Ever thought about making documentary about your hotel?

March 30, 2007 at 10:18 am | Posted in hotels, marketing, project, UK | Leave a comment

Yes? No? It seems to be nice marketing tool for some hotels if you can get it right. The Big Sleep Hotel, UK has done it by making documentary about opening their second hotel.

 So what is it about businesses such as Big Sleep that interests the public? Rachel Lalljee, producer of the documentary, says that as an industry, hospitality is well geared for such programmes. “The service business is interesting, whether you’re setting up a restaurant or a café. There are a variety of definite stages you go through,” she says. “It’s clear and easy for the audience. Everyone knows roughly how a hotel is run and they’re keen to see that in practice.”

Documentary will surely make more buzz around this hotel, but before you call TV channel, read here what owners have to say about the filming process. It`s not all about fame…

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Some news not to miss

March 29, 2007 at 1:15 pm | Posted in Europe, hotels, news, travel | Leave a comment
  1. London leads global survey on European travel [TripAdvisor.co.uk]
  2. HOWTO: Scam luxury hotels [HotelChatter.com]
  3. Berlin`s funky hotels [Gridskipper.com]
  4. Coming soon: Qbic Hotel WTC Amsterdam [HotelChatter.com]
  5. TripAdvisor trumpets top 10 castle hotels in Europe [PR Newswire.com]
  6. Glin Castle, Ireland and Hotel Therese, France [TabletHotels.com]
  7. Rooms without sevice [The Independent.co.uk] The Caterer blog has its say here
  8. New hotel website startup-VibeAgent.com [TourismInternetMarketing.com]
  9. UK hotel prices close to 100 punds a room [eHotelier.com]
  10. European hotel values in 2006 highest in history [eHotelier.com]

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How to motivate employees?

March 29, 2007 at 9:45 am | Posted in hotels, Latvia, management, tips | Leave a comment

Probably the toughest question for a manager…

 UPDATE! Further reading [via eHotelier.com]:

Yesterday I went to seminar “Employees` motivation”. It`s always easier in theory than in practice. Manager has to have good theoretical background as well as good knowledge about communication and psychology and be able to understand and feel employees. That`s what lecturers (professionals in human management) agreed about as well. We were taught about motivation, employees selection, carrier and training.  

Main thoughts: Continue Reading How to motivate employees?…

Photos from Hotel Cosmos, Moscow

March 27, 2007 at 10:41 am | Posted in hotels, photo, Russia | 2 Comments

Hotel Cosmos in Moscow. Rates start from $210 for single room. It`s located on one of Moscow`s main streets – prospect Mira. More information here (start page looks ridiculous). Be aware that hotel looks better in homepage than in reality…

[rockyou id=61706764&w=426&h=320]

[via Eiropa.lv]

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Living lobby trend

March 27, 2007 at 10:04 am | Posted in Europe, guests, hotels, photo, trend | Leave a comment

Hotels have made rooms to become second homes and offices, but now they try to get guests out of their rooms and stay more in lobbies, order drinks, chat with friends and even hold business meetings. Lobbies become high tech living rooms.

In the last one year, several billions of dollars have been sunk by hotels into making over their lobbies to make guests stay there and even conduct their business, even as electronic gadgets that fast-track guests check-in into their rooms. [full article at eHotelier.com]

Hotels are trying to create livelier lobbies, which will give a competitive edge. They hope to generate more food and beverage sales by drawing guests out of their rooms, entertain friends and even hold business meetings.

Starwood Hotels have tagged their lobbies as living rooms, but Marriot International lobbies are now divided among zones that allow guests to work, meet and dine. Some hotels eliminate receptions or merge lobby with bar and restaurant. Free Internet access and beauty of the lobby attract even non-resident guests. With all that hotels try to make lobbies more lively, more like quests` living rooms at home.

Lobbies go from metal and glass modern friend`s hall:

  

[Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel, Paris]

to grandma`s guest room:

[Academy Town House Hotel, London]

Not sure, which one I like more…

Or maybe relax on one of these soft couches for cosmopolitan girls?

[Hotel Omm, Barcelona]

I think comfortable sofas or chairs, tables and quiet corners are must for lobbies to become live. Then comes appropriate lightning, drinks and snacks, newspapers and books and different high tech features. And don`t forget about good service. It`s still the most important thing in a hotel.

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Photos from MITT 2007

March 26, 2007 at 11:29 am | Posted in Estonia, Europe, fairs and events, Latvia, Lithuania, photo, Russia, travel | Leave a comment

MITT 2007 March 21.-25. in Moscow, Russia. Hotels from Baltics mostly participated by giving their information and marketing materials to their region, city or hotel industry`s representatives.

Fair took place in four exibition halls.

Continue Reading Photos from MITT 2007…

Best online hotel sites – updated

March 26, 2007 at 10:23 am | Posted in award, Europe, hotels, internet, marketing, travel, UK | 4 Comments

 Update! Kevin, editor of Travolution, has sent me a comment explaining more about Travolution Awards:

Just a few things to note:

* The hotels you have mentioned only make up a shortlist – they are by no means winners of any awards.

* The senior staff at Travolution will not be judging any of the hotel categories. This will be done by a collection of senior figures from across the online travel industry.

* The award will be announced on 24 April in London.

