The New Year has started off in grand style, with an inspirational CEO on the move, an Italian town with sticky buns and remote thermal pools and guests deciding to ditch those annoying drone thingamajigs.
Happy New Year!
First CEO casualty of 2018
Back from my Christmas holidays in Spain (my wife Francesca’s twin sister lives in Valencia) and Italy (the twins grew up in Rome), I see that on the back of my 26 December article on the CEO changes seen in 2017, the first one has gone in 2018.
Robert Nadler, CEO of Nadler Hotels—with four United Kingdom assets with two in the pipeline—resigned on 3 January following disagreements with shareholders as to the future path of the hotel firm Nadler founded a dozen years ago.
I always find it curious in business when the inspiration for an idea and company is no longer associated with that firm, yet there are plans for the firm to carry on with the same name, the founder’s name.
Presumably insiders would say the hotel brand is bigger than its founder, at least in regard to the hotel operations themselves and guests’ enjoyment in staying at those assets, but it still strikes me as odd.
It reminds me of when Irish/British rock band The Pogues got rid of its genius songwriter and brand identity Shane MacGowan and thought they’d go it alone. Before anyone writes in, I realize that decision was for very different reasons.
I wish Nadler all the very best. He is one of the members of the hotel industry that I always enjoy meeting and speaking with, mainly as he says it as it is, albeit with decorum and grace, and a mischievous glint in the eye.
He often lent his insight as a conference panelist, and as one who was not sitting on the stage surrounded by acres of corporate cotton wool. He’d often see me after the panel ended to say something along the lines of “maybe I should not have said that comment I made about ____.”
Comments about industry practice, never about other people or firms, I should add.
I am sure we’ll see more of Nadler. I hope so.
Favorite hotel of the month
After Italian travel plans were curtailed at the last moment—I have become used to plans with Italians changing several times in the same hour—we needed a hotel for the night of 1 January as we drove through Lazio, north of Rome.
As I drove to the town of Viterbo—once the home of popes—Francesca booked a room on her mobile, with her choice being the TAG Guest House.
I have never stayed at a hotel booked on a phone minutes before check-in.
And it had several of the things I like. Firstly, a room at that late moment, but also a good coffee maker, free breakfast and entrance to an independent thermal spa.
Breakfast was across the cobbled street at a wonderfully typical Italian coffee bar, Bar Chiodo, and consisted of more coffee and a maritozzo, a slightly sweet roll filled with whipped panna cream, decadent at any time of the day. It was suggested to me by the hotel host, and it is good practice to follow up on travel suggestions.
The spa was the Bagnaccio thermal pools, which like Bar Chiodo is also wonderfully free of tat, flashing lights, glitz and overpriced mud treatments, and stays open until midnight on 1 January, and presumably every other day, too.
Such is a great way to start 2018.
Lost items in hotels
Every year, Travelodge (UK.) sends out a list of the strangest items left in its numerous hotels.
I usually do not read it, and if I do, I flick through it speedily, for the same reason Travelodge staff alludes to—that our existences hurtle past ever-faster, and because of this inevitably we will lose things.
I was interested, though, in the list of the Top 10 most frequently left items. The press release states these are the “most popular items left behind,” but I rather think “popular” is the wrong word to use, hinting that there might be an unofficial contest to purposely make our lives less cluttered.
Anyway, it contains the usual items, phone chargers heading the list, but at number seven is “drones.”
I’d be very interested to know why guests felt so compelled to bring these annoying things into hotels in the first place. Is it to make small movies to fill social media with yet more “Here I am!” content? Any other theories?
Here are both lists if you are interested.
I will add this is a strange world we live in, and we are all the better for it.
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