Tag Archives: Hotels

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.


Four Seasons Offers New Private Jet Experience

four seasons st petersburg

Four Seasons has launched a luxury travel package that will take guests on an European vacation centered around art and culture aboard a private jet.

The Backstage with the Arts tour is meant to offer participants access to premier art collections, exclusive musical performances, private dinners and visits to cultural institutions across Europe.

For example, guests will be privy to areas of the Duomo di Milano traditionally closed to the public and a special performance of “Don Giovanni” at the historic Estates Theatre in Prague.

four seasons prague

The luxury package was developed with La Fugue, Paris, which specializes in creating art, classical music and opera-themed travel itineraries.

Other stops include a private, after-hours tour of a UNESCO World Heritage site in Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery, and a private tour of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg followed by a gala at Pavlovsk Palace, once the hunting grounds of czars.

Four Seasons George V Paris

Guests will travel on a private Boeing 757 customized to seat 52 passengers. Onboard meals will be prepared by a Four Seasons chef.

Prices start at $69,000 a person, based on double occupancy for trips leaving April 20 to May 5, 2015.

Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

Marriott to open Moxy Hotel in Milan

Marriott International is launching Moxy, a new economy-focused brand, in partnership with Inter Hospitality, a division of the Ikea Group. The first Moxy hotel will open near the Milan airport next September.

Moxy hotels living room

Designed to appeal to Millennials, the Moxy Milan Malpensa Airport will aim to offer a comfortable and stylish hotel at an affordable price.

Guests at the hotel will be met with a hip and contemporary interior design, and each room will have a unique “art wall” with a design inspired by the city and its surroundings.

The public spaces will be adaptable, allowing guests to enjoy healthy breakfast choices in the morning and taste wines or local beers in the evening.

moxy hotels buffet

To cater to Millennials traveling for business, the hotel will offer “Plug and Meet” meeting spaces complete with walls guests can write on. In the lobby, guests will find computers and a 24/7 market for snacks at all hours.

Five additional Moxy hotels are expected to open throughout Europe before the end of 2015. A hotel near the Munich airport (317 rooms) and one near Berlin’s Ostbahnhof train station (190 rooms) will open in the spring of next year. The following summer will see the opening of new Moxy hotels near the Frankfurt airport (305 rooms) and near the Berlin airport (266 rooms).

Moxy hotels restaurant

Finally, in the fall, the Moxy Oslo Exporama (229 rooms) will open 15 minutes from the Norwegian city’s airport and downtown.

The new brand is expected to open 150 new hotels over the coming decade.

sheraton milan malpensa airport hotel

lovers Deep luxury submarine hotel

Luxury Submarine Hotel

Bored of making out on a plane at 35,000 feet? Adventurous couples who’ve already inducted themselves into the Mile High Club can now take their love to a new level, with the launch of a luxury submarine that plumbs the depths of the ocean and comes with soundproof rooms and a private chef.

lovers Deep luxury submarine hotel

The underwater hotel called “Lovers Deep” can be moored near the coastal reef off the coast of St. Lucia or near a sunken battleship in the Red Sea.

But love at the bottom of the ocean doesn’t come cheap. You’ll need to cough up £175,000 per night in order to board the submarine vessel.

luxury submarine bedroom

Guests get a captain, a private chef and butler, speedboat transfers and optional add-ons that include helicopter transfers, beach landing, two-person shower, and champagne-soaked breakfast.

luxury submarine lounge

Take a look at the luxury submarine hotel launched by British travel outfit Oliver’s Travels as part of their Mile Low Club.

Luxury Submarine Hotel


Patrick Meek

Private Ice Skating Lesson at Waldorf Astoria Park City

A luxurious mountain resort in Park City, Utah — the training ground for professional winter athletes in the US — is offering private skating lessons with an Olympic speed skater who moonlights as a hotel valet.

Patrick Meek

Guests staying at the Waldorf Astoria Park City are being offered private two-hour skating lessons with Olympian Patrick Meek, member of the US National Speed Skating Team competing at Sochi.

For $120, the athlete known as “The Mule” among his fellow teammates will share skating tips and tricks in a two-hour lesson.

