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Hotel Newswire Top Pick

Why the Spa is Becoming the New Fitness Center
Mary Gendron, Partner, Eric Mower & Associates

Two decades ago, the trend toward fitness centers in hotels went from nice-to-have to must-have. Today, that trend is spa. What is fortunate for owners and operators who are currently sans spa, is to realize that the definition of spa is flexible with broad parameters, transcending the confines of bricks and mortar. This article delves into the trend and reasons behind the demand and the timing for it. It also addresses the philosophy of spa, and provides a selection of options for consideration in retrofitting a spa into an existing operation. If you’ve been immersed in the hospitality industry for some time, you will recognize the push-pull dynamic that propels the industry forward. Read more.

Coming Up In The August Online Hotel Business Review

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.