Category Archives: Hotel & Resort

Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho Hotel Announced for November Soon

Tokyo-based commercial real estate developer Pacifica Capital K.K. has signed a management contract with Marriott International to open Japan’s first location for Moxy Hotels in November 2017.

The property, to be known as “Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho Hotel”, is a short walk from Kinshicho, one of Tokyo’s busiest train stations and near some of the capital’s major tourist attractions such as Asakusa and Tokyo Sky Tree. It is also within a block of an expressway onramp making the property convenient to Haneda and Narita airports as well as Tokyo Disneyland. The hotel will have 205 rooms ranging 18-28 m2, large, attractive and comfortable food and beverage facilities, a gym and meeting rooms.

Launched in 2014, Moxy is a boutique hotel concept targeted at Millennials using the latest technology and a strong emphasis on fun and useful public areas with comfortable space to eat, drink, work and communicate 24/7. Currently, there are 7 Moxy hotels open in the U.S. and Europe and a strong development pipeline.

In 2016, international visitors to Japan grew by 20% to a record 24 million, more than 80% of which came from Asia. With the Summer Olympics coming to Tokyo in 2020, the Japanese government doubled its 2020 inbound visitor target to 40 million people and experts predict a massive accommodation shortage.

Pacifica’s 100% subsidiary, American Hotel Management K.K. will operate the hotel with key personnel to be seconded by Marriott. “I love the Moxy concept” said Seth Sulkin, President & CEO of Pacifica Capital K.K. “Tokyo desperately needs boutique hotels at an affordable price where people actually enjoy staying. We think Moxy fills a huge gap between basic business hotels with cramped rooms and luxury hotels at prices beyond what most people can afford to pay.”

Property Summary:

Address: 3-4-2 Kotobashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Land area: 1,247.53 m2
Building area: 7,465.68 m2
Completed: April 1988
Structure: two basement levels, 10 floors above ground

Founded in 1995, Pacifica Capital is one of Japan’s leading foreign-capital real estate developers. It has a strong track record in development of hotels, shopping centers and mixed-use properties as well as utility-scale solar plants.

Fairfield by Marriott Belagavi Hotel Now Opens in India

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) marks the start of 2017 with the opening of the fourth Fairfield by Marriott property in Belagavi, the ever expanding commercial hub in Southwest India. As Belagavi continues to grow into a business and leisure destination, there is great demand for high quality, mid-range accommodations in the city.

Fairfield by Marriott is designed for today’s traveller who is looking to be productive on the road while maintaining balance, whether for business or leisure. The property’s modern design and amenities, provides guest with consistent and reliable service at great value.

The Fairfield by Marriott Belagavi features 114 guestrooms, offering luxurious bedding, a flat screen LED TV, an elegant marble bathroom, and a thoughtfully designed work space that provides flexibility for work and relaxation. Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel will keep guests connected at any time, while the outdoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness center will help guests stay on track with fitness goals.

“Kava”, the signature all-day dining experience with an alfresco set-up, serves an authentic mix of Indian and Western cuisine. The “Kava Bar” offers a blended mix of beverages while the “24/7” Market provides a wide variety of food options for guests on the go. The hotel offers a fully equipped fitness centre, 1,000 square meters of event space, with in-built audio visuals facilities makes it an ideal venue for meetings, banquets and social events at any size

Commenting on the launch, Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President of South Asia, Marriott International said: “Fairfield by Marriott offers innovative design at a great value, which combined gives us a huge strategic advantage in many markets across the region. Growing markets such as Belagavi hold tremendous potential for us as we see millions of people entering the middle classes across India. The Fairfield by Marriott product represents great value for transient travelers as the entry price point into the Marriott portfolio”

Now DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Hotel Opens in Los Angeles

he charming Los Angeles suburb of Whittier today welcomes DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles, the latest addition to the growing portfolio of DoubleTree by Hilton.

The eight-story hotel is located approximately 16 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, in the heart of Whittier’s tree-lined uptown business and historic district. Standing as the largest hotel in Whittier with 202 luxurious guest rooms and suites, the newly-opened hotel is within walking distance to cultural treasures, such as the Jonathan Bailey House, Whittier Museum and numerous shops, antique stores and vibrant cafes.

The hotel is an excellent choice for business and vacation travelers, given its close proximity to Los Angeles-area businesses and Southern California attractions. Just a short drive away, visitors can find Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland and relaxing Pacific Ocean seashore communities, such as Seal Beach, Sunset Beach and Newport Beach.

