms, along with retail and restaurant offerings on the ground floor.

Street food trailer at Hotel Zephyr, San Francisco
Hotel Management Online
The Hotel Zephyr has unveiled “The Camper,” a grab-and-go food truck for guests and visitors that serves seasonal fresh meals all day. The truck will also offer room service and can be hired for private events.

Fanciful, festive cakes are financial win for hotel restaurant
Hotel F& B Magazine
The Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air restaurant in California launched a special-occasion cakes program a year and a half ago to capture business lost when diners would bring in outside cakes. The restaurant added three pastry chefs to meet demand and now creates three or four of the elaborate cakes each week for birthdays, proposals and anniversaries.

Italian hotels shelter refugees, showcase their cooking
The Guardian
Cuisine from Africa, Armenia, Kosovo, Lebanon and Syria treats guests at Ethnos restaurant in Villaggio La Brocchi, one of two hotels in Italy set up by the government to employ and house refugees. Locals are encouraged to mingle with the 38 refugee families living at the hotel in the Tuscan hills.

 

January 2017

Review: Hotel’s NoMo Kitchen brings together old, new
The Daily Meal
New York’s 263-key NoMo SoHo hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows and jeweled showers. The property’s NoMo Kitchen restaurant “marries nostalgic American cuisine with the modern inspiration found in SoHo neighborhood,” write reviewers Elaine and Scott Harris.

Ritz-Carlton’s Kinship bar the place to see, been seen in Charlotte, N.C.
CharlotteFive
The new Kinship bar in North Carolina’s Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, hopes to be “a see-and-be-seen spot for Charlotte’s trendiest drinkers and diners,” writes reviewer Sarah Crosland.

The Willard Intercontinental executive chef’s must-have list
ILHA
Chef Laufer has chosen 10 of his favorite things as head of The Willard Intercontinental’s diverse culinary programs, including the award-winning French bistro, Cafe du Parc. He draws on both challenging and inspiring moments in his culinary career as executive chef at a number of Intercontinental hotels.

Tips and trends from an award-winning sommelier
ILHA
Stanley Chang is the sommelier and beverage manager at The Sanchaya, a luxury beachfront resort in Southeast Asia. Stanley talks about trends, crafting a new cocktail, and other things important to sommeliers.

Charlotte Marriott opens wine shop
Hotel Management Online
The newly renovated Charlotte Marriott City Center has opened a wine retail store dubbed The Bottle Shop. It has 120 labels and free wine tastings nightly.

Hotels embrace high tea concept
Hotel Management Online
Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua hotel is launching a “modern tea menu” for 2017, while Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, has created a “Russian tea service.” The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee is offering an all-silver afternoon tea service, tea butler included.

 

December 2016

5 steps to correctly interview a chef
ILHA
Chefs have a special blend of skill, personality, experience, motivation, passion, leadership and technique that rarely identifies itself clearly on a resume. Find out how to best interview a chef to identify where their talent lies.

Food trends and technology
ILHA
Thanks to smart phone apps and the millennial generation who grew up with the internet, most hotels are transforming their food service offerings. Customers use their phones to locate, order, pay, review and receive delivery from thousands of options. These customers demand the same service while staying at a hotel.Find out more.

Four Seasons offers culinary discoveries for jet-setters
South China Morning Post
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has partnered with Noma to add nine culinary destinations to its Four Seasons Private Jet journeys. The new program will roll out in May 2017.

Top eateries double as hotels for out-of-towners
Skift/Bloomberg
Some signature restaurants are adding guest rooms to fill gaps in hotel accommodations for diners drawn from afar. Ventures range from new construction to conversion of existing space, with Airbnb as a key player.

Chattanooga, Tenn., boutique hotel project adds rooftop bar
Chattanooga Times Free Press
A $20 million boutique hotel development in Chattanooga, Tenn., has won city approval to add a spa, rooftop bar and more bathrooms. The project will revitalize a 92-year-old downtown structure.

Voracious Wi-Fi appetite gets hotels cooking
USA Today
Hoteliers are responding to consumer demand by offering more access to Wi-Fi, along with greater bandwidth and other improvements. Expense issues have prompted various cost-saving strategies, including seeking special deals with providers.

The Willard Intercontinental executive chef’s must-have list
ILHA
Chef Laufer has chosen 10 of his favorite things as head of The Willard Intercontinental’s diverse culinary programs, including the award-winning French bistro, Cafe du Parc. He draws on both challenging and inspiring moments in his culinary career as executive chef at a number of Intercontinental hotels.

 

November 2016

Classes with chef whet guests’ appetites to return
HotelNewsNow.com
Inviting guests of all ages backstage for food and beverage classes has been a loyalty builder for hotels. Some properties have formed partnerships with outside chefs to widen offerings.

There’s gold in Airbnb for hotels with F&B, study says
Hotel Management Online
Hotels with bars and restaurants are raking in dollars from home-sharing guests and can generate more, according to a new study by Airbnb. Two-thirds of customers who saved money through Airbnb spent more on dining and shopping, indicating the outlay was new, the report says.

Potential casino legalization draws Hard Rock to Japan
Bloomberg
Hoping for passage of pending legislation to allow gaming in Japan, Hard Rock Cafe International Inc. plans to invest heavily in the nation’s casino business. Hard Rock follows such firms as MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. in gearing up for a market worth up to $40 billion in annual revenues by one estimate.

Fairmont appeals to “cocktail culture”
Luxury Daily
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is expanding the use of specialty cocktails across its properties, incorporating both new drink menus and special events. “Fairmont cocktail culture extends far beyond the savoring of specially crafted cocktails at our storied bars and lounges,” said Fairmont’s Brett Patterson.

Chicago’s Conrad gives Baptiste & Bottle its space
Chicago Tribune
The expansive Baptiste & Bottle just opened on the 20th floor of Chicago’s new Conrad Hotel, and it’s meant to eschew the aura of a hotel bar-restaurant. Distinctive elements include reclaimed wood walls and a menu developed by international chef-restaurateur Richard Sandoval and executive chef James Lintelmann.

Hewing Hotel, Tullibee eatery unveiled in Minneapolis
Star Tribune
The Hewing Hotel opened this week in a converted warehouse in Minneapolis’ North Loop, with the Tullibee restaurant as its highlight. The Nordic-themed eatery is run by chef Grae Nonas, a recent transplant from Austin, Texas.

Eataly World aims to build on huge appetite for food tourism
Skift/Bloomberg
Developers of the Eataly World theme park in Bologna, Italy, are betting $106 million on a venture that will feature 25 restaurants and food stalls, 40 food-preparation workshops and more than 2 acres of farmland upon its scheduled opening in September. A 200-room hotel is planned for 2018.

 

October 2016

True taste of Hawaiian culture offered in Aulani shows
Los Angeles Times
Food, storytelling, music and dancing rooted in authentic Hawaiian life will treat guests at Disney’s Aulani resort in Oahu in luau shows beginning Nov. 2. The production is called Ka Waa, the Hawaiian name for canoe, a symbol of cultural connection.

