The Lincoln Academy was held in Los Angeles on June 4th. In the picture from
Left to Right are: Mr. Andrew Shaffer of Lincoln Motor Company, LCD USA VP/Treasurer, Robert Marks, LCD President, Jeanne Mills, and Mr. Henry Ford III of Lincoln and Ford Motor Company
Jessica Alexander is employed by the MGM Grand Las Vegas and is being pinned by Brittney Bowen, Assistant Chef Concierge as her concierge team members look on. CONGRATS Jessica and WELCOME to the LCD USA family!
Have a picture of that special moment you want to share? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to spread the cheer!
Hotels Go to Extremes to Give Guests a Good Night’s Sleep
By GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN
April 27, 2013—
The Travel Industry Is Getting Back to Basics
After years of focusing on every amenity under the sun – from gemstone spa treatments to panda-themed rooms to underwater hotel restaurants – the travel industry is getting back to basics.
In Berlin, the Swisshotel uses light therapy, aroma therapy, nutritional supplements and a sound pillow as part of its deep sleep package.
Even airlines are getting in on the trend. Starting this summer, Delta Airlines will provide Westin Hotels’ famous Heavenly Bedding in BusinessElite cabins. Now if only we could figure out a way to sleep in coach.
Sixty percent of adults report having difficulty sleeping almost every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation and hotels. Now places where you actually pay money to sleep have finally taken notice.
But the pioneer in taking sleep seriously is the Benjamin Hotel in New York City. The midtown hotel has had a sleep program in place since it opened 12 years ago. There’s a sleep concierge, a 12-choice pillow menu and a even a sleep guarantee — yes that’s a free night if you don’t get your usual Zzzzs — are offered.
“We noticed they travel with their own pillows, so instead we decided to bring the pillows to the guests,” said Anya Orlanska, sleep concierge at the Benjamin.
Guests can choose their pillow type when they make their reservation or when they arrive at the hotel. Orlanska said guests are welcome to try all 12 pillows if they like, or pick the one most like the one they have at home.
Orlanska said there’s more to a good night’s sleep than a pillow. “We come to your room, put the shades down, put the temperature up so it’s nice and warm, spray the room with lavender, leave you an eye mask, liquid on pressure points, advise you to have massage, either here or if you’re more comfortable in the spa. We would talk about a midnight snack as well, if you’d like something to eat.”
Midnight snack? Oh yes. In the form of peanut butter and jelly, a turkey sandwich or a warm glass of milk.
But what about people who aren’t traveling to one of these sleep-conscious hotels, or aren’t traveling at all?
Some of these techniques can be practiced at home.
“Here at the Benjamin, we call the guest an hour before they go to sleep and remind them to shut down their electronic devices,” she said. “We recommend people do it at home as well. Shut the television, shut the computer. Put you phones in another room, this way if you wake up in the middle of the night you’re not tempted to reach out for phone and check messages.” Easier said than done. You might have to check into one of those hotels that for that to happen.
Copyright © 2013 ABC News Internet Ventures
At our most recently 60th UICH International Congress in spectacular Queenstown, New Zealand our UICH Board of Directors elected our new UICH Executive Team. Featured in the above photo from Left to Right: Roderick Levejac, 3rd VP, Chef Concierge Four Seasons George V Paris, Simon Thomas, 2nd VP, Chef Concierge, Browns Hotel London, Colin Toomey, 1st VP, Chef Concierge, Shangri-La Sydney, Virginia Casale ,Immediate Past President,Concierge, Sofitel Montreal, Michael Romei, General Secretary, Chef Concierge The Waldorf Towers New York City, and Jean-Roland Boutille, Treasurer, Chef Concierge Hotel Bel Ami, Paris. Our newly elected International President Emmanuel Vrettos (Greece) is not featured in the above photo. Also announced at our Queenstown General Assembly: Mr. Robert Watson, former Immediate Past President has now been admitted into the UICH Comite des Sages. The following Zone Directors were elected: Jeanne Mills (USA) Americas, Franz Staufer (New Zealand) Oceania, Anders Ruggiero (Denmark) Scandinavia, Edwin Saldanha (India) Asia, Tamas Ungar (Hungary) Central Europe and Simon Delcomminette (Luxembourg) Western Europe. We also awarded the special title of Goodwill Ambassador to our Sage Aldo Giacomello (Switzerland). We also wish to thank the following members who served for many years with distinction on our Executive Team: Shujaat Khan (USA), Maurice Dancer (USA), Michael Anderson (Australia), Sami Joutsenvuo (Finland), Federico Barbarossa (Italy), and Fred Lui (Hong Kong).
Once a year, members of Les Clefs d’Or, USA meet to share educational programs, expand our network of personal contacts and to conduct the annual business of our respective sections. To continue to make these meetings affordable to our attendees, we rely on the generous donations of our hospitality partners.
In addition to sponsorship, please consider donating a Tiger Raffle prize to help us raise much needed funds. Gift certificates for room nights, meals, transportation, services and experiences as well as jewelry or other products you would like to highlight are always appreciated. We also encourage creative promotions to showcase your organization.
This year, we expect over 300 concierges to attend the meeting from all over the United States in September. Please help us to ensure that this meeting is a resounding success. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of the Tiger Raffle Co-Chairs listed below.
Thank you for your support!