Waldorf Astoria Park City

Meek works at the hotel as part of the Hilton HHonors Team USA career program, which provides discounted hotel rates to US Olympians as well as flexible career opportunities that work around their strict training schedules.

Printemps Store Paris

Mandarin Oriental Paris Offers Shopping Package

The Mandarin Oriental in Paris has developed a €1,000 hotel package that includes a private shopping experience at upscale department store Printemps.

Printemps Store Paris

The hotel’s J’aime la Mode package includes a VIP welcome to Printemps Haussman, where a personal shopper will curate items specially for the guest for a stress-free shopping experience, sans crowds and lines.

Mandarin Oriental Paris shopping package

Also included in the package is a one-night accommodation, breakfast for two, a spa credit of €150, local delivery and international shipping of purchases and a Printemps gift candle.

The J’aime la Mode package starts at €995 ($1,358 USD).

The Place Koh Tao

TOP 10 Most romantic hotels in the world

It’s not hard to see why the following hotels were ranked among the most romantic in the world by by TripAdvisor users.

The Place Koh Tao

Most offer private, beach or poolside suites in milieus where the water shimmers otherworldly hues of turquoise and blue, and four-poster beds beckon couples invitingly.

Greece leads the top 10 list with three addresses, followed by the Maldives and South Africa, which tied with two properties each.

Koh Tao sea

Taking the top spot is The Place Koh Tao in Thailand, a luxury getaway that offers five boutique villas, tucked discreetly in the Thai tropical forests, each with its own infinity pool.

The Place Koh Tao villa

If you haven’t booked your Valentine’s Day getaway yet take a virtual tour of the 10 most romantic hotels in the world, as rated by TripAdvisor users.

1. The Place Luxury Boutique Villas, Koh Tao, Thailand

2. Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Frans, South Africa

3. Anastasis Apartments, Imerovigli, Greece

4. Aia Mattonata Relais, Siena, Italy

5. Astra Suites, Imerovigli, Greece

6. Lindos Blu, Lindos, Greece

7. Baros Maldives, North Male Atoll, Maldives

8. Veligandu Island Resort and Spa, North Ari Atoll, Maldives

9. Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

10. 2Inn1 Kensington, Cape Town Central, South Africa

Starwood Keyless Key

Starwood Turns Smartphones Into Hotel Room Keys

Starwood Hotels is testing a new feature that would replace keys and membership cards with a smartphone app.

Starwood Keyless Key

The new feature, called a keyless key, would enable its Starwood Preferred Guest members to go straight to their rooms and open the door via their smartphone, rather than having to go through the process of checking in.

It will be trialed at the Aloft Harlem New York and Aloft Silicon Valley California hotels and builds on Starwood’s existing Smart Check In service.

Available at a number of Aloft hotels, it automates a number of processes for valued, time-poor customers but the features are built around a physical smart card that guests must obtain and carry with them.

With the Keyless Key all that a guest will need is an Android smartphone running version 4.3 or newer or an iPhone 4S or newer. The locking mechanism works via Bluetooth so as long as the app is running, the door will automatically unlock or lock.

If the trial is successful, Starwood plans to roll the feature out to all of its W and Aloft hotels, globally by the end of 2015.

The company’s competitors will be watching closely. With the exception of free or metered wi-fi, the hospitality industry has been very slow to unlock the potential benefits of mobile technology and apps.

But if Starwood’s trial is a success, then smart keys and a host of other “smart” features could soon become the norm across the industry.

Frozen Suite

Disney Frozen Themed Suite At Hotel De Glace

Quebec City’s iconic ice hotel has carved out a bedroom fit for a snow queen in a collaboration with Walt Disney Studios with their “Frozen”-inspired suite.

Frozen Suite

The Frozen Suite is modeled after the royal bedrooms of sisters Anna and Elsa featured in the film. The Suite features an ornate, ice-carved bed, armchair and bench, and will be open through March 23.

The movie itself is set in the dramatic landscapes of a wintry Norway and the film’s fictional town of Arendelle, inspired by the picturesque Nordic town of Bergen.