Dinner by 3D printer? Welcome to tomorrow, and today
South China Morning Post
Dinner prepared with a 3D printer — already reality in a London restaurant — is among dining innovations on their way to meet emerging tastes and needs. In-house nutritionists, artisan ingredients and hydroponic farming are trending as well.

Restaurant experts give hoteliers food for thought
HotelNewsNow.com
Hotel restaurants can be drivers of occupancy and rates, but they mustn’t be run as accessories without their own identity, panelists stressed at the recent Independent Hotel Show in London. “Design and atmosphere are easier to make local, but the food initially was an afterthought,” hotelier Emma Irvine said.

 

September 2016

Top chefs find it makes business sense to team with hotels
The Wall Street Journal
Partnering with New York City hotels has proven to be a smart business move for prominent chefs, who benefit from the business expertise of hotel companies and the built-in customer base that hotels provide. Wolfgang Puck is preparing to open his 20th hotel restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, which footed the $10 million bill for the restaurant’s construction.

Italy’s Cinque Terre is perfect for foodies
The New York Times
Scenic Cinque Terre on Italy’s Ligurian coast is filled with pastel buildings, miniature towns and coastal hiking trails for gourmets to explore. They can also sample Italian dishes at Locanda Lorena, drink prosecco at Nessun Dorma and eat fresh sea catches at Rio Bistrot.

Four Seasons Houston updated lobby, restaurant
Houston Chronicle
Four Seasons Hotel Houston has tapped Richard Sandoval to help create a new bar and restaurant dubbed Bayou & Bottle. The restaurant will launch when the hotel debuts its renovated lobby next year.

Four Seasons in Beverly Hills adds Vinoteca wine bar
Eater
The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills recently welcomed the addition of the Vinoteca wine bar as part of updates to the property’s food and beverage options. The bar begins its takeaway breakfast and espresso service at 6:30 a.m.

Food waste chore sends hotels to cutting-edge composting
Hotel Business
Fast, high-tech composting helps hotels tackle the daunting problem of food waste. Many state and local governments are requiring the industry to recycle organic garbage, as an estimated 30% to 40% of food goes to waste in the US.

Healthier hotel food shrinks waistlines, budgets
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco hotels have joined the trend toward healthier cuisine, lowering costs in the process. Bernd Liebergesell, executive chef at the Westin St. Francis hotel, says cream sauces, 8-ounce steaks, half chickens and foie gras are being replaced with light sauces, vegetable purees, boneless chicken thighs and quinoa.

 

August 2016

Grand Hyatt Tokyo highlights seasonal flavors
JapanToday.com
Beginning next month, the Grand Hyatt Tokyo will feature the flavors of autumn in a new menu filled with seasonal delights at The Oak Door restaurant. For example, a pumpkin burger is coming in October.

Kamali brings pizzazz to F&B
Hotel Management Online
Hospitality House CEO Steven Kamali has been a leader in the rise of hotel food and beverage service to a prime attraction. His innovative work is highlighted in the Equinox and Moxy brands, among others.

Top chefs find it makes business sense to team with hotels
The Wall Street Journal
Partnering with New York City hotels has proven to be a smart business move for prominent chefs, who benefit from the business expertise of hotel companies and the built-in customer base that hotels provide. Wolfgang Puck is preparing to open his 20th hotel restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, which footed the $10 million bill for the restaurant’s construction.

 

July 2016

Renaissance Harborplace Hotel updates event spaces, restaurants
The Baltimore Sun
The 620-room Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel has completed a $4.5 million update to event spaces and restaurants.

 

June 2016

Celebrity chef helps Renaissance tell its story to business travelers
Skift
Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels brand is targeting business travelers with its new storytelling campaign that taps celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern. “When we looked at who could tell this story in an interesting, engaging, and authentic way, we wanted to find someone who represents that modern business traveler who’s curious and always looking for new experiences, and making sure their business trips are not business as usual,” said Marriott’s Dan Vinh.

Cocktail Craft
ILHA
The hotel bar has seen an elevated status the past few years as boundaries between spaces have opened and millennials, especially, are content to work/play/eat wherever they feel the most connected at that moment.

Beekeeping can sting without proper steps
HotelNewsNow.com
Eco-friendly hotels that feature beekeeping need for significant staff preparation and often turn to outside experts. The growing practice piques interest among guests and provides a homegrown sweetener for food and drinks.

 

MAY 2016

Breakfast: Reaching parents’ hearts via kids’ tummies
Hotel Management Online
Breakfast is a key opportunity to make parents happy by pleasing kids, say many hotel food and beverage managers. The challenge is to appeal to the younger set with festive treats while not neglecting nutrition.

Beekeeping Frisco hotels serve ecology, reap sweet reward
The Associated Press
Beehives on the rooftops of seven San Francisco hotels address the ecological crisis of declining bee populations while supplying honey used in food, drinks and spa treatments. “This is not about making money, it’s really about raising awareness about sustainability,” said Melissa Farrar, spokeswoman for the Fairmont San Francisco, where four hives produce about 1,000 pounds of honey annually.

Four Seasons offers “Culinary Discoveries” in latest private jet adventure
Architectural Digest Online
The current Four Seasons Private Jet excursion features “Culinary Discoveries” with chef Rene Redzepi. The three-week, nine-country trip will launch next year.

Michelin-starred chef opens NYC hot dog cart
The Observer
Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who has served haute versions of pizza and baked potatoes in restaurants around the world, is taking the high-meets-low concept to the streets with a summer hot dog cart outside of The Mark Hotel in New York City. His organic chicken hot dogs come topped with a variety of artisan condiments, such as kimchi relish.

Army of sommeliers makes Little Nell’s wine program one of the best
Curbed
The Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., boasts an industry-leading wine program, including 43 sommeliers on staff. The James Beard Foundation has repeatedly named the hotel as a semifinalist in the “Outstanding Wine Program.”

Survey: Margaritas are cocktail of choice in US
Hotel Management Online
Margaritas are the most popular cocktails in the US, according to a recent survey by Nielsen CGA. Daiquiris, pina coladas, Long Islands and mojitos also rounded out the top cocktails consumed by drinkers of legal age.

 

APRIL 2016

Lavish wine-and-dine plans unveiled for Westin Nashville
Hotel Management Online
A lobby bar-restaurant featuring country music videos and a rooftop lounge said to be the highest in the city will be part of the Westin Nashville that recently was topped off. New York-based CastleRock Asset Management is developing and owns the 454-room, 27-story hotel.

Hilton Midtown puts more than just drinks on ice
Hotel Management Online
New York Hilton Midtown features a bar with furnishings, walls and even dishware made of ice. “At any one time, we have 100 tons of pure carved ice on site,” said Richard Marsiglia, general manager at the hotel’s Minus 5° Ice Bar New York. Some 200 tons of ice from Canada are used to rebuild the bar every six months.

Denver Ritz-Carlton preps for Mother’s Day brunch
Luxury Travel Magazine Online
The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, will offer its annual interactive brunch in celebration of Mother’s Day. Amenities will include a “Build Your Own Bouquet” flower market and an on-site photographer.

