Tag Archives: Hotels

ritz tokyo

The world’s cleanest hotels are in Tokyo!

ritz tokyo

Not all hotels live up to the same standards when it comes to cleanliness.

According to a recent study conducted by Hotel.info, Tourists are most likely to find an immaculate hotel room while traveling to .

In the cleanliness category, hotels in the Japanese capital scored an average rating of 8.93/10 on the website.

DON’T MISS: TOKYO MANDARIN: YOURS FOR A NIGHT AND $670,000

Next in the ranking is Warsaw, Poland with an average rating of 8.76, just ahead of Seoul, South Korea. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, also achieved a high score (8.54), tying with Bulgarian capital Sofia.

Hotel Maid

At the other end of the ranking, although the ratings are not catastrophic, Rio de Janeiro holds the dubious distinction of the lowest score with 7.29/10.

Overall, Western European hotels hardly impressed the website’s users in terms of hygiene. Four of the continent’s capitals obtained some of the worst scores: London, England (7.52); Oslo, Norway (7.53); Amsterdam, the Netherlands (7.58) and Copenhagen, Denmark (7.60).

The world’s top tourist destination, Paris also has room for improvement: The French capital scored a paltry 7.63.

Beverly Wilshire Exterior

Beverly Hills hotel launches ‘Pretty Woman’ package

Beverly Wilshire Exterior

The  hotel in Beverly Hills has launched a weekend package that allows guests to recreate key moments from the movie “Pretty Woman”.

As the primary filming location for the 1990 film, the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire played a supporting role to the movie that catapulted Julia Roberts to meteoric stardom in her Cinderella-esque role as the street-walking prostitute turned love interest for rich business tycoon Edward, played by Richard Gere.

Beverly Presidential Living Room

The weekend package for two includes a stay at the Pretty Woman Suite — the Presidential Suite — where guests can don their headphones, draw a bubble bath and sing the Prince song “Kiss” at the top of their lungs.

Located steps from the iconic Rodeo Drive, the package starts with a personal shopping consultation at luxury boutiques.

Beverly Hills Shopping

Then, guests are chauffeured in a Rolls-Royce to the gardens of the Greystone Mansion, an historic site and premier event destination in Beverly Hills, for an al fresco meal inspired by the picnic scene in the movie.

They’ll also receive professional styling in their suite before being ferried to either the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts or the LA Opera.

Beverly Presidential Bedroom

More info: www.fourseasons.com

Park Hyatt New York

Park Hyatt opens flagship hotel in New York [VIDEO]

Hyatt has unveiled its first New York property under the PARK HYATT branding this week, located at 153 West 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

The Park Hyatt New York tapped some of the most exclusive and luxurious brands in the world to help birth the hotel, including internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg, which is behind the 210 guestrooms and suites.

Park Hyatt New York

The hotel has also curated its own art collection with the help of Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the Central Park Conservancy and Sotheby’s, with 350 pieces that line the walls and halls of the property, including 10 pieces of original art commissioned by the hotel.

Contributing artists include Ellsworth Kelly, Rob Fischer and Robert Longo.

SEE ALSO: SYDNEY’S MOST EXPENSIVE HOTEL ROOM

Park Hyatt New York Bedroom

The hotel occupies the first 25 floors of the 90-storey One57 skyscraper.

DON’T MISS: ONE57 TO BE NYC’S TALLEST RESIDENTIAL TOWER

The bathrooms of the Park Hyatt New York are also kitted out with one of the Tubereuse 40 bath amenities by Le Labo Fragrances, a scent blended exclusively for the hotel.

Park Hyatt New York lobby

Standard rooms are also billed as among the biggest in New York, spanning 475 square feet (44 square meters). Rates start at $795 a night.

skypool

The Shard opens Western Europe’s highest pool

skypool

From today, guests staying at London’s Shangri-La Shard hotel can swim in the highest swimming pool in Western Europe.

The indoor infinity “Skypool” at The Shard sits on the 52nd floor and features views of some of the capital’s most iconic sites like St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster.

DON’T MISS: TOP 10 MOST STUNNING INFINITY POOLS

The west-facing 11x4meter heated pool comes with its own bar, Gŏng, which is the highest in the city.

Gong at the Shangri-La Hotel

Designed by Andre Fu of AFSO, the bar and pool area was inspired by the mythical aspect of ‘dou-gong’ — a series of interlocking brackets that are used extensively in historical Chinese architecture. The interiors are a fusion of traditional Eastern and modern Western aesthetics.