“Lovely Whittier is a quiet oasis amid its action-packed SoCal neighbors, but it’s also easily accessible to a multitude of destinations throughout metropolitan Los Angeles,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “It is an ideal location for our newest property, where we look forward to welcoming guests with the acts of kindness that mean so much, beginning with our warm DoubleTree Cookie greeting at check-in.”

DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles has a number of dining options on the menu, including Sophia’s California Bistro. Guests may select from the finest contemporary Californian cuisine as well as a wonderful variety of traditional culinary favorites for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Adjacent is the Ultra Lounge, a sports bar and gathering spot for cocktails and appetizing light fare.

In addition to the brand’s iconic warm DoubleTree Cookie welcome, the hotel provides each guest with a comfortable, stylishly decorated room or suite, with all the modern, thoughtful amenities expected from the DoubleTree brand. Accommodations include DoubleTree Sweet Dreams® Sleep Experience beds, a work desk with WiFi access, and views of downtown or the nearby Puente Hills.

With more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space, DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles can accommodate up to 600 guests for business conferences, weddings and social events. The Grand Ballroom is ideal for banquets seating as many as 400 attendees, and eight smaller rooms offer flexible meeting options. A state-of-the-art sound system and A/V equipment are also available, as is a fully-equipped 24-hour business center.

The hotel also offers a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and a 24-hour fitness center, featuring new Precor equipment and a view of the pool and tropical courtyard. It also provides a full complement of services and DoubleTree by Hilton brand amenities, including an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee offerings by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, and a refreshing array of the Crabtree & Evelyn natural skin and body care line.

“For years, this hotel has been part of the fabric of downtown Whittier,” said Craig Carlson, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles. “Our management team and staff are delighted to be joining the DoubleTree by Hilton portfolio and to be providing our guests with the simple pleasures of travel that can make their stay even more memorable.”

DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles is part of Hilton HHonors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 13 distinct hotel brands. Hilton HHonors members who book directly with Hilton save time and money and gain instant access to the benefits they care about most, such as an exclusive member discount, free Wi-Fi, the ability to earn and redeem Points for free nights, as well as access to digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (in select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors mobile app.

To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton HHonors members will earn an additional 1,000 Hilton HHonors Points per night for stays from opening through March 31, 2017, when booking directly with Hilton. Gold and Diamond members will also enjoy free premium Wi-Fi and space-available upgrades to the hotel’s exclusive Hilton HHonors floor and complimentary Wake Up DoubleTree Breakfast.

DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier Los Angeles is located at 7320 Greenleaf Avenue, Whittier California 90602. It is 27 miles from Los Angeles International Airport; 28 miles from John Wayne Airport, Orange County; and 33 miles from Ontario International Airport.

News American Hotel Income Properties REIT Acquires Two Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotels in Texas and Arizona

American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP (TSX: HOT.UN) (OTCQX: AHOTF) announced today the completion of its previously announced acquisition of two Embassy Suites by Hilton hotels located in Dallas, Texas and Tempe, Arizona for an aggregate purchase price of US$57.6 million excluding approximately US$5.7 million for brand-mandated property improvement plans and before customary closing and post-acquisition adjustments.

The Acquisition Properties comprise 529 total guest rooms and were acquired for approximately US$109,000 per guest room, exclusive of the cost of the PIPs, which is below management’s estimate of replacement cost. The two hotels include the 305-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas DFW Airport South hotel located in proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the 224-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Tempe, which is located near Arizona State University. Consistent with AHIP’s stated acquisition objectives, the Acquisition Properties are strategically located in larger population centers, near major transportation corridors and high-volume international airports, and close to a diverse group of corporate, medical, education, and sports demand generators.

AHIP funded the purchase price and the PIPs with cash on hand from its bought deal unit offerings completed in 2016, the issuance to the vendors of approximately US$17.4 million in new AHIP units (the “Units”), the assumption of an existing US$19.0 million commercial mortgage backed securities (“CMBS”) loan on the Dallas property (the “Dallas Mortgage”), and a new US$13.5 million CMBS loan on the Tempe property (the “Tempe Mortgage”). The Tempe bridge loan of US$10.2 million was repaid by the Vendors at the closing of the transaction. The Dallas Mortgage is interest-only until November 2019, matures in October 2024 and has a fixed interest rate of 5.25%. The Tempe Mortgage has a 10-year term, matures in January 2027 and has a fixed interest rate of 5.14%. The Tempe Mortgage is interest only for the first three years and is then amortized over a 30-year term. The lender has also agreed to provide an FF&E reserve waiver for two years. The Units were issued at a price of Cdn$10.3099, which was based on the 10-day volume weighted average trading price of the Units on the Toronto Stock Exchange prior to the closing of the transaction. The Units are also subject to a four-month hold period.