Distinctive cuisine, stunning views mark Chicago F&B surge
Hotel Management Online
A rooftop restaurant featuring Latin American street food and a Mediterranean small-plates eatery are among upcoming additions to a burgeoning Chicago hotel dining-and-wining scene. Other highlights include what’s hailed as the city’s only trilevel rooftop bar, atop the soon-to-open LondonHouse hotel.

AccorHotels to plant gardens in effort to cut food wasteAccorHotels will incorporate vegetable gardens across its properties with a goal of reducing food waste by up to 30%. “In the future we’re going to have menus with 10, 15 or 20 main courses, with more local products,” said Amir Nahai of AccorHotels’ food operations.

Chefs on the move: Hotels put new kitchen leadership in place
Hotel Management Online
Several noted chefs have changed hotels of late, with three Fairmont properties hiring new maestros of cuisine. Baptiste Peupion has moved from Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Canada to orchestrate the culinary aspect of a makeover of a Montreal, Canada, landmark Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.

AccorHotels to plant gardens in effort to cut food waste

AccorHotels will incorporate vegetable gardens across its properties with a goal of reducing food waste by up to 30%. “In the future we’re going to have menus with 10, 15 or 20 main courses, with more local products,” said Amir Nahai of AccorHotels’ food operations.

 

MARCH 2016

Flavored, gluten-free beer vying for bar space
Hotel Management Online
Growing interest in flavored and gluten-free beer presents opportunities for hotel beverage managers, according to data from Mintel. In the nonalcoholic category, sales of energy drinks and coffee have also surged. Meanwhile, carbonated soft drinks, juice and dairy milk have seen flat or declining sales.

Hurawalhi Island Resort to open world’s largest underwater restaurant
Inhabitat
Hurawalhi Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives is planning to feature the largest underwater restaurant in the world, with room for 30 diners. The restaurant will open this summer.

Commentary: Focus on innovative F&B to win the hearts of millennials
Hotel Management Online
Food and beverage can be a key tool for hotels in winning repeat business from millennials, writes Elaine Simon. “When it comes to F&B, the same old-same old restaurants and menus aren’t enough to convince these guests to dine at their hotel. They are looking for more flexible options, healthier selections, an intriguing story: Going to eat at a hotel restaurant should be an experience,” she writes.

Commentary: Items to avoid ordering from room service
The Huffington Post
Avocados, coffee, fries and eggs are among items that are less than their best when provided by room service, according to this food blog.

 

FEBRUARY 2016

Hotel chefs hear calls for lighter, local fare
Hotel Management Online
A new breed of diner who demands healthy food and cares about its origins presents a challenge to hotel restaurant managers. “Guests are certainly more educated today, as they should be,” said James Draper, chef at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville (Fla.) Riverfront. “Beyond local sourcing, we focus on health options when writing our menus.

Consistency, identity key to success of hotel restaurants
Hotel Management Online
Hotel restaurants can lose their inherent advantage of closeness if they fail to maintain consistency and distinct identity, experts warn. “The hotel has its own team for operations, and the hotel’s restaurant needs to have its own team to have its own flavor,” said Chef Thierry Blouet of the JW Marriott Los Cabos’ Cafe des Artistes in Los Cabos, Mexico

These culinary mainstays were created in hotel kitchens
HotelNewsNow.com
The pina colada, tomato juice and even the brownie all have their origins in hotel kitchens. “The Palmer House, located in Chicago’s Loop area, is credited with creating the brownie during the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition,” writes Samantha Worgull. “According to legend, Bertha Palmer, a prominent socialite whose husband owned the hotel, asked a pastry chef for a dessert suitable for ladies attending the event.”

How to stay awake to breakfast cost factors
Hotel Management Online
Controlling waste, buying in volume and monitoring the amount of food that’s carried off are keys to making hotel breakfast cost-efficient as well as appealing, experts say. “This really comes down to the team at the hotels and their ability to control waste. They need to be very tuned into their occupancies and consumer behavior trends and be able to react quickly so as to control any overproduction,” said Susan Terry, an executive with Marcus Hotels & Resorts

 

JANUARY 2016

The Lodge at Torrey Pines closes restaurant for $2.5M renovation 
San Diego Business Journal
California’s The Lodge at Torrey Pines is planning a $2.5 million update to its restaurant, The Grill. Owner Evans Hotels says the restaurant will close next month and reopen in June

Catering can be a profit center for hotels 
HotelNewsNow.com
Catering can be extremely profitable for hotels when done right, writes Doug Kennedy. “Today’s catering event planners face an overwhelming number of choices and often have a difficult time making a selection,” he says. “Their decisions are made that much more difficult when most of the hotel catering proposals are roughly within the same price ranges, thanks to the competitive rate shopping that most hoteliers employ.”

Food and drink raise pressures, profits 
HotelNewsNow.com
An era of nonstop television cooking shows, celebrity chefs and five-star restaurants challenges hoteliers to ramp up food and beverage presentations, consultants said at an industry roundtable. They noted that hotels are seeing revenue gains by separating restaurants and bars from their rooms operations. Attracting locals is a key goal, as hotel guests alone don’t support profitability.

Wyndham Grand Brew Parlor to offer guests a new, cold-brew coffee experience 
HotelsMag.com
Wyndham Grand has launched a new Brew Parlor, with a focus on cold-brewed coffee and drinks developed by Chef Stephanie Izard. “As a chef, I’ve always put a lot of care into the coffee I serve, and I’ve worked with Wyndham Grand to find a coffee that is not only tasty on its own, but also serves as a base for creative flavors,” said Izard

Overlooked moneymakers: Restaurant and bar 
HotelNewsNow.com
Record room revenues may distract hoteliers from the profit potential of reinvigorating food and beverage offerings, Chesapeake Hospitality’s W. Chris Green writes. Tailoring menus to changing guest preferences, standardizing purchasing, setting service standards and benchmarking progress are among steps recommended for keeping guests on the premises for dining and drinking.

 

DECEMBER 2015

Chocolate artist Paul Joachim on chocolate, art and luxury
ILHA SmartBrief
Celebrity chocolate artist Paul Joachim shares how his live sculpting is “an incredibly luxurious chocolate experience. From the divine chocolaty aroma that permeates the room to the crowd watching me sculpt live while indulging in the most delightful chocolate in the world. It’s an experience in pure luxury for anyone who has an appreciation for food, chocolate and art.” 

Next big eats: Fish, meatloaf, bar dining
HotelsMag.com
Fish leads the protein parade, and Mexican cuisine, cauliflower, plant-based entrees, open-fire roasting and meatloaf are among other highlights of the second annual Culinary and Cocktails trend forecast by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Bar dining will be favored over sit-down meals, the prognostication adds.

 

SEPTEMBER 2015

Shorecrest Hotel to open new supper club this fall
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
Shorecrest Hotel’s new restaurant called Supper is slated to open Oct. 31 at the Wisconsin property. “I go supper-clubbing with some of my closest friends,” said restaurant owner Gina Gruenewald. “I’ve had this concept for a long time.”