The Skypool is open exclusively to hotel guests between 6 am and 8 pm.

Boutique hotel London NYC

The London NYC’s Runway Package Returns!

Boutique hotel London NYC

Boutique hotel the London NYC has launched a ‘Runway Package’ that aims to put guests in the thick of things, with the heady experience of pulsing flashbulbs, shoulder-rubbing with some of the most beautiful people in the world, and champagne clinking.

Included in the package are two tickets to a runway show at the New York Fashion Week, a night’s stay in the “London Suite”, a manicure by butter London’s Katie Jane Hughes and champagne cocktails at the bar.

Guests can choose from shows like Trina Turk, Libertine, Lela Rose and Milly. Rates start at $2,999. For more info visit thelondonnyc.com.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York runs September 4 to 11.

La Residence Franschhoek South Africa

Top 10 Small Hotels in the World – 2014

La Residence Franschhoek South Africa

CN Traveler has released its picks for the best small hotels in the world, a collection of luxury properties with no more than 20 rooms, located in remote places (a Peruvian canyon, a volcanic Mediterranean crater rim, etc.).

Taking the top spot among readers with a score of 99.2, is La Residence, Franschhoek, an opulent property set in South Africa’s food and wine heartland, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town.

La Residence Franschhoek lobby

“Opening onto wide verandas and mountain views, the 11 extravagant suites are layered with French and Asian antiques, fantastic local art, and Persian carpets, and each has its own personality—from a girly boudoir in pink and lime green to a palatial honeymoon suite in white marble,” raves CN Traveler.

La Residence Franschhoek bedroom

Decor is a mix of elegant antiques, Persian rugs, lavish but plush furnishings, one-of-a-kind art works, and warm, inviting colors in rooms that harken everything from the Orient and the Far East to French and Italian glamour.

In addition to sumptuous quarters, La Residence is known for its spa and dining offerings.

Perivolas, Santorini, Greece

Tied for second place with 98.5 points are Casa de Sierra Nevada in Mexico, and Perivolas in Santorini, Greece.

Casa de Sierra Nevada

A mix of 16th to 18th-century décor, the Spanish colonial buildings at Casa de Sierra Nevada are described as unlike any other property in the world, while Perivolas sits on a cliff on the edge of the island’s caldera, a basin-like depression formed in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.

Peninsula House, Samana, Dominican Republic

Here are the best small hotels in the world:

1. La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa
2. Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
3. Perivolas, Santorini, Greece (tied for 2nd place)
4. Peninsula House, Samana, Dominican Republic
5. Las Casitas Del Colca, Caymolla Province, Peru
6. John Rutledge House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
7. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
8. Chateau du Sureau, Oakhurst, California, USA
9. Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort & Inn, Heredia, Costa Rica
10. Hastings House Country House Hotel, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

Moxy hotels living room

Marriott announces rates for Moxy Milan

Moxy hotels living room

Rooms will be available for €79 per night (around $110) at the Moxy Milan, which is scheduled to open on September 1.

Geared towards younger travelers, the hotel is the first in a chain created by Marriott in partnership with Inter Hospitality, a division of the Ikea Group.

To encourage as many travelers as possible to check out its new concept, the Moxy will offer a promotional rate of €55 per night from September 1 through October 31. From November 1, rooms will be priced at €79 per night.

Moxy hotels restaurant

Since their new brand is marketed primarily to millennials, Marriott and Inter Hospitality are betting big on social networks to get the word out.

For this reason, from the day of the grand opening, guests who post a photo of themselves at the hotel to Instagram/MoxyHotels with the hashtag #atthemoxy will receive a voucher for €5 off of their breakfast.

Located just outside the Malpensa Airport, the Moxy Milan is designed to appeal to young travelers looking for stylish yet affordable accommodations!

tetiaroa

Marlon Brando’s luxurious French Polynesia retreat

Tetiaroa

On the 10th anniversary of Marlon Brando’s death, a dream to develop his private island sanctuary in French Polynesia has come true, with the doors to his eco-friendly resort opening this week.

Dubbed The Brando, the luxury resort is set on the private atoll of Tetiaroa, a series of a dozen islets 30 miles (48 km) north of Tahiti, and was built to pay homage to Brando’s overall vision: a sustainable, self-sufficient paradisiacal hideaway that allows guests to bask in luxury — guiltlessly.