 I`m quite confused, but thankful to Kevin. From news it could be understood, that judging process had already happened…. OK, let`s wait 24 April for best of the best 🙂

UK based online travel industry news site Travolution has announced its first Travolution Awards (nominees). Full list here.

Best Hotel Website

• Paramount-Hotels.co.uk
• Jumeirah.com
• BestWestern.co.uk
• Hyatt.com
• Sheraton.com
• VonEssenHotels.co.uk

How they were choosed?

Best Hotel Website

This award will be given to a hotel chain or individual hotelier that has achieved the greatest impact in its market during 2006. This can be based on an increase in traffic, bookings or partnerships, or the introduction of innovative tools and functionality.

Account will be taken of:

  • Originality of design and features
  • Level of innovation against wider web community
  • Success of the website within the market.

Anyone could send in their entrees, but judging process will be up to Travolution senior team and other senior people from online travel industry. I have some doubts that people who sent in those entrees where mostly from UK.

I took a look at those best hotel web sites. First four look quite the same. The same sleek and posh look, quality flash photos, online booking module, the same offers. Looks good but don`t surprise. I can`t judge about innovations and success within the market….But when I look at Sheraton…Sheraton`s Earth (taking over Google Earth)? Interesting. Von Essen Hotels is something completely different from all previous ones. At first I even got confused where to start – so much information with so little letters. In my opinion there should be better hotel site than this one out in Internetsphere. What You think about these websites?

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Too bad it won`t be in Europe…

March 23, 2007 at 10:12 am | Posted in hotels, photo, project, unusual hotels | Leave a comment

Image

Image

WATERWORLD, China. Hotel design project by Atkin`s Architecture Group (famous for Dubai building projects).

Set in a spectacular water filled quarry in Songjiang, China, the 400 bed resort hotel is uniquely constructed within the natural elements of the quarry. Underwater public areas and guest rooms add to the uniqueness, but the resort also boasts cafes, restaurants and sporting facilities.

The lowest level runs with the aquatic theme by housing a luxurious swimming pool and an extreme sports center for activities such as rock climbing and bungee jumping which will be cantilevered over the quarry and accessed by special lifts from the water.

Mentioned by The Coolhunter and also here, here and on many other blogs.

If project will come to live it will be one of those hotels or resorts where people stay not because they need a place where to stay, but because of the hotel itself. It`s an adventure to sleep, dine or swim in such location. It`s something unseen and that`s what people want and like. They like to be surprised. That`s the reason why Europe has ice hotels, hotels in lighthouses and even one room hotel in harbour`s crane (Crane Hotel near Amsterdam, Netherland). More unusual hotels here.

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First Latvia`s hotel in “Tablet Hotels”

March 22, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Posted in hotels, Latvia, photo, reviews | Leave a comment

Nice surprise for me today. One of the best Latvian hotels and one of the world`s best boutique hotels “Hotel Bergs” in Riga is now on Tablet Hotels (website for luxury boutique hotels). And it`s the first hotel from Latvia on their list. Here`s what they say:

With the Soviet era just a fading memory, and the Baltics now absorbed into the EU, it was only a matter of time before the concept of the design hotel touched down in Latvia. Within the walls of these two late nineteenth-century buildings lies what may be Riga’s most stylish lodging, the Hotel Bergs.

The look here is surprisingly mature and elegant, eschewing eye candy and non-functional design hysterics in favor of a muted palette of greys, browns and creams, incorporating remnants of the district’s art nouveau heritage and the original century-old brickwork of the facade.

So far it has got 17,5 out of 20 on feedback. I already mentioned Hotel Bergs here.

Studio suiteApartment

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Easy check-in?

March 22, 2007 at 9:12 am | Posted in guests, hotels, internet, Ireland | Leave a comment

One of The Snug co-authors complains about check-in/check-out in a hotel in Dublin where he is frequent guest.

I logged on tot he hotel’s website and began the registration process. Now, as a guest who has stayed here many times before, I was given no opportunity to log in and retrieve my personal details to save me wasting a few valuable minutes completing all the fields, instead I had to plod through each field, line by line to complete my reservation. Credit card details were entered and authorised and I duly received my confirmation email.

I was presented with a BLANK registration card to fill in all my contact details, home address etc….(bear in mind I had done this a few nights previously online..). As I handed back the completed card with difficulty, I was then asked for my credit card to authorise my stay.

All this might have been overlooked had it not been for the need on checkout to AGAIN produce credit card details from my wallet to pay the final bill, again laden down with bags, this was a visible effort and the staff made no attempt to assist with bags or manually type in the credit card details on file..after all, they had been given them twice already…

Sounds familiar? Hope not. It might be possible, that it`s not secure to keep reservation data in hotel homepage, but guest could be given some sort of client number which he could use on next reservation without a need to fill in all information again. It might ask for more work from hotel side, but guest would be more satisfied. OK, even if my idea is impossible, there is no excuse why to ask the guest to fill in contact details once again upon arrival and ask for credit card 3 times…It`s supposed to be a good practice for hotels NOT to ask contact details from returning guests, isn`t it?

Of, course it`s not possible for receptionist to remember all frequent guests by name or face, but that`s why we have those lovely reservation or client management systems or box with registration cards, where receptionist can look up if the guest has been here already. That`s what we do and it doesn`t take much time.

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