One&Only Bahrain welcomes Hakkasan restaurant
Trade Arabia
Bahrain’s One&Only resort will feature the Hakkasan restaurant next year, featuring Michelin-starred executive chef Ho Chee Boon. “We are very pleased to be welcoming Hakkasan to One&Only Bahrain and know our guests will truly appreciate being able to enjoy this world-class experience,” said Mark Decocinis, president and COO of One&Only Resorts. “Hakkasan is the perfect fit for appealing to the desires of our discerning global guests who expect a variety of only the best dining experiences.”

Parisian hotels tout Michelin-starred restaurants
The Telegraph
Food enthusiasts planning a trip to Paris should check out this article’s guide to the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the City of Light, including several located inside hotels. The list includes Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse at Le Meurice and Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx at Mandarin Oriental Paris.

AccorHotels is ready to revamp food, beverage offerings
Reuters
AccorHotels’ has hired former Bain & Co. consultant Amir Nahai to revamp the food and beverage menu for its properties worldwide, the company has announced. “Rethinking in-depth our food and beverage offer is one of our priorities to ensure the success of AccorHotels’ transformation,” said CEO Sebastien Bazin.

Young executive chef at Bellagio’s Le Cirque
Las Vegas Sun
Wilfried Bergerhausen, the 28-year-old executive chef of Bellagio’s Le Cirque restaurant in Las Vegas, says he tries “to create in every new dish is a combination of novelty and childhood memories.” The French national began his “official” culinary training in 2001 and has spent six years in Las Vegas after initially planning to stay for one.

Single-liquor bar trend spills into hotels
HotelNewsNow.com
Some hoteliers are capitalizing on the one-liquor bar trend. London’s Athenaeum Hotel, for example, has its Whiskey Bar, with tastings and pairings in the hotel restaurant courtesy of its in-house whiskey sommelier. Meanwhile, Rome’s Hotel Adriano has a bar focused in gin. The Gin Corner offers 95 varieties of the liquor.

 

AUGUST 2015

Hotels highlight food-truck partnerships
Hotel Management Online
Some hotels are partnering with food trucks to offer cuisine. These trucks can supplement a hotel’s limited offerings for big events and also provide extra income for hotels through beverage sales. Food trucks can “certainly enhance the guest experience,” says Starwood Hotels’ Jeremy Cooper.

Luxury properties exemplify farm-to-table philosophy 
ILHA SmartBrief
Farmers markets at The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, N.C., and Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and a live tank at Fontainebleau Miami Beach highlight how luxury hotels are incorporating farm-to-table ideals for guests.

Modern techniques reshape hotel kitchens
HotelsMag.com 
New techniques such as “water baths, vacuum cooking, nitrogen freezing and rotary distilling,” are changing the design of hotel kitchens, according to Ryuki Kawasaki, chef de cuisine at Mezzaluna in Bangkok’s Tower Club at Lebua. “Many kitchens today are set up much more like laboratories than traditional kitchens, though we try to blend the two concepts.”

Craft your tea menu as you would your wine list
ILHA SmartBrief 
Create a core of best sellers, for example, classic black teas, green teas and caffeine-free herbal teas, and then introduce seasonal and trending flavors, making sure that the energy of the blend pairs well with the local climate and season. To learn more, meet the team at Rishi Tea, the International Luxury Hotel Association’s Official Tea Partner, at the ILHA Fast Forward 2020 Conference in September, or try a sample of their tea

 

JUNE 2015

Le Bristol’s Epicure named top hotel restaurant
The Telegraph
The Daily Meal has named Le Bristol’s Epicure to the No. 1 position on its list of global hotel restaurants, despite the fact Epicure did not make the cut for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards this year. “Epicure is unquestionably one of the best hotel restaurants I have ever eaten in (though for something entirely different Sushi Sora in Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental hotel also stood out) and was for me the absolute highlight of a visit to Le Bristol,” writes reviewer John O’Ceallaigh.

Sofitel N.Y. celebrates National Cheese Day with pop-up cheese shop
HotelsMag.com
Sofitel New York and Murray’s Cheese are teaming up to offer a pop-up cheese shop inside the Gaby Brasserie Francaise within the hotel in celebration of National Cheese Day today.

Celebrity chefs are becoming part of hotel dining’s recipe for success
Hotel Management Online
For many hotel restaurants a relationship with a celebrity chef can drive success as food and beverage become a growing part of the revenue mix. “Because of celebrity chefs, the Food Network and social media, you have to be so much more on point to attract consumers, both travelers and the locals,” said BR Guest Hospitality CEO James Gersten. “Because of social media, consumers want to feel like they’re in the right space in the right market.”

Build your food narrative
Hotel Interactive
A hotel’s cuisine is by far one of the best ways to differentiate your property and make a lasting impression with guests. Why? For one, eating involves a range of senses — taste, smell, sight, touch and, if you count the hustle-bustle of a lively ambiance, sound. It’s this activation of so many senses that primes our emotions and signals our memory centers to start taking notes.

Kimpton seeks “constant improvement” of bar experience for guests
HotelsMag.com
Mike Ryan, national manager of bar education for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, says his job is to foster the “constant improvement of the bar cultures at Kimpton,” noting that understanding spirits and guest interactions is essential.

 

MAY 2015


Coming soon: Butte, Montana’s 1st ’boutique hotel’
The Montana Standard
A Butte, Montana, couple who plans to open a Labor History Center in the Miner Bank and Trust Building on Park Street also wants to establish Butte’s first “boutique hotel” in the century-old structure. The Urban Revitalization Board voted to give a $190,000 loan to Ted and Cheryl Ackerman to convert the second floor of the building at 49-55 W. Park St. into a 10-room hotel. Boutique hotels are typically small, stylish hotels in unique urban settings.

Mobilegeddon” underlines the need for a mobile-friendly hotel website
Hotel News Now
The hotel industry has been aware of guests’ reliance on their mobile devices, so Google’s change in its search-engine algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly websites went unnoticed except by some boutique owners. Hotels can still improve the mobile experience, though, especially for tablet users, said Eric Feinberg of website consulting firm Answers Corp.

Menus are trending toward food that is fresh, authentic
HotelsMag.com
Fresh foods without additives or preservatives that offer authenticity are among the current menu trends in hospitality, food and beverage, according to a recent presentation at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.

Column: Comfort foods make a comeback
Hotel Interactive
Hoteliers should consider adding comfort foods to their menus, writes Larry Mogelonsky, president of LMA Communications. He notes that not only are comfort foods like chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese trending, but they are appealing because they evoke nostalgia and “hit all the right flavor notes.”

APRIL 2015

Las Vegas’ Bellagio launches new restaurant
HotelsMag.com
Cool tones and elegant shapes frame Lago, a new restaurant at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. The restaurant, led by Julian Serrano, features Milanese cuisine. Serrano said the restaurant’s goal is to execute “exceptional, thought-provoking cuisine in a setting you can’t find anywhere else in the world.”