Brando resort at Tetiaroa

As part of its goal to go carbon neutral, half the resort is powered by solar energy, for example, while the balance of power is produced by a biofuel thermal power station fueled by coconut oil.

Guests keep cool via seawater air conditioning, which harnesses the cold of ocean depths, pipes it to land and converts the energy into air conditioning, and they tuck into dishes from Michelin-starred French chef Guy Martin made with organic fruits and vegetables plucked from the island’s gardens.

Brando resort

Each of the 35 deluxe villas comes with its own private beach and plunge pool, and is designed to reflect Polynesian culture while also offering the modern conveniences of wifi, flat screen TVs, and king-size beds.

Activities include snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, Polynesian canoeing, scuba diving, tennis, biking, and guided tours by naturalists.

atoll of Tetiaroa

A spa also offers holistic treatments inspired by ancient Polynesian traditions, private massage villas, steam baths, and a yoga shelter.

In keeping with Brando’s vision for a research and development center exploring the preservation of tropical islands, the resort is also home to an EcoStation described as a think tank for scientists and researchers who will be available to chat about their work and local wildlife.

Brando resort Tetiaroa

Rates for one-bedroom villas start at €1,800 ($2.460) a night for the soft opening until September 30, before rising to €3,000 ($4,100) a night.

Tetiaroa beach

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Hotels with the best-looking guests and best foods

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Want to hit a hotel where you’ll only be surrounded by beautiful people? Rekindle the romance? And rest assured that you’ll be well-fed?

A travel website has come up with a list of the best hotels in categories like best people-watching, romance and gastronomy for those with fine tastes.

Compiled by Jetsetter.com, part of TripAdvisor, the winners were vetted and recommended by the team’s 200 travel correspondents around the world.

If you’re allergic to unattractive people, editors recommend staying at the Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes, France, for instance, which was named the hotel with the best-looking guests — not surprising given that the seaside town hosts the world’s most glamorous, star-studded event.

The Cannes hotel beat other model-infested, movie-star haunts like the Hotel Fasano in Rio de Janeiro and the Mondrian Los Angeles.

Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Food lovers, meanwhile, are advised to put the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England on their travel bucket list.

The 15th-century manor hotel, just one hour outside London, boasts two Michelin stars, celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, and a setting in the bucolic, British countryside. The British manor beat Public in Chicago and Solage Calistoga Resort in California to take the title.

And for couples looking to rekindle their romance, the 13th-century cave hotel Sextantio Le Grotte in Italy beat out properties in Cabo San Lucas and Santorini for its “simple charms” with candlelit bedrooms, natural terraces and cooking lessons.

Chateau Frontenac

For more ideas, here’s the full list:

Best Design: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Best Comeback: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada

Best Hotel for Communing with Nature: Belmond Safaris, Botswana

Best Nightlife: The Standard, High Line, New York

Best for Foodies: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire, UK

Best for Pampering: Lumeria Maui, Hawaii

Best on the Beach: Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos

Best Reward for the Travel Effort: Hotel Escondido, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Best Big City Sleep: Dean Street Townhouse, London, UK

Best Business Meets Pleasure: Soho House, Berlin, Germany

Best for Romance: Sextantio Le Grotte, Puglia, Italy

Best Style Steal: Mama Shelter, Istanbul, Turkey

Best-Looking Guests: Hotel Majestic Barriere, Cannes, France

Best All-Inclusive: Blue Diamond Riviera Maya, Mexico

Best Pool Scene: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, USA

SLS Las Vegas

Hilton to launch Curio

SLS Las Vegas

International hotel chain Hilton Worldwide has launched a new luxury brand in response to the growing popularity and demand for boutique hotels and hyper-local experiences.

Curio – A Collection by Hilton is pitched as a brand that that will curate four to five-star distinctive hotels that represent the local area and offer authentic experiences unique to the destination.

So far, the collection includes the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; The Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas; Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, South Dakota and The Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with another property in Portland, Oregon to be announced shortly.

SLS Las Vegas Curio Hilton

“Our customers and owners have expressed strong interest in a brand from us that includes hotels that can retain their unique identity but also deliver the many benefits of our system, including our Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program,” said Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide.

“That desire, combined with the current size of the independent hotel market and demand for differentiated hotel stays around the world, made for the right timing for this launch.”

The strategy borrows from the playbook of rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts, whose W Hotels is pitched as a trendy, boutique hotel brand.

While not a boutique hotel in the traditional sense, Curio’s SLS Las Vegas will anchor the Curio collection with big-name collaborations that include Philippe Starck and James Beard Foundation winning chef José Andrés.

