Etc.


by Jessica Wang, Student – Les Roches Hotel Management School, Switzerland.
I arrived in one of the mysterious cities in China. Indeed, this was the first time I visited this city and that was why I was full of enthusiasm. I took a day off before I started my training in an international branded hotel.
Day 1
At 10am, I went to the pastry department. The chefs were preparing the desserts for the Christmas Day Dinner Buffet. There were strawberry mousse cakes, black forest cakes, green tea cakes, puddings, cookies, cheese cakes and more. They cut and place the cakes on the crystal plate with amazing decoration that made me not want to eat them. The executive chef explained the different type of flours, chocolates, and equipments that were used in the pastry department. Most of the equipments were imported from Germany. Even though I did not have the chance to make the desserts, I learnt through observing. I also looked through the standard recipes for making different kind of desserts; the chefs explained to me about the temperature and the time for baking in the oven. At around 5pm, the chefs and staff members started to arrange the dishes in the restaurant. The hot trays were placed in the middle and the cold trays, and desserts were placed along the two sides. Read more…

Some hotels go to great lengths to celebrate the holiday season. I remember during my days at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington D.C., the Christmas Tree Lighting was quite a ceremony accompanied by a full 18 piece band! The Hay – Adams staff would also happily place and decorate a Christmas tree in your suite; and these days guests can also enjoy decorating a gingerbread house with the chef amongst other luxuries… all parts of a five day package staring at US$8,800.  At The Gaylord Palm Resort in Orlando holiday bedtime stories are broadcast over in-room channels and for an additional fee Santa’s Elves will visit your room to tuck your little one in bed! At the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort holiday festivities start December 20th and include visits from Santa Claus and Christmas carolers. The Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee has gingerbread making classes as part of their Annual Country Christmas Celebrations and guests have a choice of decorating either a miniature gingerbread house ornament or a gingerbread man. Read more…

Is guest information safe when they log on the internet service provided by the hotel? All fingers point to the direction that much more could be done to secure guest information. Hard to believe, but some hotels still do not use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) which requires a password to get on to the network and this should without doubt be a required minimum standard. Internet security should be a top priority of hotel management! Read more…

In United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean most hotels are Diamond or Star rated. MOBIL awards Stars and the American Automobile Association (AAA) awards Diamonds. Ratings are given from one to five with 5 being the ultimate in hospitality luxury and one providing essential, no frill accommodations. Both ratings are very prestigious and use a variety of evaluation criteria including unannounced physical site inspections. The higher the ratings, the more stringent and frequent the hotel inspections! The rating are then published in tour books and accommodation guides used to decide where to stay. Both MOBIL Star and AAA rated properties present more similarities than differences in facilities, service, price and atmosphere. Seeking the best? Look for properties that have been awarded both 5 stars and 5 Diamonds.
Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure both publish a Gold List and The World’s Best Hotels respectively based on a survey of their readers. Robb Report’s Best Luxury Hotels are also highly regarded by the industry. Read more…

By B.W. Cook… On a recent Friday morning in Newport Beach, California at The Balboa Bay Club & Resort, Henry Schielein, the legendary Bavarian-born hotelier responsible for the posh club and hotel facilities on the bay was about to lead his weekly staff meeting. Some twenty well-groomed executives converged upon the meeting room. It was exactly 8:30 in morning. A light breakfast buffet, with the croissants and muffins arranged on silver trays in perfect order, awaited the arriving staff members. Read more…

Positioning and effectively communicating that position to your target market is vital to the success of your organization. To maximize your marketing dollars, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself…

What is your current position now?
How are you seen by the market now? Your management may think that you have the finest rooms in the city, but what is most important is if the market supports this view or not! Are you perceived as up market, luxurious and service oriented?

* Are you perceived as being expensive?
* Are you tired, out of date, rundown or are you considered state of the art and cutting edge?
* What are your customers’ views? What do they tell you in their feedback?
* How is your repeat business? What are the reasons for guests returning to your hotel? Read more…

Vancouver is an hotelier’s paradise! With so many new hotels under construction, it is hard to keep track! In the downtown core, it is almost impossible to find a street without construction taking place. New developments, refurbishments, up grades we have it all! For an hotelier seeking opportunity, it really doesn’t get better than this. Very few cities have so many new luxury hotels under development and most are opening their doors before 2010. Some major projects under development:

Hotel Georgia, 687 Howe Street, Vancouver

 

Hotel Georgia a historic landmark built in 1927 and a hotel of choice for many celebrity of the bygone era is currently undergoing extensive renovations and restorations. It will open in 2009 as a boutique 220 room property under the Valencia Group flag and will also have an adjacent 46 storey tower scheduled to open in 2011. Read more…

My first post is dedicated to the greatest hotelier of all time – Cesar Ritz, whose name was associated with the famous Ritz Hotels known for their comfort, luxury and elegance. In 1898, he opened his very own first Ritz Hotel in Paris and also undertook management of the Carlton in London. The combination of both names ultimately resulted in the Ritz-Carlton that we know today!

Cesar Ritz was born on February 23, 1850, and was the youngest of the thirteen children of Johann – Anton Ritz and Kreszentia nee Heinen. They led a simple life in the small alpine community of Niederwald in the high lying Goms Valley in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. The small remote village clings to the side of a mountain and at the time of Cesar’s birth, the population was a merely one hundred and twenty three inhabitants. Cesar attended primary school in Niederwald and like most children herded cattle in the alpine pastures during his holidays. At the age of twelve, he was sent to Sion, the capital of the canton of Valais, to learn French, German and English. At home, he spoke the Valaisan dialect with his family.

Read more…

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