CONCIERGE CONCIERGE HOTEL DECONSTRUCTION <-CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 When a new wing was added to their Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise esort it was built with environmentally-sensitive materials and BY SHELLEY SEALE used low-emission adhesives for wallpaper and carpets. A pixel, the smallest dot that makes up the Mike Taylor, Fairmont’s Toronto- whole, usually refers to a computer image. based Public-Relations Manager, says, But the Pixel Hotel in Linz, Austria has brought “These changes have been so popular with the concept to hospitality, with individual ISSUE NO.02 4TH QUARTER 2009 A HOTELIER’S HELP DESK both afflicted travellers as well as regular road warriors that Fairmont is considering a guest rooms spread throughout the city. The accommodations themselves make use chain-wide roll-out of the concept.” of interesting, but previously uninhabited, WINE ANGELS SWEET PEAS FOR Other properties, like the SLS Hotel premises. One room is in a former cabinet- at Beverly Hills and Pointe Hilton Squaw maker’s workshop with a 1960s vintage Peak, Phoenix, are offering a Pure Room camping trailer as a living room. Another is TAKE FLIGHT YOUR SWEET PEA concept provided by PURE Inc (pureroom. inside an art gallery, dominated by a floating com). While PURE room guests are charged island that houses the bed. There is even a an additional $20 a night per room, Fairmont room housed in a 1955 boat anchored in BY GIGI RAGLAND BY CAROLYN B. HELLER offers theirs at regular rates. Linzer harbour. Guests are given transport passes and café vouchers for breakfast. The STREET FOOD With white-attired servers flying inside a Does fresh sweet pea soup attract well- creators believe this enables guests to be a part of the local culture and to really explore what 16-metre-tall tower to gracefully retrieve heeled parents, and their little sweet peas? the neighbourhoods have to offer. and serve bottles of wine to awe-struck Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel This “flexible hotel” concept won the Grand Prize in the 2009 Radical Innovation in GOES LUXE clients, Zurich’s new Radisson Blu has thinks so. This 560-room property is Hospitality Award. “It’s really creative and it has low capital costs,” says John Hardy, who taken wine presentation to new heights. pampering its youngest guests with a new co-founded the competition in 2007. “What’s more radical than no hotel?” These soaring “angels” perform air baby menu, a prix-fixe trio of made-to- Other accommodations offer a similar concept. One By The Five in Paris is a single, acrobatics within a tower constructed to order purées. While the hotel, which offers BY ALLAN LYNCH exquisite suite in the Latin Quarter. Borgo San Lorenzo in northern Italy allows guests to hold 4,000 bottles. The angels, who are a similar baby menu at its Toronto location, immerse themselves in a traditional Italian experience at a number of small suites, located equipped with holding gear and manoeuvred isn’t actively promoting the kiddie cuisine, around the village. by computer-controlled winches, are restaurant staffers suggest it to patrons PIONEERING THE accompanied by a LED light show. with infants. Food and Beverage Manager The wine tower concept was pioneered Wolfgang Dauke says the yellow-ribboned more than a decade ago by Las Vegas’ menus are a “total surprise” to travelling ALL-INCLUSIVE URBAN HOTEL Aureole restaurant inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Radisson Blu built its mums and dads. first tower London at the Stansted Airport property and in February opened the taller and Families are a significant market more advanced tower in Zurich, marking the world’s third such tower. for the Vancouver hotel, explains Director “Guests are astonished and amazed with the angels’ performance,” notes of Sales and Marketing Peter Bruyere. BY CHERYL-ANNE STURKEN general manager Werner Knechtli. “When we were thinking of something special While its Fleuri restaurant already offered for the lobby, we wanted to surprise, delight and exceed the expectations of our a traditional children’s menu, one of As it nears its one-year anniversary, Quincy, demanding guests.” the managers - a new father himself Singapore’s only all-inclusive hotel, has At a price tag of 4 million Swiss Francs, the 27.5-ton wine tower has plenty of – conceived the baby fare as an added proved it has staying power. Just eight “wow” factor, and the acrobatic wine angels add to the excitement. Besides performing convenience for parents. Move over comfort foods, street food is months after opening its doors and claiming artful retrieval of wines from temperature-controlled compartments, the angels perform