The hotel is located 10 minutes from the center of Quebec City, which will be hosting the 60th edition of the world’s largest winter festival, the Quebec Winter Carnival between January 31 and February 16.

hudson studio

Beyoncé Filmed One of Her Videos at This Hotel

The New York hotel where Beyonce shot the video “Rocket” is set to profit from the exposure, after it helped play a role in an album that shattered records just a few days after its release.

hudson studio

Beyonce’s eponymously-named fifth album sold one million copies just six days after being released without promotion, breaking iTunes records.

hudson studio bathtub

In her black and white video “Rocket,” Queen Bey is captured alternately writhing on Italian bedsheets, gazing out of the floor-to-ceiling windows towards the Manhattan skyline, and hovering Exorcist-like over the bed in the Hudson Studio at The Standard High Line.

Shot in the 400-square foot (37-square meter) apartment,  the seductive video shows the studio’s signature feature, a freestanding bathtub. Located in the heart of the trendy Meatpacking district, the 18-storey tower offers sweeping views of the Hudson River.

Dolce and Gabbana Christmas tree

Dolce & Gabbana to create Claridge’s Christmas tree

Dolce and Gabbana Christmas tree

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been chosen by Claridge’s to design its 2013 Christmas tree, and we can expect a Sicilian-inspired spectacle.

Taking traditional Christmas tree elements, the designers plan to bring their heritage Italian aesthetic to London, using handmade Sicilian puppets, festive glasses baubles and the colours of southern Italy.

For Dolce and Gabbana, it is a chance to celebrate their Italian roots: “Our Christmas tree isn’t only a celebration of Christmas as we celebrate it in Italy, but it’s also a tribute to the artisanal Italian tradition, the same that we love to export worldwide with everything we do,” said the duo.

Dolce and Gabbana Christmas tree Claridges 2013

“When we think of London, we always think of Claridge’s and its typically English atmosphere, which fascinates us and makes us fall in love with the city every time as if it were the first.”

The entire structure will stand at 6.8 metres and will be transported over from Italy and erected over night by Claridge’s staff to greet guests as they descend for breakfast on the morning of 26 November.

This the fourth year that the luxury Mayfair hotel has collaborated with a fashion house to collaborate its Christmas tree. Dolce & Gabbana follows in the footsteps of John Galliano and Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz.

(Source: Vogue)

christmas tree dior

island of Randheli

New luxury accommodations in the Maldives

Cheval Blanc Randheli resort

According to a recent survey conducted by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Maldives islands rank as the most popular luxury vacation destination on the planet. The island nation is already a hotbed of high-end tourism, with accommodations fit for the most demanding guests, and new luxury resorts are appearing each year. Here, we take a look at three of this season’s most notable newcomers.

Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel Maldives

Cheval Blanc Randheli

This establishment, owned by the LVMH Group, brings all of the prestige of the original Cheval Blanc, located in the Courchevel ski resort in the French Alps, to the Noonu Atoll in the sunny Maldives.

A private hydroplane carries guests of the Cheval Blanc from the Malé airport to their destination in 40 minutes. Upon arrival, guests are met by 45 spacious villas (the smallest has a surface area of 240 square meters, or 2600 square feet), luxurious services and breathtaking beaches.

Five on-site restaurants offer French and international gourmet cuisine. In the spa, guests enjoy treatments with Guerlain beauty products and Leonor Greyl hair products. Sports, special events and custom services are all on the menu as well. Opening November 15. Prices available upon request.

Maalifushi by Como

Maalifushi by Como

Como Hotels will open its second resort in the Maldives December 1. Maalifushi is located on the Thaa Atoll, which can be reached in around one hour by hydroplane from the Malé airport.

The resort consists of around 60 suites and villas built on stilts, including some located directly on the beach, and others with private pools. Two on-site restaurants offer international cuisine, as well as Japanese and Maldivian specialties.

The spa — with eight massage rooms and hammam, Jacuzzi, and sauna — offers beauty and relaxation treatments based on the principles of holistic medicine. Prices available upon request.

largest private villa in the Maldives

A private villa on Kunfunadhoo Island

From December 15, travelers will be able to rent a 2,000 square meter seaside villa from the Soneva Group, which aims to combine luxury with sustainability through its “Slow Life” philosophy.

All of the villas in the Soneva Fushi resort are built with sustainable materials using local techniques but remain decidedly high-end. The newest villa, which the group claims is the largest in any Indian Ocean resort, has eight bedrooms, a game room, and a spa with massage tables and a gym.

