INNOVATIONS IN HOTEL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

HUNTINGTON LEVERAGES LUXURY

Marketing a high-end luxury hotel with fine amenities and a prestigious address is typically a straightforward matter. For the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco, there are countless marketing “hooks“: hand-in-glove service, a renowned spa, fine dining and an 80-year history of elegance. However, the Huntington Hotel is surrounded by five other luxury hotels, and this challenge requires a special marketing playbook to maximize brand awareness and market differentiation.

In June of 2003, the Huntington partnered with TIG Global to develop a customized online marketing program. TIG Global created a new website with a splash introduction page and rich content that reinforced the brand's luxury image as the premiere hotel in San Francisco. The program also included optimized website copy to maximize the hotel's natural search engine visibility and an aggressive pay-per click marketing campaign that leveraged local attractions and events through keyword bidding. Strategic linking partnerships with websites such as The Spa Index, Trip Advisor and San Francisco Travels also drove qualified traffic direct to the website. Lastly, TIG Global developed an integrated e-mail marketing program, enabling opt-in e-mail participation at the site and disseminating electronic newsletters and specials announcements to the opt-in database.

Says GM Gail Isono, “With TIG Global's comprehensive Internet marketing program, we established ourselves with a strong online presence and we were able to garner market share from our competitors.“

Following 16 months of consistent online marketing effort, the Huntington Hotel has strengthened its marketing plan and reaped a significant increase in direct revenue. Since launching the program, the hotel has increased online revenue by 54 percent year-over-year. In addition, online room nights booked direct at the Huntington site have increased 40 percent from 2004 to 2005. Circle 100

Coffee Makers

Four-cup commercial coffee makers from Classic Coffee Concepts are said to provide hotter, faster and better coffee. Models CC40 (white) and CC43 (black) each provide one hour to shut-off, non-stick warming plate, pause & serve, a large pour-in water reservoir and more. The stylish black model CC43 model is now available with a stainless steel decanter as model CC43S. Circle 101

Checkout Kiosks

Freedom Shopping LLC offers a new RFID (radio frequency identification) self-checkout system. The heart of the system is a compact, wall-mounted self-checkout kiosk. The unit is ideal for properties that need a speedy checkout without all of the security features. For larger hotels requiring a higher level of security, one can add the Freedom Doorway Portal to create a secure, high-traffic market environment. Circle 102

Fabric Softener

P&G Pro Line Downy, a brand of fabric softeners in the retail industry, is now offered to professionals in the lodging business as one of the core products in the P&G Pro Line On-Premise Laundry Program. The fabric softener uses technology to effectively soften linens without using dyes and perfumes. Circle 103

Cushion Collections

Homecrest introduces four new deep-seating cushion collections to complement outdoor furnishings. All four collections can be customized with a selection of 11 frame finishes and more than 100 fabrics. The collections include Mira Bay, Divano, Dorchester and Trinidad. Circle 104

Pocket Concierge

The Pocket Concierge key packet makes a favorable first impression with guests and saves front desk time, says Envoy Publishing, Inc. It provides places to eat, shop and play, information, local map and room keys. There's also a personalized front cover for the hotel. And, it's provided to the hotel for free. Circle 105

iPod Clock Radio

Hotel Technologies offers the iHome, a customizable, digital intelligent alarm clock radio that works as a docking station for a guest's iPod. The iHome allows guests to personalize their in-room music experience by playing their iPod or shuffle directly through the clock radio in the guest-room. When the iPod is docked, it is constantly charging while allowing guests to wake and sleep to their own music. Circle 106

Refreshment Centers

Dometic Corp. replaces the RH 438/448 D refreshment centers with upgraded RH 439/449 LD versions. The respective 30- and 40-liter products offer adjustable shelves and interior door racks ideal for miniatures, cans and bottles up to 1.5 liter. The units have a sensor-controlled LED interior light, feet and changeable décor panel. The centers operate with Fuzzy Logic energy-saving software that automatically monitors numerous operations. Circle 107

Tax Credit Service

Hospitality Solutions LLC has merged with a nationwide tax-credit company to create a new entity called Hospitality Tax Credit and Benefits Solutions LLC. This division is a national provider of government tax credit and voluntary benefits programs for the hospitality industry. Through business development tax-credit programs, the company claims it can bring tens of thousands of dollars to hotels each year, regardless of size or franchise affiliation. Circle 108

FLOATING HEALTH

The Aquatrend Water Workout Station has made quite a splash at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego. Manufactured by Aquatic Trends, the easily installed device is drawing many guests to the pool in the 12,000-square-foot Sea Spa at the well-known luxury resort.

“It's very popular, especially for guests who don't want to come down to the gymnasium where there's an actual aerobic class,“ says Kristian Champion, spa director. “They can quietly work out weightlessly in the pool. That's the advantage of this piece; when you work out on land, your joints take a beating. That's why more and more trainers recommend using low-impact or zero-impact equipment such as Aquatrend.“

The stainless-steel workout station is installed in two pre-drilled holes in the pool deck. It's basically a metal frame with various attachments that can be used for several different exercises.