The $415 million renovation will redevelop the site of the former Sahara Hotel & Resort, a location steeped in Las Vegas history.

Hotel Alex Johnson

The Hotel Alex Johnson (pictured above), meanwhile, is located near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and is on the National Register of Historic Places, as is The Sam Houston Hotel in Texas.

Curio becomes Hilton Worldwide’s 11th hotel brand, a portfolio that includes the , Conrad and .

Tara Stiles w hotel

Luxury hotels tapping celebrity fitness trainers

Tara Stiles w hotel

Celebrity US yoga instructor Tara Stiles has been tapped by  to create exclusive workouts that will be available systemwide as in-room tip cards and videos in suites around the world.

To develop the hotel-specific program, Stiles locked herself in the rooms of several W Hotels to step into the shoes — or bare feet — of hotel guests.

The end result is four yoga regimes to boost energy, ease jet lag, get ready for a night out or for recovery.

To promote the new program, W’s newest fitness ambassador has also hit the streets enclosed in an all-glass, mobile truck, striking yoga poses around New York City.

Tara Stiles Performs Yoga in Glass Box

Stiles will also lead yoga retreats at select properties around the world this year, including the W Verbier in Switzerland, the W Vieques in Puerto Rico, W Bali-Seminyak, and the W Maldives.

Packages will be customized for their destinations and include daily sessions with Stiles, individual fitness consultations and personalized workout regimes.

More details on the FIT with Tara Stiles Retreat Packages are available here.

Tara Stiles

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington joins Westin wellbeing campaign

Arianna Huffington

Westin Hotels has tapped media mogul Arianna Huffington to serve as an ambassador for the professional and work pillar of the brand’s wide-sweeping well-being movement, an ambitious and holistic campaign aimed at improving guests’ overall health across six channels.

After launching the mental and mindfulness arm of the program last month, the international hotel chain announced that Huffington will sit on its well-being council as an ambassador for professional careers.

That means that Huffington will contribute content to the hotel’s well-being portal. Her first contributions on the site include excerpts and ideas from her new book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.”

Westin Well Being

Tips include everything from getting more sleep and starting a gratitude list to letting go of unproductive and destructive thought patterns.

After collapsing from exhaustion in 2007, Huffington re-examined the definition of success and learned how to bring balance back in her life, a journey she chronicles in her new book.

Westin’s well-being movement includes Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well principles.

Westin hotels Well Being

Bardessono

Top 10 highest-rated green hotels in the US

Bardessono

TripAdvisor has released its Top 10 Highest-Rated Green Hotels in the US, giving top honors to the Bardessono hotel in Napa Valley, California.

As just one of three US LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the US — the gold standard when it comes to eco-friendly design —  the Bardessono shows that luxury and sustainability are anything but mutually exclusive.

Bardessono Napa Valley

With 62 guest rooms, the property uses smart, efficient and innovative design principles that maximize its sun-soaked environment.

Solar panels harness the power of the California sun while large, smart windows provide a flood of natural lighting and low-e glass reduces temperature transfer into the room. Energy-efficient smart sensors also lower or raise the room temperature when guests are absent.

Bardessono hotel

Furnishings are made from rescued and salvaged trees, water fixtures are low-flow and all finishes, paints, carpeting and fabrics meet low volatile organic compound standards to improve indoor air quality.

Efforts to green the hotel, however, are unobtrusive for hotel guests accustomed to the luxury treatment and with spacious rooms decked out in full amenities like gas fireplaces and bathrooms designed to double as private spa, complete with massage table and soaker tub.

Bardessono hotel bathroom

Foods served at Lucy’s Restaurant and Bar are made with garden-fresh ingredients harvested from the property.

Bardessono lucy restaurant

Here are the Top 10 highest-rated green hotels in the US:

  1. Bardessono, Yountville, California
  2. Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, Oregon
  3. Hilton Garden Inn Lafayetteville/Fort Bragg, Lafayetteville, North Carolina
  4. Sleep Inn & Suites, Miles City, Montana
  5. Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
  6. Cedar Glen Lodge, Lake Tahoe, California
  7. ARIA Sky Suites, Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. The Lenox Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Hampton Inn & Suites Miami/Bricknell-Downtown, Miami, Florida
  10. Holiday Inn Express Inverness, Lecanto, Florida

Bardessono hotel pool

SPG for glass

Use Google Glass App to Book Starwood Hotel Rooms

SPG for glass

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has unveiled new details on its SPG app for Google Glass, which will allow loyalty members to search for hotels using voice commands, book their room and get real-time, GPS-enabled directions.

