Just What is a Lifestyle Hotel?

Just What is a Lifestyle Hotel?

A short detour through Southern California brought me to an independent property advertising itself as a ‘lifestyle hotel’. Not knowing the specifics of what this meant in a West Coast context, who exactly this hotel was targeting or how the property was differentiating itself to substantiate this modifier, I was curiously excited to try it(…)

In Vino Veritas Part XXXVII: Returning to NorCal

In Vino Veritas Part XXXVII: Returning to NorCal

NorCal, short for Northern California, produces ostensibly the best wines in North America. Ever since Chateau Montelena’s chardonnay beat out the longstanding French incumbents in a blind taste test in Paris 1976 (the lighthearted 2008 film “Bottle Shock” portrays these events), Napa Valley and Californian wines have been on an upward spiral of fame, flavor(…)

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

Midway through a whirlwind tour of Oceania, I find myself lodged in downtown Sydney, Australia for a couple nights to visit my wife’s family. Forgoing complimentary accommodations with the relatives, I opted for one of the city’s hotel marvels, the Four Seasons Hotel, which stands as both a pinnacle of urban luxury and an oddity(…)

Living in the Review Age

Living in the Review Age

Corporate transparency, social responsibility and responding to customer reviews in real-time are but three examples of 21st century business practices that have transitioned from value-add to consumer expectation in under a decade. It’s this third instance that concerns us today as we descend into a literal ‘Review Age’ where everything under the sun can be(…)

Ten Considerations for a 2015 Restaurant Redo

Ten Considerations for a 2015 Restaurant Redo

While subcontracting your F&B operations to experts is always a viable option, many operators continue to stick to their guns and keep their restaurants firmly within arm’s reach. Let’s assume that you are in such a situation and are content with your margins, your online reviews, your staff’s performance and your chef. “Ola kala!”(Everything is(…)

When Hoteliers Become Heroes

When Hoteliers Become Heroes

Don’t dismiss this so hastily; it could happen to you. On the unusually warm spring night at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania, Security Supervisor Ruben Hernandez had just begun his shift when he received an urgent call for help. The call was for an unconscious male, not breathing and not showing a pulse. Ruben immediately removed(…)

Five-Star Housekeeping For Five-Star Properties

Five-Star Housekeeping For Five-Star Properties

Having just completed an exhaustive Pacific hotel tour, my report to hoteliers is this: no matter what your brand or luxury status, housekeeping remains a prickly beast and a constant challenge. Seventeen nights on the road in luxury hotels and one would think that the results are all coming up like daisies. Well, I wish(…)

In Vino Veritas Part XXXVI: Choose Your Glass Wisely

In Vino Veritas Part XXXVI: Choose Your Glass Wisely

“You have chosen…wisely,” is what the immortal knight says to Indiana Jones after he drinks from the Holy Grail – an unsuspecting wooden cup hidden among a swath of poisonous chalices and jeweled goblets. I’m reminded of this scene at the climax of The Last Crusade whenever I have to make a decision as to(…)

HITEC 2015: A New Hope

HITEC 2015: A New Hope

With a new Star Wars movie opening this Christmas, it seems only fitting that we borrow the original 1977 film’s subtitle to describe the state of affairs at this year’s HITEC in Austin, Texas. The weather outside was sweltering with rolling thunderstorms, sheets of rain and tornado warnings, yet the mood inside the Austin Convention(…)

In Search of Hotel Excellence: The Langham Auckland

In Search of Hotel Excellence: The Langham Auckland

As I sit down for afternoon tea in Palm Court, the lobby lounge at The Langham Auckland, I’m astounded by the immaculate presentation, the flawless service and the attention to detail in every corner at this incredible New Zealand hotel. It’s a luxury property that feels quintessentially European and yet is about as far away(…)

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