“We've had it in the pool over a year and we're thinking about getting more,“ Champion says. “Because you can hold classes on them, Aquatrends are good for various aerobic and other fitness exercises.“

According to Aquatic Trends, water's natural buoyancy relieves joints from the stress they accumulate on land. In addition, water offers resistance 12 times greater than air, ensuring that muscles are working.

As for maintenance, there are no issues. “The piece has not had any kind of maintenance problem since it's been in the pool,“ Champion says. “It looks good and it's very user-friendly.“ Circle 109

Spraying Systems

Earlex, Inc. has expanded its line of HVLP (high-volume/low-pressure) spraying systems for use in maintaining, remodeling or constructing hotels and restaurants with the introduction of the 800-watt, two-stage-turbine Earlex Spray Station 5000. The new system applies paint evenly for a professional finish, results in less overspray and paint waste and allows the user greater control and versatility in application. Circle 110

Disinfectant

Best Sanitizers, Inc. claims its Alpet D2 surface disinfectant is the first ready-to-use disinfectant to receive an Environmental Protection Agency efficacy claim again norovirus. The EPA-registered product is strong enough to kill norovirus but safe enough to use on babies' toys. Alpet D2 is approved for use on food contact surfaces without a rinse. Circle 111

Interior Door

The Maiman Company's Neer Veneer thermal-fused flushed door is crafted from a solid 42-pound green-certified core, providing high strength and security and low sound transmission. The maintenance-free facing is thermally fused directly to the core, creating a structure that won't delaminate and is resistant to warping, chipping, scratching and denting, says the company. Circle 112

Pest Control

Bora-Care termiticide, insecticide and fungicide concentrate from Nisus Corp. has joined the FGG/BM System Compatible program developed by Noveon. Bora-Care is used as a stand-alone, full termite treatment for new construction as well as for control of subterranean termites, drywood termites, Formosan termites, carpenter ants, wood destroying beetles and decay fungi. By acting as a barrier for termites as well as eliminating wood as a food source for pests, the product is ideal for remedial and new construction treatments. Circle 113

F&B Management Text

The Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association has published the fourth edition of Management of Food and Beverage Operations. Topics include increasing profits by maximizing service, efficiency and productivity; satisfying the food quality and nutritional demands of guests; meeting legal, safety and sanitation requirements; and building business through effective marketing. Circle 114

Compact Refrigerators

Bar-Maid introduces its Designer Series II silent minibar refrigerators for built-in furniture applications with a changeable panel-type front door to match décor. The environmentally friendly refrigerators have no ozone depleting or harmful R-22 refrigerants, claims the company, and are energy-efficient as they run on only 75 watts. Also, they generate no noise since there's no compressor. Four sizes of built-ins and under-counter units are available. Circle 115

In-Room Fitness

The travelTrainer from Advantage Fitness Products provides a variety of training options that can be executed conveniently within the close quarters of a typical hotel room, whether the preference is toward yoga, pilates, resistance training, core strength training or a combination of the training methods. The kit includes a fitness ball, pump, band system, mat, CD and carry case. Circle 116

Mold-Resistant Products

Parkland Plastics has developed SpectraTile and PLAS-TEX PolyWall to be impermeable and maintenance-free. SpectraTile waterproof ceiling panels are completely waterproof lay-in ceiling tiles. The plastic panels eliminate the problems traditional fiber-based ceiling tiles have with water absorption, mold and crumbling. PLAS-TEX PolyWall is a waterproof wallcovering sheet made from extruded PLAS-TEX, a proprietary technology for recycling polyethylene and polypropylene. Circle 117

Privacy Manual

Principles of Privacy from the American Hotel & Lodging Association provides a clear, current overview of what's required to protect privacy in today's hospitality industry. The manual presents the technical, conceptual and legal issues surrounding privacy in accessible language and concise terms. Actionable steps and checklists ensure ease of implementation. Circle 118

Travel Fun Kit

A check-in gift for kids makes families feel at home, suggests Wikki Stix. Its travel fun kits are safe, clean and include instructions and playtime ideas. Circle 119

Compact Fluorescent Lamp

Osram Sylvania introduces the Dura-One electrodeless compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). Dura-One lamps are direct replacements for medium-base incandescent and CFLs. They offer a possible energy savings up to 75 percent and a life up to 20 times longer than standard incandescent lamps. Circle 120

Database Management

Clairvoyix offers a database marketing solution for independent hotels and small chains. Its marketing automation solution is a fully integrated suite of offerings that can be purchased as stand-alone modules. This allows flexibility for hotels that have very specific needs or budget constraints that preclude a full marketing automation implementation. Circle 121

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