When the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app emerges from beta, it will allow users to perform the same functions as laptops and smartphones.

In addition to searching among 1,100 hotels around the world, users can look up nearby attractions and amenities using simple voice commands.

Potential guests can also take a virtual tour of the hotel rooms and suites, call the hotel, look up their account information, review their reservations and check their Starpoints. Finalizing bookings requires a simple tap. Geolocating software will also provide real-time directions.

Earlier this year, the Starwood group announced plans to turn smartphones into ‘keyless keys,’ allowing Starwood Preferred Guests to open their rooms by simply scanning their phones to the door.

Elsewhere in the travel industry, Virgin Atlantic became the world’s first airline to use the wearable technology earlier this year, when it armed ground staff with Google Glass to check in passengers.

Virgin Atlantic Google Glass

Marriott Rewards

The top 10 hotel loyalty programs for 2014

Marriott Rewards

Hotel guests have given top marks to the Marriott chain for its loyalty program, which was ranked the top in overall customer satisfaction.

Marriott Rewards received an overall customer satisfaction score of 707 on a 1,000-point scale, according to the first hotel-program survey by market research company J.D. Power.

Loyalty programs were weighted on five factors: account maintenance, ease of points or miles redemption, ease of earning points or miles, reward program conditions and customer service.

Marriott includes brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, Bvlgari, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Gaylord Hotels.

Second was IHG, which includes Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotel & Resorts, among others. It received a score of 704. Third was Delta Hotels Delta Privilege, which is based in Canada.

Here are the Top hotel loyalty programs for 2014:

  1. Marriott Rewards
  2. IHG Rewards Club
  3. Delta Priviledge
  4. La Quinta Returns
  5. Drury Gold Key Club
  6. Hilton HHonors
  7. Choice Privileges
  8. Club Carlson
  9. Fairmont President’s Club
  10. Starwood Preferred Guest
hotel WiFi

Hotel Survey Reveals Most-Valued Amenities

wifi hotel

Free wifi and complimentary breakfast have emerged as the most important hotel amenities among guests in a new survey.

When 1,000 travelers from around the world were asked in a Hotels.com poll to rank 33 different amenities in order of importance, the ability to stay connected was deemed the most important in-room amenity, while free breakfast was the most sought-after overall hotel service.

After free connectivity, guests also ranked a bathroom with a shower and room size as priorities when it comes to in-room amenities.

Meanwhile, as free wifi has become increasingly standardized in response to consumer demand, hotels are trying to woo guests with other premium services including high-end coffee machines and concierge iPad services.

Here are the Top overall hotel amenities:

  1. Complimentary breakfast
  2. Restaurant
  3. Internet/Free wifi
  4. Free parking
  5. 24-hour front desk
  6. Smoke-free hotel
  7. Swimming pool
  8. Bar
  9. Air conditioning
  10. Coffee, tea lobby

Top in-room hotel amenities

  1. Free wifi
  2. Bathroom with shower
  3. Room size
  4. TV system
  5. Air conditioning
  6. Coffee, tea
  7. Non-smoking rooms
  8. Premium bedding
  9. Daily housekeeping
  10. Mattress type
PressReader

Shangri-La Hotels Launches PressReader

PressReader

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will replace approximately two million complimentary print newspapers distributed annually to guests with environmentally-friendly digital versions beginning 29 March.

The Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group has partnered with PressReader, a digital newspaper and magazine service, to make connecting to Shangri-La and Kerry hotels and resorts’ free Wi-Fi even more edifying.

pudong-shanghai-shangri-la

Guests will have unlimited, complimentary access to more than 2,000 local, regional and international publications from 100 countries in 60 languages.

To use the service, guests connect to the hotel Wi-Fi using their laptops, tablets or smartphones and go to PressReader.com or download the free PressReader app for Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows.

Shangri-La Tokyo treatment room

The service will be available in all Wi-Fi accessible areas in Shangri-La and Kerry hotels and resorts. Guests using the free Wi-Fi in hotel cars will also be able to access the service.

In addition to PressReader, Shangri-La will offer print editions of select newspapers upon request.

entrance Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, one of the world’s premier hotel companies, currently owns and/or manages more than 80 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 34,000. 