There is also an enormous 477 square meter (5130 square foot) pool surrounding the residence, complete with a dining terrace where guests can enjoy a waterside lunch.

Prices per night range from around €8500/$11,500 to €22,500/$30,400 depending on the season.

Next summer, the group will expand its offering with Soneva in Aqua. The luxury yacht will allow guests to enjoy the same level of service and comfort experienced in the Soneva Fushi villas while sailing from atoll to atoll in the Maldives.

Soneva Aqua yacht

Ritz Carlton Los Angeles

Ritz-Carlton offers American Music Awards Package

Ritz Carlton Los Angeles

The Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles has created a luxury weekend package that will give guests and music fans behind-the-scenes access to the American Music Awards show in November and the chance to walk the red carpet with their favorite artists.

The 2013 American Music Awards Ultimate VIP Weekend Package includes tours of the show production and preparations before the ceremony and tickets to the event the day after.

Guests will also get access to pre-show and post-show parties where they can rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the music industry.

The $15,000 weekend package also comes with a three-night stay in suite accommodations and champagne-soaked spa treatments that will help guests get red carpet-ready with manicures, pedicures, hair and makeup by a stylist to the stars.

Guests will also dine at WP24, chef Wolfgang Puck’s Chinese restaurant. Rates for the Ritz-Carlton package are based on double occupancy for a minimum of three nights.

Hotel Eden Rome exterior

Dorchester group buys Eden luxury hotel in Rome

Hotel Eden Rome exterior

Dorchester Collection, a luxury hotel group controlled by the sultan of Brunei, said Wednesday it has bought the landmark Hotel Eden in Rome from Britain-based Starman Hotels.

Dorchester said it planned to renovate the 121-room hotel in central Rome following the deal, which press reports estimated was worth 105 million euros ($140 million).

Built in 1834 and converted to a hotel in 1889, the Eden regularly hosts heads of state, royalty and celebrities, and is known for the spectacular view from its sixth-floor terrace.

The Dorchester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment agency, the sovereign wealth fund of Brunei, and is registered in Britain. It now owns 10 luxury hotels in Europe and the United States, and has said it is looking to expand into Asia and the Middle East.

Hotel Eden Rome

Waldorf Astoria unforgettable stories

Waldorf Astoria Unveils Unforgettable Stories Web Series

Rome Cavalieri hotel

Luxury hotel chain the Waldorf Astoria has launched a new video series that takes viewers to their properties around the world in virtual armchair tours of the cities they inhabit.

Dubbed “Unforgettable Stories,” the web series gives viewers an inside look at the makings of the brand which has become synonymous with luxury and haute living, including the chefs, artisans and designers.

In the inaugural video, viewers are taken behind-the-scenes into the triple Michelin-starred kitchen of La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria, where chef Heinz Beck produces fine dining meals to a fully booked house every night.

Waldorf Astoria Berlin Solistes restaurant

In addition to footage of the hotel’s stunning rooftop dining area and extravagant dining room, the video serves as a promotional tour of Rome, taking viewers on a virtual tour of farmer’s markets and major landmarks — a city Beck calls the most beautiful in the world.

Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire and Roel Lintermans also discuss the makings of the restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, which opened earlier this year, while the Berlin Zoo biologist discusses the hotel’s exclusive after-hours zoo program for guests.

Other “cultural tastemakers” featured in the series include artisans, fashion designers and curators. Watch the Waldorf series on the brand’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WaldorfAstoria.

Ritz-Carlton to open first property in Israel

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company will open the new Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel, in late 2013, which will be the first urban resort as well as the brand’s first property in the country.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia

Located on the Herzliya Marina overlooking the Mediterranean sea, the 12-storey hotel is designed by Rani Ziss Architects Ltd. with interior including the lobby and the restaurants by design firm Studio Gaia.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia bedroom

The 197-room hotel with 82 suites includes studios, one- and two-bedroom suites, and penthouse suites. All the rooms include golden sand and deep blue Mediterranean sea-inspired colour palette.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia lounge

The hotel offers various beach front amenities such as a roof-top swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, Herbet Samuel restaurant, and a rooftop bar. The Ritz-Carlton’s own spa and fitness centre will offer Mediterranean views and outdoor relaxation terraces.

