Category Archives: Research

Day Use Hotel Rooms

Lost your flight and want to stay some more hours in town?
You have 2 business meetings and want to break between those?

Ever heard about Day Use Hotel Rooms?

In last years in Europe, and in Italy as always a little bit later, the use of hotels during the day is expanding.

According to Google Trends the search for the keywords “day use hotel” in last 5 years (2013-2018) has grown constantly, in Europe, United States and South America.

Day Use: how it works

Day use services are generally available between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM at an average price discount of 50% compared to regular hotel booking rates. Discounts can be also of 75% – 90% in some cases. Not only the room is interesting in this formula, but also the access to the Spa of the hotel, the Swimming Pool or the Meeting Room.

The players

One of the most popular services is DAYBREAKHOTELS:
https://www.daybreakhotels.com
I particularly love their idea of a new type of traveller: the DayBreaker.

In their words:

Founded in February 2013, DayBreakHotels platform has created a new philosophy of lifestyle and a new type of traveller: the DayBreaker.
Without having to wait on weekends, vacations, or annual holidays, the DayBreaker is someone who says yes to comfort during long layovers in airports or train stations, for instance. The DayBreaker mentality is one that lives within all individuals who believe that luxury can be a part of their lives as well, even for just a few hours. Our multi-faceted platform works to suit the needs of every client, from the business manager looking for a place to work or freshen up between appointments or tired airline travellers in need of a place to rest. The service also extends to individuals who need a place to rest up and relax; a short break between planes or long drives.

Another platform is DAYUSE: https://www.dayuse.com/
This online platform allows as well to book hotel rooms during the day, with an offer of 4000 hotels in the world and 700 in Italy. Last luxurious acquisitions are the 5 stars Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milano and the 5 stars Palazzo Montemartini in Roma.
Dayuse.com in Italy in 2017 has registered a +60% in the luxury segment.

Those data demonstrates that this business model is very solid and it capture all travellers in transit, the business travellers and the daycation travellers.

Other interesting portals are:
the French ones  https://fr.roomforday.com/hotel/luxe.html and https://www.soroom-hotel.com

Everyone is happy!

Day use is a great opportunity for hotels – the same room can be sold twice in 24 hours – and for travelers, that can stay in hotels also prestigious at very convenient rates and can use the Spa. Or at least that can use a bed in which they can dispose of jet lag.

Latest trend in day use: Aperi-Use

The Italian hotel group PLANETARIA HOTELS http://www.planetariahotels.com   has launched the idea of the Aperi-Use, a private aperitif with friends in their hotel rooms, between 10 am and 7 pm.

The Aperi-Use is the occasion to taste good cocktails without a barman: just uncork the ready mixed bottle and pour in a tumbler with ice. In Planetaria Hotel rooms you can find at this purpose dry snacks and a collection of “ready made” cocktails prepared by a skillful Italian barman.

What’s new? Online reviews are loosing appeal

As professionals in tour operating industry we know very well that online reviews are useful indications when we need to find hotels and restaurants for our itineraries.

Online reviews changed the Tourism Sector

After the first period of booming, during last years many warned about online reviews and suggestions. If you have time have a look at this very detailed article: https://www.outsideonline.com/1960011/inside-mad-mad-world-tripadvisor.
This is an extreme analysis, but is a point of view we must keep in mind.

A recent trend in tourism is the progressive weakening of online reviews for hotels and restaurants. We are talking of TripAdvisor but also of all the others portals or metasearch portals that base their activity on recommended places (and then also offer best rates for them).

Recent studies show the crisis of generic online reviews

We recently visited the International Tourism Fair “TTG” in Rimini, October 12/14 and attended the seminar ““The Digital tourist is zapping!”, held by the Observatory of Digital Tourism of Milan’s Polytechnic https://www.osservatori.net/ww_en/?___from_store=it_it

The Speakers pointed out that while til 2015 portals as Tripadvisors had 71% of digital tourists using them, in 2016 the percentage moved to 63.
Simultaneously, travel agencies websites raised their credibility moving from 19 to 31% and the hotels and restaurant own websites raised from 7 to 16%.