Loyalty programs are a key part of hotel success
A loyalty program can increase bookings by up to 20%, according to a recent USA Today poll that found such programs play a “pivotal role” for many guests in picking hotels. “Customers have many purchase choices, and customer loyalty programs must make sure that they are offering a program in which the customer sees value and also feels rewarded for their loyalty at every touch point,” said Bill Linehan, chief marketing officer of Red Lion Hotels

Marriott moves to attract millennials to its newest Chicago property
Chicago Business Journal
Step right up millennials. This one’s for you. Chicago is expected to get a new AC by Marriott property at 630 N. Rush St. in the River North neighborhood next month. With its sleek minimalist room design, the AC hotel brand — relatively new to the United States — has been tailored to specifically appeal to millennials who want a stylish, but unfussy alternative to the one-size-fits-all hotel that used to be the norm in the hotel industry before the boutique concept became widely entrenched.

Hotels’ lessons for marketing to multi-generational travelers
Skift
As summer inches closer in the U.S. so do the waves of grandparents and their families ready to relax and flex their spending power on vacations. Multi-generational travel already has a strong showing at hotels and destinations around the world and if the 80 million people who will be considered older Americans by 2020 are any indication, this market will undoubtedly continue to flourish.

Studies: More millennials are traveling with their children
 HotelNewsNow.com
Millennials took more multigenerational trips in the last 12 months than Generation X travelers and baby boomers, according to the MMGY Global 2015 Portrait of American Travelers — one of several studies that show that millennial consumers are increasingly taking their children along in their travels. Embassy Suites Hotels, Marriott International and Hyatt are among those offering kid-friendly amenities for millennial family travelers.

Hotel firms now have a brand for every type of traveler
Skift
In their bid to meet the needs of every type of guest, the global hotel industry’s 10 largest companies have expanded their total brand count to 113, with many of these new brands placed under the lifestyle segment aimed at the millennial generation. Some observers caution that the needs of developers could be superseding consumers’ interests in the push for more brands

 

MARCH 2015

Rosewood highlights locally sourced food at Caribbean properties
Forbes
Rosewood is using its relationship with Caribbean farmers to locally source as much food as possible for Little Dix Bay, Jumby Bay and Baha Mar, a challenge in the islands where farming options are limited

Hotels turn to signature scents for welcoming ambiance
Hotel Chatter
Many hotel brands use signature scents to provide a better guest experience and foster loyalty. “When beginning the process of determining a scent for a hotel, key factors that play into consideration are the hotel’s location and the property’s overall theme,” said Andrew Gajary, the InterContinental New York Times Square’s general manager. The InterContinental relies on floral notes to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Bartenders often represent the face of a hotel
Hotel Interactive
This article highlights the important role bartenders play in interactions between hotel and guest. “Head bartenders are the ‘face’ of their bars and set the tone for the guests’ beverage experience,” said Rose Butler of the Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Hotel CEOs address changes in the hospitality industry
Skift
Changes in consumer behavior and attitudes offer opportunities to improve the way hotels engage travelers, Hyatt Hotels CEO Mark Hoplamazian says. For Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs, keeping up with technological innovations is “a very expensive part of what we do every day.”

Starwood Mortgage agrees to lend $19.5M to Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee
GlobeStreet.com
Starwood Mortgage Capital has agreed to refinance the 100-room Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee with a $19.5 million first-mortgage loan. The property is “the top performing hotel in the market,” said Ben Greazel, senior managing director of NGKF Capital Markets, which facilitated the deal.

Hard Rock Hotel could rise in Nashville, Tenn.
American City Business Journals
Hard Rock Hotels is reportedly considering building a hotel in downtown Nashville, Tenn. The prospective site of the hotel is under contract to be purchased by a group of investors

 

FEBRUARY 2015

Beverage industry moves to meet demand from health-conscious consumers
AH&LA SmartBrief
The U.S. beverage industry is responding to health-conscious consumers, adding fruit juice and probiotics to offerings.

Skift
Hotels that seek to improve their customers’ experience should take a hard look at the breakfast experience offered to their guests, according to InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Richard Solomons. The company has launched training for staff centering on breakfast, which “has identified [as among] the biggest opportunities to improve the guest experience,” Solomons said.

Pinnacle, Hampshire add hotel to Montclair mix; GreinerMaltz sells dairy site
Real Estate Weekly
The Pinnacle Companies announced a joint venture with The Hampshire Companies to develop The MC hotel in Montclair, New Jersey. Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group will manage the hotel. The 148-room luxury boutique hotel will break ground in the spring of 2015, and will include a rooftop bar, farm-to-table restaurant, conference center and a public art atrium.
Hotel Management online
International luxury hotel company Jumeirah Group is launching a global restaurant management company. The new company, dubbed Jumeirah Restaurant Group Dubai, operates 60 dining venues and lounges. The launch signal’s Jumeirah’s goal of expanding its restaurant portfolio

JANUARY 2015

Second Bar + Kitchen signs on to Archer Austin hotel
American City Business Journals
The 171-room Archer Austin luxury hotel in Austin, Texas, now under construction, has announced it will feature the Second Bar + Kitchen restaurant’s second location in the city

Marriott launches CANVAS, a global concept lab for F&B ideas.
4 Hoteliers News
2 Jan 2015 : The first-of-its-kind hotel industry program is a global incubator that will help hungry entrepreneurs realize their vision for amazing food and drink concepts in the company’s hotels.

Decor is a key part of luxury dining experience
Wall Street Journal
For luxury dining “the decor carries the same weight as the quality of the food and the service,” writes Alexander Lobrano. “The most wonderful environments are aesthetically pleasing, reflect the style of the cooking, offer a strong sense of place, and subtly and thoughtfully indicate to guests how to behave,” he writes

What Does 2015 Hold for the Travel Industry?
4 Hoteliers News
In a recent survey conducted by PwC, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Peru, France, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Vietnam were ranked as the top ten destinations for travelers in 2015.

Room service leaving the white tablecloth behind
HotelNewsNow.com
Room service is undergoing a fundamental change away from white-glove service to focus on convenience and functionality, according to industry experts. “The traditional way we see room service will be a thing of the past for nearly all hotels, except maybe for very high-end, 5-star-plus hotels and resorts that want to offer it as a high-end service touch point,” said Vince Barrett, vice president of food and beverage for New Castle Hotels & Resorts.

Crowne Plaza collaborates with leading health chef.
InterContinental Hotels Group has announced a partnership with Teresa Cutter, one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking with new menus to fuel success and stimulate meeting productivity

 

DECEMBER 2014

ILHA SmartBrief 
Chef Bruno Lopez is behind the fine dining restaurants at the California’s Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. The State Fare Bar & Kitchen opened in May and a second restaurant called the Edge is expected to open soon.

Jose Andres to open restaurant at Trump D.C. hotelILHA SmartBrief
Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., will feature a restaurant by celebrity chef Jose Andres, with the concept yet to be worked out, Andres said. “We’ve tapped one of the very best in the field … to create a restaurant concept that will live up to the unrivaled offerings of what will be one of the finest hotels anywhere in the world,” said Donald Trump in a statement …

Restaurant group predicts taste trends for 2015
ILHA SmartBrief
The National Restaurant Association released its What’s Hot in 2015 survey, forecasting that locally-sourced ingredients, environmental sustainability and healthy meals for kids will be important restaurant trends in 2015. Also this week, McCormick & Co. released its McCormick Flavor Forecast 2015, identifying spices and blends expected to grow in popularity in the coming year.

