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

                                                   If tangles of cables, jacks and cords for your                   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.               CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 ->                                                  conditioning, are shared with a nearby sister property.
                                                                                                                                                         BEST ADVICE
CONCIERGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CONCIERGE

                                                  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.

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

                                                  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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