Furthermore the Speakers illustrated that the scale of credibility for a digital tourist is nowadays as follows:

  • reviews of clients of the hotel/restaurant 33%
  • suggestions of friends or relatives 31%

They concluded that:

Digital Tourists prefer reviews that sound written by someone who has our same taste.

A personal lesson

That doesn’t mean that is a person that we know necessarily well…personally I had a suggestion for a hotel in Rome from a friend of mine. She reccomended it because it was not expensive and well located, since it was near a metro station. For my family of 5 that was a terrible experience: the hotel was far from the centre, it was a sort of religious hostel for pilgrims more than a hotel! It was cheap yes but really too shabby! And the metro…it was too far for my youngest son’s legs so we opted for a taxi. In the end the expenses were much higher that we expected ( and the morale lower!): Furthermore we only stayed there 3 days (and a more handy location would have been preferable) while she was there for a week.

I’ve learnt a simple lesson:

what is good for you is not always good for me, even if I trust you.

The responsibility of professionals in suggesting locations

When we act as professionals we are highly responsible for what we suggest and choose for someone’s else experience as for example a vacation.

Concluding we should say that is good to prefer reviews that sound written by someone who has our same taste, but better if they know our taste and our needs! Which is slightly different.

This is something we always have in mind when we work for our Clients.
And that’s why we first hear from them, we interview them and study their products and offers.

HSH FIRST INTERVIEW

 

Historic Hotels: The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin

In our serie of Historic Hotel we write today about The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
Nowadays one of Marriott’s jewels around the world, the Shelbourne Hotel is a part of Dublin city history. Under its roof many significant historical events happened in last two centuries. But also important social and family occasions for generations of Dubliners.
This 5 star luxurios hotel overviews St Stephen’s Green, one of major Dublins’ squares. Around the hotel there are many touristic and famous places as the Trinity College and the National Gallery.

The Hotel has 265 rooms, ready to gift luxe and comfort, with their prestigious furnitures e valuable fabrics.

A long list of famous Guests…and an unusual one!

Among the long list of famous Guests we can remember actors and politicians as: Charlie Chaplin, Peter O’Toole, John Wayne, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rock Hudson, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama…ok we can stop here.
There’s also a particular Guest, according to some clients and staff declarations: the Ghost of a young girl! It is believed the hotel room’s spirit is Mary Masters, a seven-year-old girl who died of cholera in 1791. You cannot miss a ghost tale in Ireland!

A little bit of history

The Shelbourne Hotel was established in 1824 by Martin Burke, whose ambition was to open a hotel in Dublin for ‘clients who wanted solid and comfortable accommodation at a fashionable address’. The name Martin Burke chose for the hotel reflected his sense of business. He named it after Lord Shelburne, taking the liberty of adding an ‘o’; this way he instantly linked the hotel with his fame and his ascendancy.
Within a year of its opening, The Shelbourne was at the centre of Irish upper class social life. Martin Burke realized his ambition.
Martin Burke is remembered as a great hotelier who ‘contributed to the welfare and improvement of Dublin’.
After Burke’s death in 1863 the hotel maintained its splendor and fame: famous actors and actresses from London companies became frequent visitors.
In 1881, electricity reached some parts of Dublin and, in time, the Shelbourne.
In early 1900, the hotel enjoyed great success. New additions included the telephone and a lift. Guests started arriving by car and tram. We love to see that Historic Hotels are often places in which often new inventions and modern comforts take place first (as for the case of the lift at Grand Hotel Pera Palace  http://homesuitehomeblog.org/historic-hotels-the-grand-hotel-pera-palace-istanbul/ )
After the two world wars the hotel was restored and re opened maintaining its excellent standards and clients.