So who’s spooning up the pea the newest trend in hotel dining. While to be a pioneer in the all-inclusive urban choreographed show flights to music. Adding to the allure is the ability to book the wine soup, butternut squash, and rice porridge? New York’s Peninsula Hotel has a hot dog hotel category, the 108-room property in angels to ‘fly’ at meetings or cocktail receptions. It’s the frequent travellers and long-term cart and Brown’s dishes up fish-‘n-chips, the city’s trendy Orchard Road district is guests, who tire of perpetually packing Hector Pliego, the buff, trendy executive one of the city’s most popular hotels and purées when dining with their wee ones. chef of the JWMarriott Hotel Hong Kong boasts a healthy 80 percent average monthly MEDIAHUB If tangles of cables, jacks and cords for your www.vancouver.suttonplace.com has gone further, scouring Asian capitals occupancy. gadgets are annoying enough at home, the for the region’s best street foods. “Business travellers find the concept BREATHE EASY problem increases ten-fold whilst travelling. Pliego says, “It is one of the purest refreshing, because they don’t have to fuss BY SUZANNE WALES How many times has a frantic guest asked forms of cuisine anywhere. Street food is a over claiming individual expense reimbursement from their employers,” says Daryl Lee, area your concierge for a cable or charger? very competitive market. These guys can’t general manager for Singapore-based Far East Hospitality, the hotel management division of Enter the MediaHub, an all-in-one jack BY ALLAN LYNCH rely on expensive design or fancy service. the Far East Organization, which owns Quincy. panel for a range of devices, from iPods and It’s all about the food! The only way to draw Copy cats are on the prowl. “All the big, established hotel chains have sent their top iPhones, to digital cameras, cam recorders Five years ago housekeepers at the Fairmont customers is by making your stuff better senior executives to experience what Quincy is doing, and how we are doing it,” says general and laptops. Not only does this neat little Waterfront and Fairmont Vancouver Airport than everyone else’s, so they specialize in manager Franck Hardy. “I know, because I’ve met with most of them.” box charge portable gadgets via a USB Hotels received so many daily requests to one or two dishes, using recipes that have Included in the daily room rate (currently 248 SGD) is limousine transfer from the connection, but it can stream the audio and video they hold directly onto the room’s TV remove things from rooms which could trigger been fine-tuned by years of experience. airport, three meals, evening cocktails, two pieces of laundry daily, an unlimited supply of screen, be it holiday snaps or playlists. allergic reactions that hotel management This is what we are trying to achieve: real, bottled water, and Internet connection. “Basically it will work with any television that has an HD mike port in the back of worked with an allergist at the University of unpretentious, street cuisine in a clean and Value aside, Quincy’s top asset is its service, Hardy says. “Nowadays, guests it,” says Mathew Needham, Marketing Manager of UK-based TeleAdapt, distributors of the British Columbia to develop dedicated rooms stylish environment.” expect the same level of service from a boutique hotel that they get from a traditional, five MediaHub. for allergy-sensitive travellers. Feather pillows They offer it as part of their weekend star hotel.” This high-tech-looking device can be mounted onto the wall or room fittings, or were removed, room-cleaning methods lounge menu and as a funky option for To keep things fresh, menus are tweaked every four days, and in-room mini bars are free-stand on the room’s desk in a special casing. Just released is a model that runs on were changed and amenities switched. private events. constantly re-evaluated for new additions through guest feedback. Central to cost control is bluetooth technology. Although it currently only has an audio option, Needham doesn’t rule When were changed and amenities switched. Check out Pliego’s blog: the fact that back-of-the-house operations, such as laundry, sales, administration and air- out device-to-TV cordless image-streaming capability in the future. www.teleadapt.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 -> www.wokthiswayhk.com. conditioning, are shared with a nearby sister property. www.quincy.com.sg BEST ADVICE CONCIERGE CONCIERGE CHOCOHOLICS BY VANESSA GENEVA AHERN GENERATION ‘WHY WAIT?’ BY BOYD FARROW From Paris to Australia, hotels are offering Hotel brands attracting Generation Starbucks have realised that lobbies are no longer chocolate to attract kids, couples and simply places to install gigantic vases but gathering places where multitaskers hang out, groups, all while padding the bottom line. socialise and consult their iPhones. Brands such as InterContinental Hotel Group’s Indigo, “Our ‘Hot Chocolate Bar & S’mores’ Hyatt’s Hyatt Place, and funky start-up chain NYLO have all gone for a pared-down but cool seems to increase food and beverage sales look – the sort of places that are made for more than dawdling through. THE BEST CAREER ADVICE EVER GIVEN TO JEAN-PIERRE ETCHEBERRIGARAY, on Friday and Saturday evenings, especially Lobbies in Starwood’s fledgling aloft chain feature an all-day “grab and go VP FOOD & BEVERAGE - AMERICAS AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP when the weather is a bit cooler,” says Erin pantry” called Refuel. The idea is that guests “will find fresh items at reasonable prices Lim, Public Relations Supervisor of the that are either made on the property or by a local catering company.” There are pastries As the mastermind behind the first grappa bar in Nor th America, at the InterContinental San Ritz Carlton at Half-Moon Bay in California. and yogurts to be grabbed in the morning. Later, it’s salads, deli-style sandwiches, and Francisco; the cognac bar at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta; and the Sushi-Teq bar, Guests buy the S’mores kit ($38), created by hot dogs. which pairs makis and tequila at the InterContinental Boston, Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray local chocolatier Recchiutti Confections, and Indigo’s first European hotel, in London, has the lobby-nuzzling Phi Brasserie, has earned a reputation for creating innovative food and beverage concepts in Nor th toast the treats in the cozy, fire pit rooms. which serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner from 7am to 11pm. Even more intuitive is America. Prior to joining IHG in 1989, Spain-born Etcheberrigaray ser ved as food and When the Cadran Hotel in Paris überstylish Dutch chain citizenM (short for citizen Mobile) which boasts canteenM with a 24- beverage director for a number of upscale hotel brands across the globe, including Pan- opened its Chocolate Bar in March 2009, hour choice of soups, sandwiches, salads, sushi and warm dishes There are also “limited- Pacific Vancouver and Le Meridien. Today he oversees food and beverage operations and it generated a flurry of publicity for the edition” beverages and coffee prepared by in-house baristas, while in the evening, the bar plays a crucial role in new hotel development and renovation projects for the InterContinental boutique property. The Chocolate Bar sells offers fine spirits, cocktails, champagne and fresh draught beer. The days (and nights) of and Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resor ts brands in the Americas. W more than 30 different chocolate delicacies hotel restaurants closed between sittings is looking as outmoded as rack rates. by chocolatier Christophe Russell, including hile great advice comes my way almost daily through macaroons and bonbons, which can be people from all walks of life, my father was the first THE MINIBAR EVOLUTION paired with gourmet coffees. person to teach me a valuable lesson, which was ‘learn The Chocolate Bar at Peninsula to anticipate’. Having grown up in the Basque country, Chicago attracts 200 to 400 chocolate where survival was no easy feat, I learned to prepare for both the lovers Friday and Saturday nights, and is a BY BOYD FARROW good and the bad times. Today, the hospitality industry demands popular setting for girls’ night-outs, couples, this type of anticipation. In the course of my career, I’ve had blind dates, and families with children. When the Andaz Wall Street opens next January, guest will find their mini-bars chock-full of formidable situations that arose from outside forces that were At the Loft Lounge & Bar at the complimentary treats and non-alcoholic drinks. While this gesture is not a sly dig at the freshly difficult to anticipate. So I’ve learned to always be on edge, on Breathtaker All Suite Hotel in Mt. Buller, diminished spending power of Wall Street workers, it does reflect the current economy. With top of a situation, looking at how things may go wrong. What if the Victoria, Australia, kids can choose from 9 such a premium on value, hotels are clamouring to offer guests extra in-room goodies. lights go off? What if the plane is late? If you expect something, different kinds of hot chocolate flavours. The nearby Greenwich Hotel has a basket of gourmet snacks and proper-size soft you know what to do should it happen. Jed Hackney, Pastry Chef at drinks which are replenished practically as soon as you hit the shower. The Affinia