Mexico poised to become Latin America’s largest travel market.
4 Hoteliers News
With relatively low online travel penetration and a population of more than 120 million, Mexico is a market of great promise.

Marriott debuts hotel brand for millennials
USA TODAY
At the new AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, the guestroom closet has no door and the traditional business center is gone. It’s an uncharacteristic edginess for AC’s Bethesda, Maryland-based parent company Marriott International. But Marriott is shaking things up with its brand new 220-room AC Hotel in New Orleans, the first of 100 such hotels it plans to open in the next few years in urban markets such as Miami and Washington, D.C.

HotelsMag.com
Increased spending on advertising and social media, customized packages and targeting international guests will be among the hotel trends in 2015, general managers say

Young adults dominate travel.
4 Hoteliers
Demand for leisure travel is being driven by young adults aged 18-24 years old.

NOVEMBER 2014

Far majority take hotel toiletries during stay
4 Hoteliers News
Hotel guests can officially stop feeling guilty for taking the last of the mini toiletries from their guest rooms – actually, everyone’s doing it; 73% of the travelers admit to taking hotel toiletries, and many have found creative reasons to use them after their stay…….

Wellness tourism approaches $500b, no signs of slowing.
4 Hoteliers News
In this year’s Global Spa and Wellness Economy Monitor, prepared by SRI International on behalf of the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism has surpassed its former annual growth rate of 9% and has expanded at 12.7% for the 2013 calendar year.

Are these the world’s best boutique hotels?
The Daily Mail
Looking for the world’s hottest hotel bar? Or perhaps you are searching for the best eco-friendly accommodation? If so, your search may just have become a little easier after a new awards ceremony named its list of the globe’s best boutique hotels. 

VP of Food & Beverage, Four Seasons, Shares Insights and Food Trends for 2015.

4 Hoteliers News
Why are we so fascinated by Food Trends? Is it because we desire the new, we want to be in the know, or we simply love to eat? All true, for hoteliers however, the fascination goes beyond these reasons: food trends fuel innovative concepts that drive sales.

Winners of the 2014 Gold Circle Awards.
4 Hoteliers News
Agoda.com has announced the winners of its prestigious 2014 Gold Circle Awards, given to hotels around the world that embody the best qualities of the online hospitality industry….

 

OCTOBER 2014

Is this the most incredible hotel to open this year?
CNN
China’s string of amazing hotel openings continues next month with the completion of the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing. Due to open in mid-November, the eye-catching 97-meter-high luxury hotel has 21 floors filled with 306 guestrooms and suites. It’s designed by Shanghai Huadu Architect Design Co. and sits on the shore of Yanqi Lake, about 60 kilometers from Beijing’s city center. 

Small luxury hotels is getting into the private villas business
Skift
In response to guest demand for more localized experiences and private stays, hotel brands and associations are expanding their inventory to include independent boutique properties, peer-to-peer apartment rentals, and now luxury homes. Curated hotel club Small Luxury Hotels of the World announced recently that it will now offer privately owned villas, ski chalets, estates and yachts in addition to its existing collection of small independent

Hotel Wailea, intimate boutique hotel opens in Maui
Luxury Travel Magazine
A former Japanese private members club previously unknown to leisure travelers, Hotel Wailea has made the scene following a $15 million makeover and ushered in a new generation of luxury guests seeking the romance and tranquility of ultra-private suites, coupled with gracious island service. Perched 300-feet above sea level with dramatic ocean views, Hotel Wailea boasts a relaxed beach house design in all 72 one-bedroom suites, a newly finished pool with private residential-style cabanas and an orchard-to-glass apothecary bar that elevates Hotel Wailea to an unprecedented level of elegance within the exclusive Wailea resort community, Hawaii’s top luxury destination. 

1st look at possible $24.2 million University of Central Florida boutique hotel
Orlando Business Journal
Wonder what a possible University of Central Florida boutique hotel and conference center might look like? According to documents obtained Sept. 25, the University of Central Florida is expecting to negotiate a contract for a boutique hotel with KUD International LLC, pending a protest filed against the award by a competitor.

Welcome to the Riff Hotel, a new rock and roll-oriented spot that evokes 1980s New York
New York Daily News
A photo of a waifish Madonna, snapped back in her “Borderline” days, smiles at you mischievously from the wall, as a vintage image of young Boy George winks back from across the room. Piles of classic vinyl albums pack the shelves behind the check-in counter, nestled next to old turntables and a vintage reel-to-reel tape recorder. Welcome to the lobby of the Riff Hotel, a new, rock ’n’ roll waystation aimed at young, economically-strapped travelers who pine to channel the ramshackle cool of old New York.

SEPTEMBER 2014

Live like a king: Starwood Resorts opens amazing castle hotel in Northeast China 
Forbes
The Luxury Collection, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced the opening of The Castle Hotel, Dalian. Owned by the Dalian Yifang Group and managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Castle Hotel marks The Luxury Collection’s first hotel in Liaoning, China.

Millennial spend outpaces boomers, Gen X
Hotel News Now
Data from industry researchers shows millennials are spending more on travel. Millennials spent 20 percent more on travel over last year, surpassing the 12 percent average year-over-year gain of all U.S. households, according to the “2014 Portrait of American travelers,” released by MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing firm. 

California beach hotel to get $185 million luxury rebuild
Bloomberg
Rick Caruso, a Los Angeles shopping-mall developer, plans to spend about $185 million to rebuild a Southern California seaside hotel with a troubled past into a luxury getaway. The 170-room Miramar Beach Resort and Bungalows in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, will have such amenities as a beach club, spa, restaurants and two swimming pools, said Caruso, founder of closely held developer Caruso Affiliated.

Business travel in 2015.
4 Hoteliers News
Similar to last year, hotels are seeking corporate rate increases and air travel demand will grow quickly in 2015, as the global economy improves. In many regions, especially Asia and Europe, competition is also growing, largely from LCCs on short-haul routes and Middle Eastern airlines in long-haul markets….

 

AUGUST 2014

Travellers explain what makes the perfect hotel.
4 Hoteliers News
While the results show that a swimming pool and Wi-Fi are the ultimate most wanted features, it also highlighted that males and females prioritise different features and facilities.

Hard road for foreign travel agencies in China.
4 Hoteliers News
Even though the golden age of Chinese outbound tourism has begun, strict legislation still limits any effort by non-Chinese companies to take advantage from inside mainland China. This is in spite of the small steps that Beijing has taken over the years to meet the requirements of the WTO.

Renowned designer Philippe Starck unveils SLS Las Vegas
USA TODAY  
To legendary designer Philippe Starck, curating the new SLS hotel in Las Vegas was like making a movie. “We have a passion to make the best movie, the most incredible, astonishing movie to bring sparks in the eyes of our friends,” he says. Starck has once again partnered with hotelier Sam Nazarian, CEO of SLS parent company sbe, to create the third U.S. incarnation of the luxury hotel chain.