Room service

The world’s costliest room service

Room service

Helsinki has emerged as the priciest city for room service, and Tunis the cheapest in a new index that provides a snapshot of how much a club sandwich and a can of Coke will set guests back around the world.

In TripAdvisor’s 2014 TripIndex Room Service, analysts created a price comparison of in-room amenities like a club sandwich, a bottle of water, peanuts, a soda, a mini bottle of vodka and dry cleaning services.

Not surprisingly, Scandinavia emerged the most expensive region on the index, with Nordic cities claiming four of the top 10 most expensive spots. After Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen also made the list.

The survey also revealed that travelers can expect to pay 22% more for room service amenities in the US compared to major destinations around the world.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas emerged the most expensive destination in the US for hotel amenities, followed closely by New York and Washington D.C.

The most affordable cities in the US are Denver, Seattle and Minneapolis.

club sandwich

The most expensive cities for room service in the world (club sandwich, water, peanuts, soda, a mini bottle of vodka and dry cleaning service):

Helsinki, Finland, $89
Oslo, Norway $88
Seoul, South Korea $73
Zurich, Switzerland $72
Stockholm, Sweden $69
Paris, France $68
New York, USA $68
Toronto, Canada $66
Singapore, Singapore $62
Copenhagen, $60

Hotels use psychology to encourage towel reuse

Towels Hotels

Can “gentle persuasion” be used to cut waste? Psychology researchers at the University of Luxembourg say yes.

Researchers at the university worked with two hotels in Swiss and Austrian ski resorts in early 2013 to persuade guests to use fewer towels each day. Three different signs were placed separately in different hotel bathrooms, all of which “gently reminded” guests of towel use in regards to the environment.

One of the three signs read, “75% of guests in this hotel reuse their towels,” while another noted “75% of guests in this room” reused towels. The field experiment featured 132 guests, and signs were in German and English so all guests could understand them.

“We found that guests cut their towel use significantly when told of the behaviour of previous guests in their room,” said the lead researcher Dr Gerhard Reese.

Guests who stayed in the “…in this room” option used an average of one towel per person per day. Those who stayed in the rooms with the “…in this hotel” signs used an average of 1.6 towels per person per day. This resulted in a 40% savings in the number of towels that required washing.

Fewer towel usage not only contributes to a greener planet, but also helps the hotels cut costs and therefore lower room rates. Results are comparable to a few similar US studies and indicates this form of subtle pressure can help persuade people to do the right thing in other situations.

“Humans are social beings,” explained Dr Reese. “People want to be accepted into groups and so we act in ways that make us belong.

Instinctively, we feel close to those who have used a hotel room before us, believing that they are similar to ourselves. Thus we are more likely to follow their behavior.” The study was published in the journal Social Psychology.

hotels towels

Suite at the Mandarin Oriental Paris

Scent Branding in the Hotel World

Suite at the Mandarin Oriental Paris

Just as real estate agents suggest baking cookies to make potential buyers feel at home, more and more hotels are using the same concept to fill their lobbies with signature scents developed exclusively for their brand.

In the hotel industry, the strategy is known as “scenting,” an extra-sensory marketing strategy that’s meant to attach certain smells to brands, drive loyalty, and make people feel at home.

Just as certain smells will transport people back to their childhood, hoteliers are leveraging this powerful memory-maker to connect certain fragrances to their brand.

The latest luxury hotel to develop its own scent is the Thompson Chicago, which collaborated with scentmakers 12.29 in New York to come up with its own custom scent, ‘Velvet,’ inspired by the hotel’s signature colors black and aubergine, and textures like leather and velvet.

“The vision was sinking into a worn-in leather chair in the lounge with a glass of scotch. Warm, inviting, comfortable, sexy and modern,” said sisters Dawn and Samantha Goldworm of 12.29 in an interview on the hotel blog.

Similarly, when guests walk into the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, they’re greeted with the warmth of wood and leather scents which are bottled in $90 room sprays and $150 candles.

Over at Le Méridien, the signature olfactory logo was developed by Le Labo in New York, helmed by two French men who bottled the scent of old paper, leather, wooden shelves and an old copy of Le Petit Prince.

The connection: Le Méridien was originally founded by Air France while the author of “The Little Prince,” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was also a pilot, pointed out a Travel + Leisure article.

The Westin’s signature scent is White Tea and the Mandarin Oriental takes inspiration from its signature Mandarin Blossom Tea.

And luxury boutique hotel Dukes St. James in London pipes the smell of the “English countryside” throughout the rooms with scents of hyacinth and bluebells.