Innovations in Hotel Products and Services


Two independent polls of hotel consumers and hotel managers released by pest control company Orkin show that the bed bug resurgence is making most — 59 percent — Americans more choosy about hotels.

The poll also showed that bed bug problems in one hotel can affect the entire chain. If there is such a problem in one hotel, 38 percent of travelers surveyed would be less likely to stay in another hotel in the same chain. Seventeen percent would consider forgoing a hotel completely.

The problem is even more acute among higher income groups, who tend to be the most frequent travelers. They are significantly less likely than others to choose a hotel if they have heard about a bed bug infestation anywhere in the same hotel chain.

According to Orkin Technical Director Frank Meek, bed bugs don't cause direct health threats, but their bites can result in itchy, bloody welts. The rise in international travel in recent years has contributed to the increase in bed bugs being seen, Meek says. He calls the bugs great hitchhikers that can travel in luggage and other personal belongings.

The poll of 1,052 U.S. adults confirmed that many victims of bed bug bites will react swiftly and negatively and spread the word about hotels with bed bug problems. Among the results:

  • 88 percent would complain to the general manager

  • 58 percent would never go back to that hotel

  • 51 percent would notify the health department

  • 50 percent would leave the hotel

  • 50 percent would tell five or more people about their experience.

To counter this, 74 percent of hotels have a bed bug-complaint response policy. Sixty-four percent immediately move the guest to another room and then call in a professional to inspect the room; 61 percent quarantine the room and surrounding rooms. Meek says such quarantining is an important step to prevent bed bug spread.

In addition, nearly 70 percent of hotel managers are confident that their housekeeping staffs can accurately identify the signs of a bed bug infestation during their regular room cleanings. Meek recommends that hotel managers work with a reputable pest management company to train their staff to recognize the signs of bed bugs and that travelers come prepared to inspect the room themselves.
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Wet/Dry Vacuums

Tornado claims to take wet/dry vacuuming to a higher level of efficiency and performance with the new P15 (molded polyethylene) and S15 (stainless steel) wet/dry vacuum cleaners. The units are ideal for debris pickup, water removal after storms or plumbing failures, and removal of finish, solutions and soils when refinishing floors. Both units have a 15-gallon recovery tank, a 1.61-hp vac motor and 90 inches of waterlift.
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Mirror Makeovers

Millennium International added a new color, white, to its MirrEdge mirror framing system. Using the system, in-house staff can easily frame plain mirrors in minutes. The mirror never leaves the wall, and there is very little downtime to the room. Only tools needed are a razor knife and a measuring tape.
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Pants Presser

Hoteliers can be sure of complementing their guestroom design when they view the range of Corby Pants Pressers, says Focus Products L.P. Both freestanding and wall-mounted models are available, in modern and traditional styles. A wide range of colors and finishes is offered.
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Pool Grating

RenoSys upgrades and enhances a pool's beauty with its GraniGrate pool grating. GraniGrate is a genuine granite grating that can be top-mounted or flush-mounted on a pool gutter. It's available in a variety of styles and colors to enhance premium facilities.
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ATM is a premier provider of both traditional and contemporary designed cabinets to blend the ATM with a hotel's decor. Elegant Designs and Extraordinary Solutions are two of its offerings.
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Bed Linens

A-1 Textiles offers a line of cotton-rich blended sheets that it says are designed to upgrade guestrooms and please guests. The Golden Suite T250 sheets have an elegant one-inch or one-quarter-inch stripe and are available in white or beige. The Golden Touch T200 has a one-inch stripe and is available in white.
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Backup Power

Even secure facilities are vulnerable to power loss. Russelectric custom-designed emergency/backup power systems automatically keep critical security equipment and systems up and running if a utility feed is lost, even for a short time.
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Soap Dispensers

According to Pro-Link, studies show that 25 percent of all soap dispensers with open reservoirs contain unsafe levels of bacterial contamination. With Pro-Link's new Sanitary Sealed Systems, the soap inside is factory-sealed, protected from contaminants and a fresh nozzle is installed with each refill.
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Step-On Containers

Rubbermaid Commercial Products introduces its Premium Step-On Container Line for waste management. Features include an integrated lid damper and heavy-duty can liner retaining straps. Containers also feature a self-closing lid with an integrated damper mechanism that prevents slamming and helps keep odors and bacteria from escaping.
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Geese Deterrent

Bird-X, Inc. offers its 3D Coyote — a lifelike, stalking model coyote that is designed to scare destructive Canada geese. The Bird-X Coyote is a realistic, life-sized, three-dimensional replica, 36 inches head to tail. Its furry tail and true-to-life markings add to the imposing presence. Unlike stationary deterrents, this coyote moves and changes positions in even the slightest breeze.
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Personalized Bedding

The Hospitality Gold Bed by Select Comfort allows guests to adjust on each side to their ideal comfort and firmness preference, their Sleep Number setting. The company says the bed is clinically proven to improve sleep quality and reduce back pain, allowing guests to enjoy the luxury of a better night's sleep.
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Salt & Pepper Sets