A historic meeting at the Shelbourne: The Irish Constitution

From February to May 1922, the Shelbourne hosted its most historic meeting: the draft of the Irish Constitution, that took place in room 112, under the chairmanship of Michael Collins. This room is now The Constitution Room.

A draft copy of the constitution resides in the museum.

A hotel with its own museum

The museum is defined as a social archive, not just of the hotel, but also of the surrounding city and countryside. The Shelbourne’s museum contains stories from staff, guests and commentators. You can find there menus, letters and articles that represent the history of the hotel’s various eras.

Even TV series!

National Geoghraphic recently produced tv series at the Shelbourne. Episodes show the impeccable service and what is needed behind the scenes to obtain it. The entire Staff – managers, chef, concierge,florists, houseekeping employees – has been shooted by cameras during the preparation of big events, famous international politics arrivals and of course during crisis moments!

Book your room: hard choice among famous suites

Today you can book a room at the Shelbourne quite easily if you can afford it – http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dubbr-the-shelbourne-dublin-a-renaissance-hotel/
If you dare you can reserve one of 13 historic meeting rooms, but consider that the most famous is undoubtedly the Constitution Suite. With luxurious silk wall coverings, crystal chandelier and views over St. Stephen’s Green, the Constitution Suite offers you the chance to create your own history in this very special room. Otherwise you should go straight for one of the 19 suites named after famous guests like JFK and Princess Grace.
You will certainly enjoy the Spa of the hotel, with 6 special treatments rooms, manicure and pedicure and a swimming pool.
Reserving a table at the Restaurant Saddle Room, will allow you to eat delicious meal dishes as well as delicate fish proposal.

Digital Detox Hotels in Italy: monasteries and countrysides

Hotels amenities and services often reflect the needs of modern society (and sometimes are indicators of contemporary paranoia).
An ultimate trend in hospitality is to offer digital detox experiences in hotels were there aren’t WI-Fi connections (at least for guests, staff and administration of course use it but…secretly), and in which also interior design is studied to promote relax: special floors and furniture can even allow heart to save 3500 beats per day. (It appears that a specific Italian pine has properties in that sense and many mountain resorts in Dolomites have this specific furniture).

Recent statistics say that 25% of English travelers have made digital detox holidays in 2016 and this is happening all over the world.

What you can simply do in a digital detox hotel

In a digital detox hotel you can relax reading a book and resting from modernity, avoiding to update the world on what you are doing.
In some hotels you can leave your smartphone and digital devices at the reception and they will lock them until you will check out.
That sounds strange because we inner know how to live without a Wi-Fi connection or a smartphone, especially those among us who were born before 2000, but it seems that this was an old habit of humans.

The Italian version: monasteries and countryside

Major Italian tourism expert are debating in main fairs and conferences about digital detox tourism and how to develop it in Italy

Alessio Carciofi: “Il digital detox, bisogno primario dei nuovi turisti”

Italy is aligning on this big trend taking advantage of its heritage of monasteries and peaceful countrysides (not only Tuscany but also Umbria, Piedmont, Trentino and Puglia).

In one of main central Italian regions, Umbria, an old hermitage dated 1300 in green countryside is one of the first Resort that offered such an experience.


No phones, no internet nor TV. Guests sleep in monks cells and pass their days practicing yoga or horse rides.
In this hotel also lighting is less modern: after the dawn the only light you can find is from candles and torches.

Future destinations will be focused on health and wellness of Guests, and not only in terms of spa or beauty treatments but also on soul and deep wellness.

However at today digital detox experiences in Italy are exclusive of high starred hotels and rates are still high.

Historic Hotels: Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

Christmas Season inspire us of fairy tales and stories.
That’s why we want to introduce the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, a historic 5 star luxury hotel in India. Mumbai is a city of millionaires and since ever here, despite other Indian cities, what is important is money, not castes.