Rob O’Neill, CEO of AHIP stated, “The acquisition of two larger, upscale select service hotels located within two of the Top 25 U.S. markets further diversifies our expanding branded portfolio.” Mr. O’Neill continued, “With the application of conservative long term, fixed rate leverage, we continue to focus on providing consistent and stable returns to our unitholders.”

With the completion of this acquisition, AHIP’s portfolio now consists of 93 hotels totaling 8,685 guestrooms, with 47 branded hotels totaling 4,792 guestrooms and 46 rail crew hotels totaling 3,893 guestrooms.

The Acquisition Properties will be managed for AHIP by its exclusive hotel manager, Tower Rock Hotels & Resorts Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of O’Neill Hotels & Resorts Ltd.

Now Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan Hotel Opens in Southern China

The Hyatt Regency brand announced its debut in Southern China’s Fujian Province with the opening of Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan. Merging traditional Chinese culture with modern conveniences, Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan strives to become thegathering place for business and leisure travelers.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Hyatt Regency brand to the Fujian Province, thanks to the dedication and vision of the hotel’s ownership, Rongxing Group,” said Christopher Koehler, vice president and managing director – operations, Hyatt in China. “Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan will resonate with business and leisure travelers alike by providing a full range of services and amenities for our guests where they can relax, connect, engage, and collaborate with each other.”

The Hyatt Regency brand experience is designed around one objective: to connect today’s travelers to who and what matters most to them. With the beautiful Wulong River and nearby Qi Mountains serving as a majestic backdrop, Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan welcomes guests inside with a jasmine-themed design and Fujian courtyard-style architecture inspired by the cultural heritage of this more than 2,000 year-old city.

“We are extremely excited to open Fuzhou’s first Hyatt Regency hotel,” said General Manager Charles Wang. “Fuzhou has long been an important hub connecting China to the rest of Asia, and we are delighted to welcome guests and the local community to our new hotel. Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan will offer a level of upscale quality and a fine attention to detail based on Fujian’s local culture. We are confident that the hotel’s spacious accommodations, premier meeting facilities and anticipatory service will provide an authentic experience and one-stop convenience to business and leisure travelers.”

Starting at the hotel’s lobby, Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan impresses with an energizing combination of natural light from the atrium and intricate, linear jasmine-themed designs throughout the interior of the hotel. This timeless jasmine flower motif echoes through the grounds, from the ever-present fragrance in the air to the wood-carved petal designs on the door of each room. Iconic local elements are cleverly incorporated throughout the hotel, such as the circular Tulou, an enclosed and fortified earth building.

Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan features 226 intuitively designed rooms and suites, ranging in size from 473 square feet (44 square meters) to 2,626 square feet (244 square meters). The guestrooms have been built to integrate experiences that cater to the personal needs of the travelers with private foyers, large walk-in closets, bluetooth-controlled speakers, 48-inch LED televisions, and bathrooms with separate toilet and shower/bathrooms. Most guestrooms offer unobstructed views of the adjacent Wulong River and the Qi Mountains in the distance through floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan features four restaurants offering authentic local and global flavor. From authentic Fujian cuisine to fine European fare, the hotel provides multiple options for quick drinks, business lunches, intimate dinners or casual dining experiences.

In line with the hotel’s signature flower, The Lounge serves an energizing Jasmine Ice Tea made using freshly harvested leaves from nearby Wuyi Mountain. It also offers traditional Chinese “kung fu” tea ceremonies for guests, live musical performances and a range of a la carte fare from the East and West throughout the day.

The Market Café brings in fare from around the world as the hotel’s bustling all-day dining venue. The market-style buffet offerings are served fresh out of live show kitchens and a tantalizing dessert counter, while à la carte options are instantly prepared to guests’ requests. A specially designed Kids’ Corner offers little ones their own mini buffet and entertainment options, from toys to board and video games.