American Metalcraft offers a new line of stainless steel salt and pepper sets. Sleek angles, contoured lines and brushed stainless sides are paired with high polished stainless. Eleven sets are available in various sizes.
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Pest Control

Nixalite's CopperBlocker Pest Excluder is a soft, pure copper mesh cloth that is packed into openings to keep out all kinds of unwanted pests. CopperBlocker works in holes up to two inches in diameter. It doesn't rust and holds its shape better than steel wool. It also produces an electric charge that repels snails and slugs.
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Attendance Solution

UniFocus offers its web-based Workforce Time and Attendance Solution. Watson Time and Attendance enables hoteliers to collect and analyze real-time labor data for salary and hourly personnel, online. Hotel managers can control and schedule their workforce from any location with a computer and Internet connection. The program enables managers to identify overtime situations, correct errors and allocate time to tasks for job costing and work allocation.
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Plumbing Design Tool

Plumbing products manufacturer Symmons Industries introduced Design Studio Live, a user-friendly, web-based tool that makes it possible for designers, architects and property owners to participate in Symmons' custom design process. Using the tool, customers can receive 3-D models of their designs within four days, metal prototypes in 15 days and delivered product in 16 weeks.
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Botanical Cleaning Products

Vaska introduces a line of botanical laundry and housekeeping products. Vaska claims its cleaning equals top-tier non-green laundry formulas, without toxic repercussions to either personal safety or the environment. Products are made with top-quality bio-degradable, non-carcinogenic botanical ingredients for enhanced cleaning performance.
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Customized Training

Signature Worldwide introduces a comprehensive customer experience program called Customer Experience Edge. The program offers customized training for employees at every level, focused on specific experiences, such as the arrival experience, the spa experience and others. Training is then reinforced with mystery shops, coaching and additional instruction.
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Massage/Music Chair

Raffel Comfort Sciences and its flagship brand Tranquil Ease introduce The Vibe, a synchronized music and gaming massage chair. The Vibe is synchronized to vibrate to the beat of the music and sounds of MP3s, iPods, CDs and DVDs, as well as Game Boy, Xbox and PlayStation games. A six-inch subwoofer is installed beneath the seat.
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When Hyatt decided to redesign guestrooms and lobbies throughout its Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands, the goal was to create a residential look that's more appealing to guests. iHome, a customizable, digital intelligent alarm clock radio that works as a docking station for a guests' iPod or other personal music device, has become a successful part of the redesign program.

According to Stephen D'Agostino, resident manager at the Grand Hyatt New York, making guests feel at home is critical to the overall Hyatt guest experience. He says the Grand Hyatt is committed to providing a variety of new guest-service programs and amenities to better enhance the guest experience and make the guests' stay memorable. “iHome has significantly helped the property accomplish that task,” says D'Agostino.

“iHome is the type of high-tech, digital alarm clock that someone would find next to the bed at home,” he says. “By putting iHome at the bedside in each guestroom, travelers actually can personalize their in-room music experience. With iHome, guests can wake up to a favorite song instead of an alarm buzzer. We have seen many guests go out of their way through comment cards to tell us that they like the system.”

iHome features a universal well docking station for iPods that is easily adjusted with the touch of a finger. With the iPod docked, it is constantly being charged while allowing guests to wake and sleep to their own personal music.

All Hotel Technologies' alarm clock radios feature a patent pending Single Day Alarm. If the previous guest sets an early alarm, the feature ensures that the next guest will not be awakened accidentally, since the alarm was never turned off.

Hyatt's iHome HiH66, available in black or white, requires little set up as it comes with auto-set technology (the time is already set). The system will include FM pre-set buttons, allowing the hotelier to set four popular stations for the guest as an added convenience. EZ set directions make the iHome's alarm feature effortless for the guest to operate, says the company. An MP3/CD line-in cord is also provided so guests can plug in their CD players or any other branded MP3 players should they wish to do so.

“Whether a business, group or leisure traveler, we believe our guests truly enjoy the iHome,” says D'Agostino. “Likewise, we enjoy working with Hotel Technologies. Whenever we have needed assistance or help with an installation, they have been quick and responsive to help us find a solution.”
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Lightpole Base Cover

New Pig Corp. designed the Lightpole Base Cover to camouflage unsightly lightpole bases in parking lots and industrial and commercial facilities, indoors or out. The cover consists of a domed top to cover the top of the base and a set of panels to cover the rounded bottom. Constructed of UV-resistant polyethylene, the cover won't rust, fade or corrode and springs back to form after cart bumps and minor vehicle impact.
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Sharp expanded its line of of high-definition AQUOS LCD TVs with the new HT3 models, in 32-, 37- and 42-inch screen sizes. Designed specifically for the hospitality industry, the wide-screen, high-def TVs combine Sharp's proprietary Advanced Super View LCD panel, which provides a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 6000:1, with built-in LodgeNet and On Command, as well as nStreams, NxTV and SeaChange pay-per-view interfaces.
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