INNOVATIONS IN HOTEL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Custom Fixtures for Four Seasons

Among the distinctions of the Four Seasons Hotel Boston are custom bathroom fixtures from Symmons Industries. According to Eric Vogel, the designer for CBT Architects in Boston who guided the updating of the luxury hotel's bathrooms, the Signature Design Studio from Symmons balanced the hotel's need for a unique, upscale look with budgetary restraints governing a 2005 renovation of most of its guestrooms. It was quite a process.

Vogel began by presenting a number of standard fixtures in various combinations. While the owner expressed mild interest in some of them, they simply weren't “custom” enough. Because a true custom design would be cost-prohibitive, Vogel had to find an “out-of-the-box” alternative. He turned to Symmons and its Signature Design Studio.

The SDS mission is to create custom-designed and -manufactured bathroom fittings for luxury lodging, with simplicity and speed. Where most designers strive for products that reflect current fashion styles and trends, SDS aims to fashion a unique, timeless look. Specialized software allows Symmons designers to turn an initial concept into a 3-D prototype in as little as four days. And because the program is based on open-source coding, designers can register with the SDS website, log in and gain access to “sampling” items. They can choose any faucet from the site and ask to see it with modifications, giving SDS a starting point that reduces design time and costs.

Of the 285 guestrooms, 250 were completely retrofitted with new faucets, shower mixing valves, tub spouts and shower heads, and accessories including towel bars and rings, robe hooks and toilet paper holders.

Aside from his satisfaction with the end product, Vogel enjoyed the design process.

“Getting a full bathroom fixture suite that is unique to one hotel is quite innovative,” he says. “Instead of seeing the same faucet you see in every hotel project, you get to develop something unique to that particular hotel.”
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Christmas Trees

Balsam Hill offers several collections of artificial pre-lit Christmas trees and trimmings that the company says provide superior safety, cleanliness and durability. Trees in the Signature Collection are modeled after real American evergreens, while the True Needle branch tips replicate the depth, texture and color schemes of natural trees.
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Valet Presser

The Corby valet presser is simple to use: just open, smooth pants behind the door, close and set the timer. The presser removes back-of-knee wrinkles and refreshes a crease on all styles of business and leisure pants. Distributed by Focus products L.P.
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Showerhead

Sunbeam Hospitality's multifunction showerhead (models 6911, 6913) provides guests with a luxurious, spa-quality shower while minimizing water usage. Guests can choose between eight spray patterns ranging from a fine mist to steady stream or pulsating massage. The spray selections are brightly colored with an easy-to-read window indicator, so switching sprays is fast and simple for guests of all ages. The showerhead delivers a strong-pressure 80-psi spray while using just 2.5 gallons per minute.
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ATMs

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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Laundry Hamper

The Hamper Host from Tingue, Brown & Co. features a lid that snaps shut to seal odors inside and prevent their escape into the air. The hands-free Hamper Host enables staffers to place soiled linens inside by stepping on an optional foot pedal to open the lid. Once the bag liner is full, it is removed through a side door rather than through the top, to reduce heavy lifting and minimize worker contact with soiled goods.
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Seating

KARMA, from Loewenstein, features leading-edge design as a result of a collaboration with Italy's Titta Paoloni. KARMA embodies a fluid melding of shapes, technical wood-working and a flex back approach, in an all-wood format. The collection comprises an armless chair, barstool and matching lounge.
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Outdoor Furniture

LaCor now stocks furniture year-round, allowing for shorter delivery times. The furniture is made with contemporary double-walled design and man-made fiber that won't fade, crack or tear, says the company. The frames are constructed of non-corrosive aluminum and covered with hand-woven faux wicker.
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Shower Valves

Moen Inc. offers the Moentrol pressure-balancing volume control valve so hoteliers can create an affordable and luxurious vertical spa experience for their guests. The valve delivers an ideal combination of water coverage, force and flow for a relaxing and soothing shower experience. Guests can choose to have both a showerhead and a hand-shower or a showerhead and body sprays running at the same time.
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Glass Pendants

Besa Lighting introduces Mondo glass pendants — grand cable pendants for foyers, lofts, two-level great rooms, lobbies and other spaces with tall ceilings. The pendants feature a distressed foil appearance in dome profiles. Two sizes are available, with diameters of 20 and 24 inches. Foil colors include gold, silver and copper.
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Financing Options

CalFirst Hospitality Finance Group, a part of the California First National Bancorp family of companies, provides hotel operators with competitive financing options for capital acquisition needs. It provides lease financing on everything from furniture to property management software at terms that coincide with the life of the assets being financed. Its lease financing products are designed to be secured by the assets being financed, not the real estate.
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Surface Protectant