The menu at La Cucina is filled with traditional fare from Sicily, Sardinia and other regions of Italy. Highlights include delectable thin-crust pizzas, fresh salads, handmade pastas and signature desserts. High ceilings, brick walls and woody, leather-clad interiors bring a level of relaxed sophistication, while a central pizza oven and an open kitchen bring an authentic, visual feast straight to the table.

Min Wei, the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant, offers authentic local Fuzhou and Cantonese fare in one of the city’s most exclusive settings. Set around a green, open-air courtyard, the timelessly designed restaurant serves authentic local specialties including Buddha Jumps over the Wall, wok-fried pork kidney and “lychee” meatballs.

The opening of the new Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan provides an opportunity for Hyatt to build on its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) leadership in Asia Pacific. Featuring more than 28,298 square feet (2,629 square meters) of pillarless, naturally lit event space, the hotel the perfect venue for a variety of events such as weddings, social banquets, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences.

The hotel’s main event venue is the Regency Ballroom on the first floor, which offers a high-ceilinged 12,916-square-feet (1,200-square-meter) space that takes after the hotel’s jasmine flower motif and offers a separate entrance to provide organizers additional flexibility and privacy. The ballroom also uniquely gives organizers the ability to incorporate cars into their event, with entryways large enough for automobiles to enter and be showcased on the floor.

An additional eight function rooms on the second floor range from 785 square feet (73 square meters) to 2,906 square feet (270 square meters), all of which provide river views and flexibility for groups of any size. Weddings are catered to with a spacious bridal room and a private lawn and outdoor gazebo during the warmer months.

Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and smart and intuitive communications equipment ensures efficient, state-of-the-art experiences.

Here 5 Hotel Sales Tactics to Jumpstart

A fresh New Year brings a new opportunity to delight ownership with big results in group/event sales…but only if you start off with velocity.

Here are five proven tactics for jumpstarting your hotel sales performance in 2017 and establishing momentum for the next 12 months:

1. Have a Kick-Ass Kick-Off!

Seize this moment to fire up your group sales team and send them off hustling, motivated and inspired to hit their revenue goals each month. An epic sales kick-off is your one chance to launch with real velocity and energize your team on a grand scale. The key is to get your team pumped and primed to kill it in the year ahead. So, avoid a boring presentation of last year’s numbers (snore). Book an exciting outside speaker, hold interactive education sessions addressing the challenges they faced last year, get the team up and moving during breakouts, and sprinkle in some high-energy team building activities. And remember, all of this initial enthusiasm and education can wear off by the following month, so reinforce the main ideas throughout the year in your regular weekly meetings.

2. Have a Simple Roadmap.

Booking group business without a sensible business plan is like playing darts with a blindfold on and crossing your fingers that you’ll hit the bullseye.

3. Hope is Not a Strategy.

Don’t leave your revenues to chance or expect your sales team to make up for your lack of organization. You should map out the primary underlying drivers that justify the sales targets you are projecting for ownership. How many trade shows, sales visits, planner events, marketing and sales campaigns are required? What are the main threats to achieving your sales goals? Your plan doesn’t need to be long and formal, but it should convey all the main waypoints on your road to sales success. It should also be a living tool, so don’t stick it up on a shelf to gather dust. Instead, review it every month to make sure you’re on track. And allow yourself the flexibility to adjust throughout the year if something isn’t working or if you want to try a clever new tactic.

4. Who’s Driving Leads?

This is one of the most significant components of your sales plan. It’s vital that your sales team sprints out in Q1 and pounds the pavement to build their sales pipeline, as that will set the pace for the rest of the year. Outline specific prospecting activities and lead generation quotas for each sales person. Make sure the proper folks have access to your prospecting tools, or invest in tools such as Knowland or Groups360 to capture business intelligence and identify new prospects.

5. Go Big…Early!

Shore up your pipeline and boost the year with a strong foundation by taking inventory of key group accounts. Which accounts brought in the most business last year? Which planners have the potential to add incremental business and multi-year contracts?

Call on these planners early on, remind them of the benefits of partnering with your hotel as their venue and offer even more value by incentivizing them to book early. Creating this foundation leaves room for better forecasting and revenue management yield strategies. Then, continue to nurture these existing clients throughout the year, recognize them for their loyalty and show a genuine interest in their success to strengthen the relationship.