Walt Disney World’s 1st true luxury hotel
Forbes  
Florida’s enormous Walt Disney World is often referred to as “The Happiest Place On Earth,” and not without good reason — it is easily the largest and most popular theme or amusement park on the planet, pulling in an estimated 18+ million visitors last year.

Luxury resorts make extra effort to go green
South China Morning Post  
Luxury hospitality brands that want to be taken seriously on the environmental stage have had to step up their efforts to be sustainable, as consumers are becoming more green-savvy. Forty-five percent of wealthy consumers surveyed by the Luxury Institute in a 2012 report revealed that they actively seek out brands with strong ethical values.

Santa Fe, New Mexico’s, newest hotel makes its debut
Albuquerque Journal   
There’s a big new addition to Santa Fe’s downtown hotel market. While a “soft” opening was held last month, the 182-room Drury Plaza Hotel officially opened for business this week. But it’ll still be a while before the vision laid out for the hotel — in what used to be a hospital — is fully complete.

New luxury hotel and residence planned for downtown Ketchum, Idaho
Times-News  
Ketchum soon will see its first new lodge in about 20 years.Sun Valley-based developer Trail Creek Fund LLC is building a downtown boutique luxury hotel and residential development at River and Main streets, and Auberge Resorts Collection, of Mill Valley, California, will run the hotel. The 155,000-square-foot project will feature about 90 hotel rooms and penthouses.

 

JULY 2014

Hotel room service is not dead
Hotel News Now  
Don’t count out room service just yet. While some hotel companies and individual properties are experimenting with ways to more efficiently provide this amenity or, in some cases, eliminate it, room service still has a place in the hotel industry, said panelists during a discussion at last month’s meeting of the American Hotel & Lodging Association Food & Beverage Council at Godfrey Hotel in Chicago.

The lobby revolution
The Australian  
The phrase hotel lobby used to be unambiguous. Its place in the world of accommodation was ­defined by certain constants. There would be a reception desk, often with pigeonholes for messages and clunky keys, a formally attired concierge looming over a pulpit-like station, bustling porters, corridors or arcades leading to facilities that now seem prehistoric, such as barbers and business centers and central to all this somewhere comfortable to sit and watch the world pass by.

$28 million development to turn former Detroit fire headquarters into boutique hotel with restaurant and retail
MLive  
A Chicago-based hotel group announced recently it plans to redevelop a former Detroit Fire Department headquarters building into an upscale, 100-room boutique hotel with a restaurant and retail. Aparium Hotel Group said it plans a $28 million renovation project of the historic, 5-floor building at 250 W. Larned in downtown Detroit.

Hotel, travel associations say they oppose possible tax on rewards programs
The Washington Post  
Hotel and travel groups  voiced concern over a proposal from the Internal Revenue Service that could lead to a new tax on loyalty rewards programs for hotels, airlines, rental cars and other services. The groups — Airlines for America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the U.S. Travel Association and the American Resort Development Association — sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew recently asking him to omit the proposed tax from the department’s 2014-2015 business plan, which would go into effect July 1.

 

JUNE 2014

Another busy summer forecast for US hotels
Hotel News Now  
Sources agree it’s shaping up to be another busy summer for hotels across the U.S.  Hoteliers from coast-to-coast told Hotel News Now that performance is on pace to match, if not exceed, last year’s performance metrics for June, July and August, backing up STR’s new forecast for the three summer travel months. STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now

About half of hotel guests reuse towels to save water, energy
Los Angeles Times  
When hotels ask guests to reuse towels to conserve water and energy, about half say they comply, with another 39 percent saying they sometimes reuse towels. Those results, from a survey of 2,700 travelers nationwide, suggest most travelers have accepted some conservation efforts by the hotel industry, said Patricia Griffin, president and founder of the Green Hotel Association, a global environmental group.

 

MAY 2014

Carlson Rezidor announces first hotels of its new luxury brand.
The Quorvus Collection name originates from the Southern sky Corvus constellation featuring the five brightest stars. It is a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels inspired by the lifestyle and sensibilities.

Marriott bans sale of shark fin.
Effective July 1, 2014, Marriott will implement a complete ban on the sale of shark fin. In 2012, the company removed shark fin from its menus, offering high-end sustainable alternatives, resulted in an 80% reduction in consumption.

Google is moving deeper into the hospitality.
Google has integrated hotel and restaurant search on Android, allowing Android smartphone users run a quick search on hotel-related queries and get a list of hotels with an option to filter the search results based on price range.

What Hotels Should Know About Digital Travelers.
Travelers have very different expectations around self-service and human-interaction while on property. Many travel with dozens of mobile applications, believing that self-service is the best.

Starwood expands China footprint
Starwood in partnership with Greenland the Four Points by Sheraton Hefei, Shushan – the first Four Points hotel to open in the capital of Anhui Province.

 

APRIL 2014

Virgin Limited Edition adds private vineyard hotel in Cape Town.
Virgin Limited Edition announces that it has signed a contract to purchase Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard in Franschhoek, South Africa.

Worldhotels launches its global loyalty program ‘Worldhotels Peakpoints’
WorldHotels
Worldhotels, one of the leading groups for independent upscale hotels worldwide, has announced the launch of its global loyalty program “Worldhotels Peakpoints.” Available at all of the groups’ almost 500 hotels in 65 countries worldwide, Worldhotels Peakpoints is one of the first all-virtual global loyalty programs in the hospitality industry

Agrilicious Local Food Resource Launches
Agrilicious launches the first-of-its-kind national go-to source for all things local food. The website helps you find, select and celebrate the benefits of locally sourced food. more

Hotel meeting planners look for green
Hotel News Now
It might not be a deal breaker, but meeting planners increasingly are looking at hotels’ sustainability programs when deciding where to hold their events, sources said. Hotel companies have responded with a variety of strategies to create greener meetings.

Four Seasons launches luxury jet experience
CNN
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is entering the aviation game. Sort of. The Toronto-based luxury accommodation brand has leased its very own Boeing 757, to fly guests on global tours starting February 2015.

Virgin Hotels coming to Nashville, Tenn.
Virgin  
With their Chicago hotel only a few months away from opening, excitement for Virgin’s newest business is growing and we are happy to announce that as well as developments in Chicago and New York, Virgin Hotels are coming to Nashville, Tenn!

Tiered Wi-Fi emerges as new industry model
Hotel News Now
After seeing complimentary Wi-Fi service become ubiquitous at limited- and select-service hotels, owner-operators of full-service properties are now facing growing pressures from consumers and brands to provide a tiered program that features free, property-wide basic service while charging for premium broadband access.

Hotel amenities that increase revenue
Hotel Managers Group Blog  
People are constantly on the move, and competition among hotels for their patronage is fierce. Whether individuals are traveling for business or pleasure, certain basic amenities are required for repeat business. Other features are for the more discerning visitor who is looking for high-tech gadgets, energy-efficiency or a unique experience.