In Service through Friendship,
Tim Samples ~ Shujaat Khan ~ Melody Williamson ~ Loida Diaz ~ Maria Wittorp
It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of James Lesnick, Concierge at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
James was a jovial character who loved people and had a passion for what he did. To James this was not only a vocation, but an avocation. This thing that we do gave him life. He found no greater joy than assisting or simply engauging in conversation with total strangers.
His smile would light up a room. Although that electrifying smile is no longer, he will live on in the hearts and minds of those that truly loved him; and they are many from South Florida to Atlanta, to New York City and even Las Vegas.
He was a proud members of his local associations such as the Southern Florida Concierge Association and Goldcoast Concierge Association. He was a long standing member of Les Clefs d’Or USA.
James may you rest with the greatest of men.
The iPad has revolutionized the way many travelers work and relax in hotels since Apple started selling it three years ago.
So, with the device’s third birthday in mind, Hotel Check-In asked a variety of travelers and hotel industry workers to identify the top ways that the iPad and tablet computers have changed the lodging experience. Here are their picks:
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1.Replacing old binders, hotel directories and menus. At hotels including the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, the concierges are equipped with iPads so they can give inquiring guests images of the restaurants, clubs and tourist attractions that they’re recommending. “Today, all of our concierges have most of their restaurant choices and tourist attractions on the iPad,” says Marc Hoffman of Sunstone Hotel Investors, which owns 26 upscale chain hotels. “In an old-fashioned hotel, they’d flip through a three-ring binder,” Hoffman adds.
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The Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel recently installed six iPads mounted in brackets around its bar so that guests can read digital menus instead of paper ones. There are potential drawbacks to using tablet computers as menus, however, says hotel design expert Patrick Goff, who publishes HotelDesigns.net. He’s seen some hotel restaurants give a table of two just one iPad forcing them to share, he says, calling the practice “pretty useless.”
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iPads also are helping force changes to the old-fashioned business center.
At Eventi in New York City, one of Kimpton’s boutique hotels, the business center has been replaced with the “Business Bar.” There, guests can choose from a number of options, including six iPads, two iPad Minis and a reading tablet, says hotel publicist Erica Cohen.
2. Less to pack. Since Los Angeles-based media trainer Clint Arthur bought his iPad, he stopped traveling with his old-fashioned video camera equipment. “The iPad is much more elegant and easy to travel with,” he says. Arthur trains people on how to get on television shows, and shoots training videos in hotel rooms with his iPad. Hotel rooms are “good studio environments” for filming because they’re quiet and they also give his students a change of scenery, he says.
Steve Moore, a petroleum industry executive, recently began relying on his iPad and a special home security app when on the road in hotels to stay connected to a new home he’s building in Nashville. “I’m real connected to the house,” he says. “I can change the temperature, turn off the lights, and turn the alarm on and off.” While he also has the app on his laptop, the iPad is what he uses most often because it’s the right size for bringing to the dinner table or hotel bar, usually his location when he needs to deal with home security. Plus, when he travels for less than a week, he doesn’t bring his laptop. He also has the app on his smart phone, “but sometimes you just don’t want to squint at your iPhone.”
3. Entertainment. Some travelers are using their iPads to replace the hotel TV, even if it’s a luxurious 50-inch flat screen. Puneet Mehta, a New York City tech entrepreneur, usually doesn’t turn on the hotel-room set because he rarely watches TV shows, but when he does, he uses his iPad. “I don’t watch much TV, but I do have Mad Men on my iPad to watch when I need to unwind before bed,” he says.
Frequent traveler Kevin Chin says his iPad also serves as his handy entertainment library.
“I hardly ever turn on the TV in my hotel room anymore, now that I have a virtual library of entertainment at my fingertips between Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes. It allows me to get caught up on all my TV series while on the road,” he says.
4. iPad as tour guide. When San Francisco digital marketing strategist David McCormick tried to find the best local playground in Palo Alto, Calif., he didn’t even think to turn to the concierge at his hotel. Instead, he turned to his iPad. He called up a Google map of the neighborhood, changed it to “satellite view” and took a virtual tour of the nearby parks “to find the one with the biggest and best play structure,” he says.
“Instead of going to a ‘boring’ park or driving all over town, I drove straight to what ended up being a fantastic park and had a great, stress-free day with my kids,” McCormick says. “It was awesome and left me marveling at the wonder that some technology has become.”
Readers: How has the iPad changed your hotel stay?
from USA TODAY/TRAVEL
London is starting to get serious about building a startup scene, so it gathered a bunch of reporters to promote “Tech City” this week.
Tech City, originally dubbed Silicon Roundabout, is a section of East London where startups are cropping up. Google Campus is in the heart of it, and companies like MindCandy and Yammer have offices nearby.
As part of the Tech City experience, the reporters stayed in a new, high-tech boutique hotel called CitizenM.
The hotel, located in Bankside, doesn’t have a concierge. Instead, guests check themselves in and out on touch computer screens. In each room, a personalized Samsung Galaxy tablet greets guests and lets them control everything from the blinds to the lights on the tablet. Internet access is free and there’s no password. Netflix movies can be watched on the TV from the tablet for no charge. CitizenM says it wants to make guests feel like they’re at home.
The chain was started four years ago in Amersterdam. CitizenM will be coming to the United States later this year when it launches a Times Square branch in New York City.
We were blown away by the tablet-controlled room. We don’t know how we’ll go back to a room where you actually have to get up to do things.
Full Disclosure: London & Partners, a not-for-profit funded by the city’s mayor, paid for our flight and hotel to London this week to cover London’s startup scene. It paid the full price (about 400 pounds for three nights) at the CitizenM.