6. Rethink Your Sales Materials.

The needs of modern meeting planners are constantly changing. Review your sales and marketing materials to make sure they are speaking to the concerns of today’s planners, not just generically touting your venue space. Meeting planners have challenges…so make sure you’re marketing messages crafted to offer event “solutions.” Do you need separate materials and messaging for corporate planners vs associations? Does your value proposition resonate with current customers? (You might be surprised if you simply ask a few of your best customers their opinion of what makes your property unique.)When meeting planners source venues, they often collect sales and marketing collateral from several venues, then review later. Make sure your marketing materials stand out from your comp set.A lot can happen in a year. So, if you are re-using sales materials from last year, it’s already time for a second look. Planners today appreciate authenticity, so update your materials with guest-sourced photos, videos and testimonials.

No matter how inspiring or charismatic your sales team is, they must be armed with stunning sales materials to make an impression on planners and to help differentiate your property.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale

This Is Hotel Room Distribution

Already an intricate web of online and offline sales channels, the hotel room distribution landscape is becoming even more complex as leisure and business travel begins to blur. Until quite recently, concepts such as “business” and “leisure” could still be counted upon to bring some order – and differentiated pricing, availability and product strategies – to this chaos. But no longer, as distribution channel managers decide how best to manage and distribute their inventory in an omni channel environment.

For the consumer, meta-search engines such as Kayak and Trivago now provide levels of price transparency that would have been unimaginable a few years ago, clearly raising the question of whether any meaningful regional price differentiation is still possible. Mobile sales and same-day reservations platforms such as Hotel Tonight, while offering new opportunities for distressed inventory and converting the offline “walk in” scenario to a more (centrally) controlled online transaction, have significantly raised the bar in terms of what it takes to run an effective “dynamic pricing and inventory strategy”.

At the same time, the “leisurefication” of corporate travel is eroding the position of GDSs as corporate travellers increasingly seek the same choice, brands and tools that they encounter in their private hotel shopping experience. Not surprisingly, Global Distribution Systems (GDS) have been actively integrating the traditional “B2B leisure” and distressed hotel inventory from bedbank and wholesalers such as Transhotel and GTA (e.g. Travelport Rooms & More, Amadeus Multisource) and serving it to a premium corporate travel audience. Accessing the wholesale market to bring to the attention of the corporate travel with the objective of maintaining market share.

While performance might still be “good enough” for many a traditional hotel chain working with log files and booking reports, for anyone seeking a better method and understanding of where business is coming from, it is becoming impossible to navigate this complex landscape without detailed insights into real-time shopping (i.e. search data). In other words, using transaction data to know where searches are coming from (ie channels) and which ones convert into bookings. This dynamic landscape is starting to accentuate the leaders from the laggards and it has never been truer that not all channels or partners are equal.

What is striking is how bad many hotel chains are at calculating the true longer-term cost/benefit of the channels they use, incorporating:

  • Efficient use of their system, beyond simply look to book (e.g. Euros per search etc.)
  • The trade-off between volume, margin and specific segment/niche of demand etc.

To ensure every room is sold for the best possible price using the best sales channel requires a detailed overview of the performance of all channels against key indicators. Such insight across the diverse channels is the best way to achieve three important Hotelier objectives:

  1. Combat the rising costs associated with distribution
  2. Guide sales and marketing efforts to drive occupancy
  3. Help improve profitability

All this requires a detailed and bird’s eye view of channel performance across different players and different channels that focused on detailed search and shopping behavior, rather than the traditional lenses of commission levels, bookings and market silos (e.g. “GDS”, “wholesaler”, “OTA”). In other words, it requires a robust search-based business intelligence capability.

In a world where the channel type or booking patterns fails to identify the shopper, driving conversions increasingly depends on being able to leverage detailed search intelligence to create more relevant offers. More than that, while transparency is driving price commoditisation and any possibilities of “static” price differentiation, the same technology is opening the doors for highly effective contextual price differentiation and revenue management (i.e. based on window of opportunity, rather than static market segmentations). The catch? It requires you to have access, and be able to respond effectively to, detailed real time search information.

An effective distribution strategy that is integrated with revenue management can help forge beneficial links between crucial hotel operating departments and positively influence the pricing strategy. Instead of relying on more static rates uploaded daily or less, more dynamic pricing and room allocations can be applied in response to channel performance insight from search and booking traffic. Today’s leading wholesalers expect real-time access to inventories, usually via XML application interfaces. This gives hotel companies that are fully connected to these third party channels the ability manage yield rates. This evolution towards real-time environment in distribution also enables them to offer late availability not only from their own reservation systems but also to their wholesale partners.