Long-term visitors boost profits for swank hotels
Crain’s New York Business  
The Pierre hotel is fielding some unusual requests lately. Before confirming a reservation, one guest asked if she could move her baby grand piano and expensive artwork into a two-bedroom suite. Another customer, unhappy with the small-screen TV in his suite, asked management to install a 90-inch model.

 

MARCH 2014

Loyalty programs for one-of-a-kind hotels
The New York Times
It’s a decision many business travelers would rather not have to make: Stick with the big, predictable hotel chain and accumulate rewards points, or stay at the offbeat independent hotel but give up any rewards.

Security challenges: A hotel is not an airport
ehotelier.com
When a hotel decides to protect their property with an X-ray machine and metal detector gate at the main entrance, it does not guarantee protection from terrorist attacks and it comes at a high cost to the hotel.

The Google guide to mobile hotel bookings
Hotel News Now
The average U.S. consumer spent three hours and 11 minutes daily on digital devices in 2010. Three years later, that number had jumped to five hours and 16 minutes, according to Vincent Macri, head of mobile – travel at Google.

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant to enter the vibrant and global city of Chicago
PR Newswire
Acclaimed lifestyle group Nobu Hospitality LLC is proud to announce plans for the development of the luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Chicago with a leading U.S. real estate development firm. The Nobu Hotel and Restaurant will be located in the vibrant area of the West Loop on the corner of Randolph and Preoria Streets and is planned to open early 2016

Boutique hotels break into Vegas
USA TODAY
Entrepreneurs here have always thought big. But lately, when it comes to hotels, their ambitions have been shrinking. Sort of. Glitzy and glamorous mega-casino resorts have lined the Las Vegas Strip for years: Think the 5,044-room MGM Grand Las Vegas and the 4,049-room Venetian.

Why Pinterest is a must have for hoteliers
Hotel Online
The battle over social media channel dominance continues to wage, as Pinterest (21 percent) becomes more popular than Twitter (18 percent) among Internet users in 2013, according to Pew Research Center. Further statistics from ShareThis shows that for the first time, Pinterest outpaced email to become the third most popular sharing channel in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Boutique cave hotel iconic Santorini will open in April 2014
Robb Report
The Iconic Santorini, a boutique cave hotel, will have its grand opening in April 2014. Even on an island studded with fine inns, this unique property takes Greek style and hospitality to new heights. Located on the rim of a volcanic caldera, the 22-room Iconic Santorini puts guests front and center in one of the most dramatic settings in the Mediterranean.

Hotels moving into old buildings
The New York Times  
Reuse and recycle are taking on new meaning for hotels. The Lamb’s Theater, a longtime fixture on West 44th Street inside the Manhattan Church of the Nazarene, is now the luxury Chatwal Hotel. In Philadelphia, the previously empty Lafayette Building near Independence Hall opened in 2012 as the Hotel Monaco.

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs Opens 
Hard Rock International welcomed Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs on March 6, 2014 with an extravagant Grand Opening party.

The Villa by Barton G. at the Versace Manson has all the Miami glam you’d expect
Conde Nast Traveler
You’d be hard pressed to travel to Miami and not pass by the fabled Versace Mansion on buzzy Ocean Drive. But the former estate of the late iconic designer Gianni Versace has a new owner, thanks to the Nakash family, who bought the property for $41.5 million last September. Restaurateur and events guru Barton G. Weiss will manage the mansion-turned-boutique hotel, fittingly dubbed, The Villa By Barton G.

Biltmore Hospital becomes Asheville, NC’s Posh Hotel
Citizen-Times
Posh Boutique Hotel, open for nearly a year, had its grand opening last month. But the building’s history predates it by almost a century — and started as a tribute to George Vanderbilt’s cousin and very good friend, Clarence Barker

Tommy Hilfiger entering hotel business with South Beach, Fla.,’s Raleigh
Miami Herald  
In another sign that the South Beach, Fla., hotel market has reached superheated status, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is in talks to buy the iconic Raleigh Hotel just over a year after it last sold. The new purchase price has not been released and the deal has not yet closed. Hilfiger told Women’s Wear Daily that he plans to turn the property, which he called “a bit dated,” into a “five-star chic hotel with all the amenities.”

Four Seasons launches the Four Seasons bed
Hotel News Resource
For the 92 percent of survey respondents who expressed distinct preferences on the firmness of a bed, there’s especially good news. Introducing The Four Seasons Bed — the next evolution of the iconic Four Seasons sleep experience and the first fully customizable hotel bed, offering travelers the opportunity to effectively choose their own bed and personalize their sleep during every Four Seasons stay.

 

FEBRUARY 2014

New butler services buff luxury hotels
The New York Times
In the race for an increasingly personalized luxury hotel experience, the butler may be the ultimate amenity. Since January, the new Langham, Chicago has employed a rotating staff of eight dedicated butlers for its three club floors.

Nobu hotels to open the top luxury suite in Las Vegas in April-sushi included
Forbes
Luxury suites in Las Vegas are usually thought to be over-the-top garish, an image reinforced by countless buddy movies with storylines of comic debauchery. Sensing a gap in the market, then, the partners behind Nobu Hotels, including Robert De Niro, are opening in April what they describe as the most luxurious but also the most tasteful suite in the city.

Independent hotels are ripe for revolution
Hotel News Now
If Charles Dickens worked in today’s hotel industry, he might tell a tale of two hotels: The large branded hotel and the small independent hotel. His story would likely depict the days leading up to a hotel industry revolution as it’s truly the best of times and the worst of times for those operating in today’s climate.

Biloxi, Miss’., White House Hotel set to reopen in June
WLOX-TV
VideoBriefIt should re-open in mid-June. That’s the word from developers of the historic White House Hotel in Biloxi, Miss. If you’ve driven by the White House Hotel lately, you’ve seen plenty of construction work underway. It’s hard to believe that historic landmark is finally being revived, after sitting vacant for some 30 years.

New luxury hotel coming to The Woodlands in Houston
Houston Business Journal
A new luxury hotel will soon break ground in the Woodlands in Houston, providing much-needed rooms and meeting space for business travelers visiting the area. The Howard Hughes Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Woodlands Development Co., will soon break ground on a 303-room, luxury hotel at Waterway Square overlooking The Woodlands Waterway.

At luxury hotels, faster Wi-Fi comes at a price
Los Angeles Times
In most luxury hotels, if you want wireless Internet access, you are going to have to pay. That trend may be changing. Sort of. Loews Hotels & Resorts announced last month that it will offer free Wi-Fi at all 18 of its hotels nationwide.

Guests read 6-12 reviews before booking
ehotelier.com
TripAdvisor has announced the results of an independent study that underscores how essential online traveler reviews are in the research and booking process. The commissioned report, conducted by PhoCusWright with a total of 12,225 respondents from around the world, was conducted at the end of 2013.

Hotel Ivy owner plans luxury hotel for historic Minneapolis building
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
The local company that recently acquired Hotel Ivy is working on plans for another ultra-luxury hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Heartland Realty Investors wants to convert the 12-story Plymouth Building into a roughly 270-room Conrad hotel, according to sources with knowledge of the deal who asked to remain anonymous to protect client relationships.