Putting the rhetoric, bipartisanship, and all that is political aside, I’m reminded that Donald Trump and his family are successful, luxury hoteliers. Given that luxury hospitality is my business, I was left to wonder: if the pundits and critics were silenced, and Mr. Trump and company were simply business people, what lessons could be learned from The Trump Hotel Collection? [Read more…]
I said if I were ever going to write a book, I would title it “Sweat the Small Stuff.” This is, of course, a play on words, referencing the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff” by author Richard Carlson. Released in 1997, it was a runaway hit spending two years as USA Today’s bestselling book, a record that stands today. His book, along with the many others he penned, centered on happiness and stress reduction, something I think most everyone needs in greater supply. Yours truly especially. [Read more…]
Green hotels. Should they be thrown out with the trash? Before I’m tarred and feathered, let me explain.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m an environmentalist. This lofty title is reserved for the likes of Glenn Hasek, publisher of Green Lodging News; he’s a man who lives and breathes by his code of environmental standards. In my bio I claim to specialize “in selling and marketing products that combine luxury, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility.” All true. I’m proud of the environmental programs with which I’ve been associated over the years, including One Percent for the Planet, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging and Restaurant Program, the Leaping Bunny Program; the list goes on.
This is taboo, of course, but I think it’s an important question to ask. Playing devil’s advocate: is there a case to be made that the average luxury traveler could care less about sustainability and green hotels? Could some even deliberately scorch the earth by keeping the air conditioning on at 65 degrees Fahrenheit so that their room is nice and cool when they return from the beach? Or conversely, are there guests that crank up the heat so that their suite is nice and toasty after a winter day on the ski slopes? After all, when the luxury guest travels, he or she wants to be catered to, and in such a fashion that all their expectations are not only met, but exceeded. This type of discerning and demanding clientele are paying, at times, twice the amount of their monthly mortgage payment for the privilege of staying at your hotel, and that’s just for one night. This is before they’ve ordered room service, chosen a spa treatment, played a round of golf, rolled the dice in the casino, and so on. You get the picture. [Read more…]
Twenty dollars. That’s all it took. One $20 spot to the lovely young lady at the front desk, and my whole experience at the hotel changed. Tipping at luxury hotels is an art; here’s a million dollar tip that comes from that simple twenty dollar bill. [Read more…]
What does Airbnb have to do with air shows? More than you think.
The Air Show
A weekend in Virginia Beach can be an adventure, but if you can fly a plane of your own, or find similar transport sans you in the pilot’s chair, this destination location in late May is the place to be. [Read more…]
…and does he ever! Steve Wynn is one of the few who can create gold from dust on the famous (infamous?) Las Vegas strip. He blows money into the pockets of tens of thousands working within a five-mile radius in the middle of the desert.
Before becoming a hotel tycoon, Steve Wynn worked in Maryland at his family’s bingo parlors, a successful endeavor by any measure. However, he would find his true calling in Sin City as a one-of-a-kind hotelier, or as Time magazine called him – a great casino salesman. Wynn is credited with transforming the Las Vegas Strip and trailblazing new luxury and entertainment standards for casinos and hotels. After moving to the city in 1967, Wynn worked tirelessly on his megaresort vision and put his inimitable stamp on some of the best known megaresorts in the global hospitality industry. The Wynn name is synonymous with The Strip. [Read more…]
If the name Anthony Melchiorri doesn’t ring a bell, chances are you’ve never watched Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, a show that takes viewers inside struggling (being polite) hotels in America. Melchiorri, a sought-after hospitality expert with a number of successful turnarounds under his belt, The Algonquin Hotel being his most remarkable, gives the hotels a new lease on life with his signature, pull-no-punches attitude. Along with a team of designers, he conducts a full evaluation of the hotel in just four days, pointing out problems, providing guidance on fixing the issues, overseeing renovations, all tucked nicely into a one-hour episode. [Read more…]
I often talk of the “Prayer of the General Manager,” where every morning she or he gets down on their knees, head bowed, and says to whatever higher-power in which they may believe, “Please, dear one: don’t let the hotel go down in flames today. Amen.” Every single moment of every single day in the life of a hotel executive is madness – and that’s the best case scenario. This ranges from your basic Motel Six to the luxurious Alfond Inn to The Inn at Little Washington where, having been decorated with so many diamonds and stars, one could be blinded upon arrival, missing the excellent service from their glimmering awards (just kidding on being blinded, of course)! But being in the lap of hotel luxury, specifically in America, started in 1895 with a once-famous, now nearly-forgotten property called The Tremont Hotel in Boston. From there, the fire kindles. [Read more…]
Henry Leck, Founder and Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, will bid adieu to one of Indiana’s landmark institutions, known the world over, after building the organization from scratch 30 years ago. After three decades at the helm of the world’s preeminent children’s choir, Leck – a revered figure in global choral music circles – will pass on the baton to his protégé, Joshua Pedde. Come April 30, Clowes Memorial Hall will play host to his final concert, marking both his farewell and the institution’s 30th anniversary. [Read more…]