So having set out the arguments of why search and booking intelligence can offer a clearer perspective of hotel room distribution costs, how can this be achieved? Well most hotel groups are already sitting on much of the XML data that can help build the picture, but till now have failed to give it the attention it deserves or appreciated the value it holds. XML is widely used within the travel industry to exchange data such as room availability and rates. The ability to tap into and analyse the wealth of information that is embedded in this flow of transactions up and down the network and to be able to do this in real time opens up possibilities and benchmarking opportunities between the different channels. Essentially, by monitoring and analysing the rich content embedded in all these messages hotel distribution managers can manage their channel SLAs, while marketing managers can monitor their programs, with clear insights into:

  • Consumer demand by capturing exactly what is searched
  • Consumer satisfaction (in terms of the options and prices offered)
  • Whether there are gaps between what is being searched for and what is available
  • Consumer experience in terms of speed of response
  • How many lookers are turned into bookers and at what ratio
  • Any transmission errors and how they are rectified
  • Any degradation or outage in web services that impacts user experience
  • The commercial performance of each channel

Getting the right distribution mix and then monitoring the performance of third party channels is crucial to getting the best returns on a hotel’s inventory. Harnessing this intelligence from search and booking data is today’s competitive weapon to not only understand channels better, but ultimately also the buying habits and preferences of consumers.

For more information about how Hoteliers can tap into intelligence from XML search and booking data visit:www.triometric.net/sector/hotels

About Matthew Goulden

Matthew Goulden has 25 years of General Management, Sales & Marketing and Business Development experience in the software & automotive industries. Since 2007 Matthew, as CEO, has been responsible for the strategic vision, overall management and business leadership of Triometric, a specialist in online travel analytics.

Prior to joining Triometric in early 2003, Matthew held senior executive positions in VC backed software firms based in the UK and Europe with responsibility for strategy and growth. Matthew started his management career with the Ford Motor Company (Europe), during which time he held global responsibility for the successful implementation of Ford’s worldwide Internet based dealer network.

Today Matthew works closely with the management team and technologists to formulate and drive the strategies that have made Triometric a pioneer and technical leader in business intelligence and API performance monitoring for the online travel market. Always with a hands-on approach he has developed key accounts with Fortune 500 customers including Thomson Reuters, Regus and HSBC and large online travel specialists such as GTA, Hotelbeds and Farelogix.

Matthew holds an MBA from INSEAD business school and a Master of Engineering from Imperial College, London.

Here Four Ways to Manage Disappointed Hotel Guests

According to J.D. Power, hotel satisfaction rates last year were at an all-time high. While you strive to leave your hotel guests satisfied, it’s inevitable that at some point, you will fail to meet a guest’s expectations. It’s important to know that a complaint won’t make or break you, but how you respond to it can.

Our eBook, The Hotelier’s Handbook to Managing Guest Expectations in the Digital Age, offers expert advice on setting and managing guest expectations. Here, we’ll look at four of the most common ways that customers voice their dissatisfaction, and how you can tackle them head-on. With any luck, you will transform someone who might not stay with you again, into an outspoken promoter of your hotel.

1. While the Customer is Still a Guest

This is the best opportunity to nip issues in the bud before it’s too late, and allows your guest to enjoy the rest of their stay.

Complaint: A guest phones the front desk, saying that he’s unhappy with his view.

Solution: If you can’t simply move the guest to another room with a more favorable view, think of offering a thoughtful gesture. Be creative, little things can go a long way! We love this example from Mike McCready, who was disappointed with the view from his Vancouver hotel room, and tweeted about it. When the hotel couldn’t relocate him, they sent some treats up to his room instead.

2. Upon Check-out

This is a bit trickier, but it would not be impossible to resolve the guest’s issue. You can still send them off thinking of your hotel in a good light.

Complaint: Upon checking out, your guest complains about weak WiFi in her room.

Solution: Thank her for bringing the matter to your attention and tell her that you’ll look into it – and then follow through! You can follow up later on with an email, updating her on the status of the investigation and thanking her again for her feedback. This is a great way to show guests you value their feedback and take it seriously.

