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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog

Hospitality

Five Reasons to Rethink Your Hotel Lobby Design

The hotel lobby is rapidly changing from merely an entrance into a place that entrances. “We’re trying to make this more of an experience, a place to go to rather than a place to go through,” Alexandra Jaritz, global head for Tru by Hilton, told the New York Times.

But will you see a real ROI from transforming your lobby into a multifunctional hub for work, socializing and entertainment ? We spoke with Bob Bomholt, Director of Operations for hotel design-build firm Pinnacle South, to find out. Here are five reasons to consider a lobby revamp.

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown - Nashville, TN (Photo courtesy of Pinnacle South)
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Topics: Featured, Design, Hotel Management

Hotels vs. Airbnb: Four Ways to Compete

In the hospitality industry, disruptors are nothing new. There was a time (pre-WWII) when only the wealthy stayed at hotels, as Chip Conley, head of global hospitality and strategy at Airbnb, pointed out at a recent conference. Ordinary Americans stayed in boarding houses.

Now, ordinary travelers are using Airbnb and other home-sharing services. Airbnb demand is still less than 2 percent of hotel demand in the United States,  but it’s growing fast. How can hotels compete?  

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Topics: Hospitality, Hotel guests, Featured, Hotel Management

Is Your Hotel Tired? Pro Tips for Updating FF&E

In the late 1960s, the height of hotel interior design (in Wisconsin, at least) was a collision of rough stone walls, purple wall-to-wall carpet, smoked-plastic chairs and circular waterbeds. The home of this mind-boggling décor was named the Gobbler, and it was “the ugliest, and somehow coolest, motel in America,” according to author James Lileks, who compiled a detailed tribute to the Gobbler on his website.

Your hotel probably isn’t that outdated. But is it time for a refresh?  

We spoke with Nicole Gould, Director of Interior Design for Vertically Integrated Projects, to get her advice on how to give a hotel property a fresh look while minimizing disruption to hotel operations. Vertically Integrated Projects is a North Carolina-based company that specializes in furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) design for hotels throughout the southeast and mid-Atlantic.

Best Western Plus in Winston-Salem, NC (Photo courtesy of Nicole Gould)

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Topics: Hotel Management, Featured, Hospitality, Design, Renovation

Teakettles, Slippers and Wi-Fi: How Hotels Are Courting Chinese Tourists

The global tourism industry experienced a seismic shift in 2014, when a record 109 million Chinese travelers went overseas. China has overtaken the United States to become the world's largest outbound tourism market, spending $165 billion in 2014. The wealthiest 10 percent of Chinese travelers wield formidable buying power; they spend more than US $2,000 per day (including on accommodations) according to Hotels.com's 2015 Chinese International Travel Monitor report.

How are hotels adapting to the surge in Chinese travelers? Here's a summary of the latest trends. 

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Topics: Tea, Hotel Management, Hotel guests, Hospitality, Chinese travelers, Hotel News Now

Designing guestrooms for millennial travelers

Hotel chains are constantly upgrading rooms to look modern and fresh. Goodbye, flowered comforters, brass lamps and pastel watercolors; hello, crisp triple-sheet bedding, extra power outlets and granite vanities.

But that's what's now; what comes next? The desires of millennial travelers are drastically altering the standards for hotel rooms and guest service.

Here are the trends and ideas that are shaping the guestroom of the future.

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Topics: Trends, Hotel Management, Room amenities, Hotel guests, Millennials, Featured

Beyond room service: wowing guests without the silver tray

In the summer of 2013, the New York Hilton Midtown—the largest hotel in New York City—announced it would no longer offer room service. The decision shocked some guests who have come to associate the silver tray with luxury hotels, but it only confirmed what hospitality professionals have known for some time: room service is rarely profitable.

Room service contributes just 1.22 percent of a hotel's average revenues as of 2012, according to PKF Hospitality Research. That represents about $3.25 per occupied room. Not only that, but room service requires a significant staffing commitment.

Guests still need to eat—and they don't always want to commit to a full-service meal. But large hotels in urban environments, where takeout choices abound, can step back from their obligation to provide 24-hour dining, HotelNewsNow.com's Jeff Higley told Entrepreneur magazine. Hotels are coming up with novel ways to give business travelers and others easy dining options.

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Topics: Trends, Room Service, Hotel Management, Hotel guests, Featured, Hospitality