Business & Finance

Kiwi Collection Welcomes Erik Wachtmeister to Advisory Board

JANUARY 18, 2008. The newest addition to the esteemed Kiwi Collection Advisory Board is Erik Wachtmeister, Chairman and Founder of aSmallWorld.net - the increasingly popular private online community that allows members to network more effectively with like-minded individuals. Wachtmeister joins the ranks of other prominent Kiwi Collection Advisory Board members, including Gamal Aziz (MGM Grand Hospitality), Sonu Shivdasani (Six Senses Group) and Matthew Upchurch (Virtuoso) to name a few. Kiwi Collection, a Web-based luxury travel resource (www.kiwicollection.com), is where discerning travelers go to find the world's best accommodations and insider travel advice.

"The Kiwi Collection welcomes Erik Wachtmeister to our Advisory Board with open arms," said Philippe Kjellgren, President of Kiwi Collection, Inc. and Mary Gostelow, Editor-in-Chief of WOW Travel. "His networking vision has garnered an impressive community of individuals who are keyed in to the best in world travel and who have their finger on the pulse of the next best destinations. We look forward to gaining insight with their membership base - and Erik's own travel expertise."

An invitation-only online community, aSmallWorld.net was created in 2004 by Wachtmeister and his wife Louise in order to establish a forum for wealthy individuals to share trusted opinions and information. Frequently described as "myspace for millionaires," the site offers travel suggestions, feedback, lively forum discussions, listings of events around the world, a personal messaging service, suggestions and user ratings for travel and restaurants, and city-based resources. Prior to establishing aSmallWorld, Wachtmeister founded Viking Internet, a UK-listed investment vehicle and served as the Web site's CEO after holding senior corporate finance positions with Ladenburg, Thalmann in New York and Los Angeles, Rothschild in New York, and Lehman Brothers in London and New York. He received his MBA from INSEAD in 1983, and his BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1977.

Coming Up In The August Online Hotel Business Review


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Feature Focus
Food & Beverage: Going Casual
According to industry tracker PKF Hospitality Research, food and beverage sales represent the second- largest source of revenue for full-service hotels behind rooms. Given its financial importance, hotel operators are constantly adapting and evolving their F&B operations in order to remain current with industry trends and to meet (and exceed) guest expectations. Recent food developments which continue to proliferate include the farm-to-table movement; customized menus for those who are vegan, vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free; the appearance of smaller dishes on tasting menus; and creatively- prepared comfort foods served in more casual settings. In fact, there is a growing emphasis in the entire industry on more casual food operations. Customers are eschewing the typical breakfast-lunch- dinner/appetizer-entrée-dessert model in favor of "fast-casual" menus and service (think Panera, Chipotle or Cosi as examples). Even better if these menus are also available throughout the property, especially in social-gathering areas like the lobby, pool or bar. Some hotels are also experimenting with "pop-up" restaurants - a temporary dining option with edgy menus and design served in unexpected locations (like rooftops or lobbies) - as a way to keep things energetic and fresh. Another trend which applies to both food and wine is the option to purchase food and beverages in multiple sizes. Some operations are giving their customers the opportunity to choose - a three ounce pour of wine or a nine-ounce pour; a six-ounce filet or a twelve-ounce - the customers decide their portion size and pay accordingly. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document all these trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.