Geerpres, Inc. introduced BioShield 75, a patented biostatic antimicrobial surface protectant which reduces the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew. BioShield 75 — EPA registered and USDA accepted — is a water-based, non-toxic liquid protectant that helps prevent bacteria growth. It can be wiped, sprayed, dipped or misted on a wide range of porous and non-porous products and surfaces.
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Energy Efficient Equipment

Manitowoc Foodservice Group implemented its new EnergyMizer campaign. At the heart of the campaign is the new EnergyMizer logo. The logo is intended to be used as a general mark of energy efficiency. If one sees the logo on the outside, one can be assured that there are energy-saving technologies on the inside, says the company.
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Fitness Equipment

The Signature Series benches and racks from Life Fitness feature high-end design. Large, flat oval tubing ensures structural stability to meet high performance needs with a design that's inviting for first-time users. In addition, the molded urethane protective racking system reduces vibration and clanking when racking weights.
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Food Whipper

iSi North America, Inc. has added the Thermo Xpress Whip to its line of food whippers. The whip boasts a one-quart capacity and is ideal for advanced preparation of creams and sauces to handle peak service times — back of the house or front of the house. The double-walled insulated bottle keeps one's signature whipped cream recipes cold or soups, sauces or Espuma foams hot during service periods.
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Pan Release Spray

Crisco Professional Pan Release Spray is developed to produce less foam and offer more complete and consistent surface coverage and better overall performance. The pan spray contains zero grams trans fat per serving and is available in 14-and 21-ounce sizes.
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Electronic Ballasts

Advanced launched its family of AmbiStar electronic fluorescent ballasts. The ballasts drive a wide variety of fluorescent lighting options — from compact fluorescents to T5, T8 and T12 technology — to deliver warm, comfortable and cost-effective lighting solutions to the market's broad range of hospitality users.
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Mattress Cover

W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., inventor of GORETEX fabric, developed a premium mattress cover to meet the needs of the hospitality industry. Using its patented barrier technology, Gore developed a mattress cover that provides “invisible” protection for hotel mattresses. With its soft performance and moisture vapor breathability, the GORE Mattress Cover delivers protection against liquids and environmental contaminants, while keeping guests from feeling too hot or cold.
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Hinged Shelving

The 101P bulk linen cart from Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. features a hinged shelving system that enables one person to convert its two plastic shelves from its horizontal clean linen delivery position to its vertical soiled linen return position, without removing the shelves. The unit is molded of polyethylene in a single piece to eliminate welds, fasteners and other components that wear during operation.
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Accounting Textbook

The AH&LA's Educational Institute offers a new edition of Accounting for Hospitality Managers. The managerial accounting textbook will help readers understand and apply hospitality department accounting at the supervisory and managerial levels. An accompanying workbook, available separately, offers additional assignments and problems not found in the textbook.
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Stretch Fiber

Dow Fiber Solutions is targeting the lodging market for DOW XLA, an olefin-based stretch fiber. DOW XLA adds value to uniforms and other garments with its soft stretch and hand and its inherent resistance to high temperatures and harsh chemicals used in launderings. The company plans to partner with uniform manufacturers to develop comfort-stretch fabrics with lasting performance for uniforms and other garments used in the lodging market.
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Enriched Oxygen

O+MINI is a hand-held, portable container of 95-percent pure, enriched oxygen. O+ is promoted as “the ultimate minibar or turn-down amenity.” It is said to enhance guests' sense of well-being, promoting energy and combatting jet lag. The product packs 20-plus breaths of 95-percent pure oxygen. The lightweight, portable canister is purse-or pocket-friendly, and available in peppermint or pink grapefruit.
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Crypton Collection

Silver State Inc. offers Lush Life, the latest Crypton collection designed for Silver State fabrics. The collection features oversized graphic motifs, textured boucles and opulent patterns with an edge and modern yarn-dyed stripes. Twelve patterns and 80 sku's are represented in the collection.
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Antimicrobial Fabrics

Milliken introduces Bio-Smart, a new antimicrobial-charged fabric technology that harnesses the sanitizing power of EPA-registered chlorine bleach to help reduce the spread of infection-causing bacteria and viruses, including emerging antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA. BioSmart can be applied to synthetics, cotton and poly/cotton.
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Waterless Urinal Systems

Waterbury Companies Inc. introduces ZeroFlush, a waterless urinal system. The system is environmentally friendly and reduces water usage by up to 40,000 gallons a year per urinal, claims the company. ZeroFlush comes in three models. Two designs are available in vitreous china and one is made of stainless steel.
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Vacuum Cleaner

Sanitaire offers a versatile and durable dual-motor vacuum cleaner as the new top-tier offering from its commercial line. The commercial cleaner is called DuraLux from Sanitaire by Electrolux. The cleaner offers a number of features, including an extra large, clog-free intake to easily handle paper clips, toothpicks and other clog-prone items. The cleaner features independently controlled twin motors and a durable chromed steel brush roll with an automotive-style V belt pulley.
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