Ritz Carlton Hertzlia poolRitz Carlton Hertzlia Israel

First ‘Twitter experience’ hotel opens in Mallorca

Sol Wave House Majorca

The Sol Wave House in Majorca has launched an experiment for their guests — a demographic made up mostly of young party-seekers — that tries to create a virtual community through Twitter.

Using the hashtag #SocialWave which is available from the hotel’s wifi, guests enter a virtual chatroom where they can interact, chat, share photos and send their best pick-up lines in 140 characters or less.

Two Twitter “concierges” have also been hired to answer their guest requests via Twitter and generate conversation in the community.

Want to meet the guest with whom you’ve been exchanging those steamy one-liners? Arrange to meet at the #TwitterPoolParty held every Friday at the hotel.

But the concept of a Twitter hotel is getting mixed reviews, with some pointing out that the idea of being constantly attached to a smartphone defeats the purpose of a relaxing holiday and unplugging from the virtual world.

edinburgh castle

Top 5 most expensive destinations in the UK

edinburgh castle

Think London is the most expensive city in the UK this summer? Guess again. Because according to a new survey that looked at the price of hotel rooms across the UK, it is Edinburgh that takes that title.

Though Edinburgh is known as a student-oriented city also popular among backpackers, this summer travelers to the Scottish capital will have to dig deep for their accommodation, as the average hotel room will set them back £97 ($150), reveals the CheapRooms.co.uk report.

Edinburgh and Bath both beat out London as being the priciest cities to stay in. The English capital ranked third, averaging £92 ($141) for a hotel room.

Travelers looking for budget-friendly destinations this summer may want to consider cities like Ayr, Cardiff and Blackpool, which emerged as the most affordable cities in the UK and Wales.

Here are the top 5 most expensive destinations in the UK:

1. Edinburgh £97
2. Bath £93
3. London £92
4. St. Ives £89
5. Oxford £88

Here are the top 5 most affordable destinations in the UK this summer:

1. Blackpool £33
2. Cardiff £42
3. Ayr £45
4. Sheffield £46
5. Liverpool £46

Prices reflect the average daily rate for the cheapest available double room with a minimum three-star rating between July 24 and September 1.

Beach Front Pool Casita Suite

Expedia names world’s top 650 hotels

Beach Front Pool Casita Suite

Expedia.com, the world’s leading online travel agency, has unveiled its list of the top 650 hotels worldwide ranked according to overall customer service.

To determine which hotels made it into the Insider’s Select 2013 ranking, Expedia started by looking at customer ratings for the hotels listed on its site. An additional evaluation carried out by Expedia staff served to confirm the level of service.

The One&Only Palmilla Resort (pictured above), a five-star hotel in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, takes the top spot, earning the highest possible average rating from Expedia customers (5 stars).

The Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort in Quepos, Costa Rica and Marrol’s Boutique Hotel in Bratislava, Slovakia are in second and third place in this prestigious list, which recognizes exceptional customer service and attractive value for money. Five of the top ten spots are located in Mexico.

Last year, Expedia established a customer rating system preventing fraudulent reviews and ratings. By appealing to travelers upon their return from a vacation, the site collects ratings only from travelers who actually stayed in the hotel in question.

The World’s Top 10 Hotels according to the Insider’s Select 2013:

1. One&Only Palmilla Resort (5 stars, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico)
2. Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort  (4.5 stars, Quepos, Costa Rica)
3. Marrol’s Boutique Hotel  (5 stars, Bratislava, Slovakia)
4. Banyan Tree Mayakoba (5 stars, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)
5. Hotel d’Europe (5 stars, Avignon, France)
6. CapellaIxtapa Resort & Spa (5 stars, Ixtapa, Mexico)
7. Welk Resort Sirena del Mar (4 stars, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)
8. Casa Velas Hotel Boutique & Beach Club (4.5 stars, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
9. The Knight Residence (5 stars, Edinburgh, Scotland)
10. The Leela Palace Bangalore (5 stars, Bengaluru, India)

Beach Front Pool Casita Master Suite