chain I learned another big lesson from a general manager I Boston’s Langham Hotel, advises hotels encourages you to make mini-bar selections online – you can also choose the time of their worked with years ago in the Middle East. One day during an that want to pursue a chocolate bar to start delivery – with the costs factored into your reservation. This summer, boutique hotel chain oyster promotion, he asked me, “Are you satisfied? Was there with a dessert buffet on a smaller scale Kimpton Hotels launched a “Raid the Mini-Bar” promo for loyalty club members. Kimpton a better, more creative way of doing the event?” The question and expand from there. The Chocolate Bar InTouch members get a credit for any two items up to $10 or $15 in New York hotels. stopped me in my tracks. There were certainly different ways at Boston’s Langham Hotel is in its 21st Of course this new generosity is not just stateside. In Amsterdam, the newest to have organized it, but I wasn’t sure whether they were better season, and becomes more popular every five-star, The Grand Hotel Amrath, and the most iconoclastic boutique, Seven One Seven, ways because I hadn’t tried them. Now I know that if you want year. The hotel saw a 28 percent increase both have free mini-bars. So does Berlin’s opulent Alma Schlosshotel im Grunewald. And to be a cutting-edge leader in the industry, you must at least try in their September 2008 through June 2009 guestrooms in Philippe Starck’s white-hot Parisian bolt-hole, Mama Shelter, even have to find a more unique way. Even if only to find that your way was season from the previous year’s season. The microwaves to warm that boulangerie-bought baguette. indeed the best way. 2009-2010 season is off to a strong start, In this new age of austerity, many new mini-bars are totally dispensing with alcohol. Let’s say we’re developing a bar concept. We have a which makes the case that even in tough Michael Neve, General Manager at the newly re-opened Bloomsbury in London, says guests team of hundreds of people, including architects, engineers and economic times, hotel guests will splurge for no longer demand booze in rooms. In any event, it is more profitable for the hotel if they visit designers. I always ask, “Is there another way to do the bar? a chocolate fix. the real bar. Where does the sun rise and where does it set?” I challenge the status quo by asking questions that ensure the business will thrive. If there’s a particle of doubt, we must find a different path. REVIVING BEER TRADITIONS Years ago, at one of our Boston hotels, there was a plain, rather on different continents, in various projects. By using this simple non-descript vanilla bar, like any other hotel bar. So I hired a team yet great recipe, I have found more innovative ways of doing of people, including a historian, to find another way of doing the business. I don’t plan for today. I plan for what awaits a couple of BY ETHAN GELBER bar. Our research showed that Boston had 68 rum distilleries and years down the line. I am always trying to look at that future, to a long history of rum production. Clearly, rum was to be made anticipate and be creative. If you direct your brain that way and If there are other five-star hotels set in functioning monasteries and resurrecting ancient the signature drink! Today RumBa at InterContinental Boston has apply it to your area of expertise, things turn out more exciting, beer-brewing traditions, we can’t find them. Opened in May 2009 in the historic Malá Strana become a city classic. more fun and ultimately more successful. It’s something I like to district of Prague, The Augustine fills 101 bedrooms in seven UNESCO World Heritage- Being prepared and more unique has become part of my call “possessing sexy-tude”. At least they turn out more fun, and listed buildings, including the 13th- th century Augustinian St. Thomas’ Monastery, whose DNA. I have applied these great little wisdoms in many situations, in our industry we can’t do business unless it’s also fun.” friars have separate quarters near the hotel grounds. For beerophiles and gourmands, the especially exciting news is The Augustine’s decision to breathe life back into the monks’ AN INTERVIEW BY ANJA MUTOI once-secret beer recipe and traditional brewing methods, which use Saaz hops. St. Thomas 13 beer is available exclusively at The Augustine’s three food outlets, including The Brewery Bar, located in the cellar of the monastery’s former brewery building. The dark St. Thomas beer is crafted in Broumy, 50km south-west of Prague, at the family brewery of 25-year veteran maltster Martin Matuška, declared ‘Best Brewer in the Czech Republic in 2006’.
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