3. You’ve Been Called Out on Social Media

Social media is an easy go-to for ranting, but it shows you care when you take time to react and respond to customer complaints directly.

Complaint: A recent guest makes a vague Twitter complaint about their stay with you.

Solution: A Tweet is only 140 characters, so there’s not often room for complaints to be very specific. In order to get into the specifics and get more information, take the conversation from a public complaint, to a private direct message. There, you can delve into their concerns in a more discrete manner. Take a queue from larger chains: @HyattConcierge and @HiltonHelp are great examples of addressing social media complaints with incredible response times.

4. Negative Feedback on a Review Site

Getting a bad review isn’t a death knell, and addressing it head-on can help you in the long run. In a PhoCusWright survey, 80% of respondents said that seeing hotel’s respond to reviews makes them feel that the hotel truly cares about its guests and their experience.

Complaint: A guest takes to a review site to complain about several issues with their stay.

Solution: Responding with ire and defensiveness won’t help—most people find aggressive responses offputting. Rather, thank the guest for the feedback, and then professionally and courteously, address their pain points. If you feel that their concerns are valid, you may even ask them to get in touch directly, to see if you can rectify the issues.

Complaints are a fact of life in the hotel industry. You aren’t going to be able or willing to solve all problems for all people…

…but they are a great opportunity for learning and for transforming a disappointed guest from an adversary to an advocate.

Want to know more about about handling guest complaints and managing expectations? Our new eBook can give you the guidance you need!

About Ashley

Ashley is Sojern’s Marketing Manager, EMEA & APAC and works in the London office. Originally from Canada, she’s been living in London for over four years, and is actively trying to fill all the pages in her passport. She has never met a cheese she didn’t like.

Sheraton Annaba Hotel Now Opens in Algeria

Marriott International, Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) today announced further expansion in Algeria with the opening of its seventh hotel in Algeria, Sheraton Annaba. The company already operates six hotels in Algeria including Constantine Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Tlemcen Hotel, Sheraton Club des Pins, Sheraton Oran, Le Meridien Oran and Four Points by Sheraton Oran amounting to 1580 rooms.

With another six hotels under development the company is set to double its footprint in the country. Owned by Société d’Investissement Hôtelière, the imposing and welcoming Sheraton Annaba is conveniently located within easy access from the airport and the city’s most charming attractions. With its iconic and sophisticated design, and appealing dining options, the hotel offers stunning views of the azure Mediterranean Sea and the scenic coastal city.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Société d’Investissement Hôtelière, as we open our seventh Hotel in Algeria,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “The opening of Sheraton Annaba further underlines our commitment to growth and expansion in Algeria, a market which continues to be integral to our overall development strategy throughout Africa.”

Guests can enjoy spectacular sea or city views and an unmatched level of comfort at the Sheraton Annaba. The hotel’s 201 elegantly appointed guestrooms, including 15 Executive Suites and a Presidential Suite, spread over 18 floors, offer a premium Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. With elevated amenities and services, the hotel delivers effortless and personalized services in a seamless and efficient manner. Club rooms and Suites offer exclusive access to the Sheraton® Club Lounge, providing with additional tailored services and privileges. Located on the 19th floor with mesmerizing views, the Club Lounge provides the perfect backdrop for a complimentary breakfast, tea, coffee, drinks or light snacks to enjoy throughout the day and in the early evening hours.

Whether it’s relaxing at the Lobby Lounge while enjoying Sheraton’s signature ‘Paired’ menu – comprising of artisanal small plates and bar snacks paired with premium wines – or indulging a meal at one of the distinctive restaurants, the Sheraton Annaba welcomes numerous culinary experiences and delights. Guests can relish international Mediterranean dining with live cooking at the all-day dining Feast, savor delicious patisserie at the Deli with take away, treat themselves to an upscale Italian dining experience at Al Pesto located on the 19th floor, or head for a relaxed drink with a game of snooker and some foot-tapping music at the Hugo Bar. In every way, the Sheraton Annaba spoils guests with choice.

With over 1400 square meters of ultra-modern and state-of-the-art meeting facilities, endless connectivity through high-speed wi-fi, and a full-service business center, the hotel offers highly flexible meeting options and personalized services, making it the ideal venue for every need, be it intimate gatherings or larger social events and business meetings. Leisure facilities include a 24-hour fitness center for maximized workouts with cutting-edge equipment, an outdoor pool for a relaxing swim, a Spa and an outdoor tennis court.