An hotel against racial discrimination

What I like most is one of the stories about its construction: Jamsetji Tata decided to open the hotel after an incident of racial discrimination at the Watson’s Hotel in Mumbai, where he was refused because entrance at the hotel was permitted only to Europeans. Hotels which accepted only European guests were very common across British India.
The Taj Palace was built in 1904 and when it opened, the hotel was the first in India to have electricity, elevators, Turkish baths and English butlers. Later it also had the city’s first licensed bar, India’s first all-day restaurant, and Indian first discotheque. It passed the centuries and witnessed of many events.
During World War I the hotel was converted into a hospital with 600 beds.
On 26 November 2008, in a series of attacks in Mumbai, the hotel was attacked by a terrorist group and many people died in this tragic event.
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama became the first foreign head of state to stay at the Taj Mahal Palace after the attacks. In a speech from the terrace of the hotel, Obama said that “the Taj has been the symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people.”

A perfect service and a dedicated Staff

Apart from its history, Taj is an efficient and organized machine, staff is totally dedicated and for many employees it’s like a second house. As it happens often people working behind the scenes are the secret of a perfect service.

Chief Concierge Satish said a wonderful sentence during an interview:

“we are delighted in delighting Guests”.

Simple and pure.

An impressive room inspection!

Satish and the executive housekeeper Indrani are involved in a daily check of rooms that impressed us: every day a team of 6 or 7 people including them chooses 1 room casually and they check every detail: air conditioning, bed linen, glasses, carpets.
They try to have the same point of view on the room of a Guest that rest sit on a chair or on a bed. It’s important to use the room as a Guests because sometimes you can notice a dirty patch only from particular positions and angles.

It’s a great job of detail attention and perfection and that contributes to making Taj a place that lives in people memory. https://taj.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj-mahal-palace-mumbai/

 

 

Italian Tourism and its Reform [Constitutional Referendum, Dec 4th]

On December 4th in Italy an important Constitutional Referendum, a recall one, will take place.
Politicians are discussing and at today it’s difficult to say if YES or NO will win.

1458286286033_referendum
Among many items in discussion, we want to focus on Tourism Reform and on what will change in this sector if YES will win next month.

Tourism is a key asset for Italy

Tourism is one of Italian main important economical sectors, corresponding to 10% of Gross National Product and employing more than 2.6 million of people ( data from World Travel and Tourism Council http://www.wttc.org/)
In Italy we have the hugest number of UNESCO’s sites in the world and in 2015 statistics said that more than 50 Millions of foreign tourists have visited our Country spending more than 35 Billions of euros.
Numbers that lead heads to spin.
But that should be even higher than this.

Italian Tourism is at today under the control of 20 different regions

Nowadays the jurisdiction on tourism is under the Regions’ control. In Italy there are 20 Regions and, since 2001, every region has its own rules, marketing campaigns, transportation policies and investments strategies.

italia-1
Often it happens that Regions are in competition among them and that lead to costs increase.
Also the criteria for hotels classification are different from Region to Region, so that a 4 star in an area is sometimes merely a 3 one.

If YES wins the control of Italian Tourism will be in State Government hands

The Reform talks expressively of Tourism in the article number 31.
The Reform will assign to Central State the competence on Tourism, assigning to Regions local tourism developments.
A cooperation system would be effective in place of the actual legislative division in this sector.
From this point of view the Reform would obtain a new and full national strategy, competitive among the global market.

“Entrepreneurs need to invest in Italian Tourism and advocate the homogeneous promotion of Italy”

– says Bernabò Bocca , President of Federalberghi (the national association of Italian hotel owners http://www.federalberghi.it/index.aspx).
Surely some Regions among others would greatly benefit from this.

We are talking of the so called Mezzogiorno, the southern part of Italy that, except few exceptions, at today is really a hidden treasure.

calabria_05_0

Hence stay tuned and let’s see the results of this important election day.