In this week’s roundup of news from the Americas region: Hotel companies encourage wellness among staff; designers bring strategic ideas to micro hotels; benefits of brand loyalty programs for owners; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s review covers the Americas.
Hotel wellness initiatives result in happier staff members
As wellness and fitness continues to be in popular demand for guests at hotels, the industry has worked to also initiate that more among hotel employees by increasing the offering of employee wellness programs. Hoteliers said they are seeing these plans pay off in the form of happier, healthier, employees, which in return results in them better serving their guests, writes Hotel News Now contributor Laura Koss-Feder.
“When our associates have a sense of wellbeing and feel better appreciated, that translates in to how they do their work,” said David Rodriguez, EVP and global chief human resources officer at Marriott International.
Owners want loyalty perks to pay off
The ultimate goal for brand loyalty programs is “getting the guest,” writes Hotel News Now’s Robert McCune. And as the bar raises for those programs, the cost of perks is passed onto hotel owners, which owners said is not a problem as long as the perks pay off in bookings.
“On a cost basis, there’s not as much swing between (loyalty programs) as you might think. They all fall in a similar category, relatively close in pricing,” said Jeffrey Dougan, SVP and COO at Bethesda, Maryland-based Condor Hospitality Trust. “What we look at is: Strategically, is the brand moving in the right direction (with its loyalty program), and do we feel that it works. Is it simply a point giveaway, or does it really drive the loyalty? … It’s about how the brands are promoting and pushing it, and developing training programs around it.”
Hotel designers outline strategies for small-space design
Designing for micro hotels doesn’t mean sacrificing the essentials that guests need; rather it means being strategic and making more functional choices to increase space, writes Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller.
“We had a lot of debate about if a desk was necessary in the room. Many of us work on the bed with tablets or phones …. To suit a range of work styles, we created a small desk that could flip down when needed, but took up no floor space if guests didn’t use it,” said Javier Egipciaco, managing director of Arlo Hotels. “In its closed position, the top edge of the desk serves as a console, allowing guests to rest personal items on it and to charge their devices at the integrated outlet.”
Tech integration drives guest satisfaction
It was another flat year for guest satisfaction rankings, J.D. Power’s 2017 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study showed, which will likely continue until technology innovations become more widespread in the industry, Rick Garlick, global practice lead of the travel and hospitality group at J.D. Power said, writes Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess.
“We believe that that next big thing is going to be sort of the explosion—the high, steep curve in the adoption of some of the more technological advances that we see,” he said. “So for example, mobile check-in is something that everybody believes is something that’s really critical for the hotel experience, giving people the opportunity to use their mobile phone to check into their rooms, and yet we’re not really seeing much growth in that area.”
Q2 2017 Canada, Central/South America hotel data
The Canadian hotel industry recorded positive year-over-year performance in the three key performance metrics during the second quarter of 2017, according to data from STR, Hotel News Now’s parent company.
Occupancy grew 1.7% to 68.0%, average daily rate rose 6.3% to 155.99 Canadian dollars ($124.61) and revenue per available room increased 8.1% to CA$106.11 ($84.76).
Hotels in Central and South America reported occupancy had a 1% rise to 54.2% year over year during the second quarter and RevPAR grew 0.7% to $52.75, but ADR was mostly flat (-0.3% to $97.39).
Deals and developments
- Meliá Hotels & Resorts’ 120-room Gran Meliá Puerto Rico in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, will be rebranded as Meliá Coco Beach. It’s slated to open in December 2017 after renovations.
- The 180-room AC Hotel Guadalajara Expo in Mexico opened and will be operated by a Fibra Inn-related company.
- The 138-room Hyatt Centric Guatemala City in Guatemala opened through Hyatt Hotels Corporation along with LATAM Hotel Corporation and GHL Hotels. This is the brand’s first hotel in Central America.
- Hotels City Express announced the opening of three hotels: The 122-room City Express Junior Puebla Angelopolis in Puebla, Mexico; the 127-room City Express Altamira in Miramar, Mexico; and the expansion of City Express Merida in Merida, Mexico, to 170 rooms.
- Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica will undergo a $35 million renovation. The property is expected to be finished December 2017.
- The Omaha Marriott Downtown in Omaha, Nebraska, opened at the Capitol District with 333 rooms. The hotel is managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts.
- Home2 Suites by Hilton announced the opening of 110-room Home2 Suites by Hilton Azusa in Azusa, California. The hotel is managed by Fine Hospitality.
- AccorHotels opens its first Ibis Styles hotel in the U.S. with Ibis Style New York LaGuardia Airport in New York, with 93 rooms.
Compiled by Dana Miller.