Situated on the north eastern coast of Algeria, Annaba is the fourth largest city in the country and the capital of Annaba Province, often referred to as the “Pearl of East Algeria”. It is one of Algeria’s main commercial hubs and also a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the Sheraton Annaba is where guests can make the most out of their stay, whether they’re traveling for business or for leisure.

News Hilton Signs Nine Hotels in Mexico

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the signing of nine properties in Mexico that represent a number of Hilton brands, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton, as well as the company’s first dual-branded property in the country. These newly announced properties contribute nearly 1,200 rooms to the hotel company’s pipeline and will join the portfolio of more than 45 existing hotels in Mexico.

“Mexico continues experiencing impressive tourism growth, and the addition of these hotels will help satisfy the increasing demand from both leisure and business travelers,” said Juan Corvinos, managing director, development, Mexico, Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean, Hilton. “With nearly 100 open properties in Latin America, Hilton continues to actively pursue growth opportunities in the region. We currently have a robust pipeline of more than 60 hotels across Latin America, including over 30 projects in Mexico.”

The properties include:

  • Hilton Guadalajara Midtown: Expected to open in Q1 2018, the 226-room Hilton Guadalajara Midtown is located northwest of the city of Guadalajara and will be a major part of the Midtown Jalisco project.
  • The Fives Downtown Hotel Playa del Carmen, Curio Collection by Hilton: Will be Hilton’s first property in the coastal town of Playa del Carmen, along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline. The 93-room new-build property will reflect the region’s natural offerings with a grand wall of live plants and embedded elements that emulate the roots of trees, as well as a skylight. The hotel’s rooftop will feature a restaurant, signature cocktail bar, infinity pool, pool bar and lounge.
  • 1970 Hotel Posadas Guadalajara, Curio Collection by Hilton: The 160-room hotel is in the heart of Guadalajara, globally recognized as the capital of Tequila and Mariachi. The property, which will have a restaurant, bar, gift shop and fitness center, will be centered around an open-air courtyard lobby, featuring industrial metals and raw wood materials with vivid pops of colors and elaborate patterns.
  • Zacatecas Centro Historico, Curio Collection by Hilton: The 19th-century building, in the city of Zacatecas, will undergo interior renovations before its anticipated opening as Zacatecas Centro Historico in early 2018. Its design ethos will focus on simple and elegant finishes in bright colors that enhance the building’s original architecture and details, including its historic exterior, doors and windows. The hotel will feature 32 rooms, while adjoining retail space will house two restaurants, a coffee shop and specialty stores.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Merida: Hilton Garden Inn Merida is slated to open in Q1 2017, with 128 rooms in the area of Altabrisa. Just north of Merida, the hotel will provide convenient access to Plaza Altabrisa, one of the largest shopping malls in the city.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Mexico City Santa Fe: The 189-room hotel is expected to open in late 2017 as part of the first dual-branded Hilton property in Mexico. The 172-room DoubleTree by Hilton Mexico City Santa Fe, the other half of the development, opened last month. The hotel will be located near Centro Santa Fe, the largest shopping center in Latin America.
  • Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton Saltillo: Slated to open in late 2019, the property will bring 200 hotel rooms to the capital of Coahulia – 110 rooms from Hilton Garden Inn and 90 suites from Homewood Suites by Hilton. The hotel was Hilton’s first dual-brand property announced in Mexico and highlights both brands’ commitment to expansion in the region. Recognizing a growing demand amongst Latin American and Caribbean travelers for accommodations with value-added amenities that emphasize comfort, convenience and productivity, Hilton has launched a dedicated strategy to expand both brands’ footprints in the region, including design prototypes developed specifically for the region, and the added backing of Hilton’s proven performance advantage.
  • Hampton Inn by Hilton Cancun: The 134-room Hampton Inn by Hilton Cancun is scheduled to open in Q2 2017 in the Pabellon Cumbres area of the city.

Several Hilton properties opened in Mexico last year, including DoubleTree by Hilton Veracruz, Hilton Garden Inn Hotel Puebla Angelópolis and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Mexico City Santa Fe, which will be joined by Hilton Garden Inn Mexico City Santa Fe to become Hilton’s first dual-brand property in the country. Also opened last year were Hampton Inn by Hilton Durango, Hampton Inn by Hilton Piedras Negras, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Salamanca and Hampton Inn by Hilton Irapuato.