Hoteliers' Voice Series

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Hoteliers' Voice S2E4 - Future Hotels - Luxury high-end hospitality underpinned by technology

Sotiris Kopatsaris, CEO and founder of Future Hotels and MD, Carpe Diem Santorini explains how technology helps staff to create the magic and authenticity that offers special experiences to every hotel client.

Technology is essential to make progress. But the personal touch is critical for Carpe Diem Santorini which provides luxury experiences to a lot of honeymooners.

The company uses a list of 600 innovations to benchmark hotel performance. Around 20% of the tech stack will provide 80% of the improvements in performance. The best solutions are recommended to Future Hotels. Such a rigorous approach is new in the independent hotel sector, he explains.

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Hoteliers' Voice S2E3 - RBH Management - Digitalising the guest journey and cultural change

With a full renovation taking place, Vibhu Gaind, took the opportunity to rework the tech stack in one London hotel. With drastic changes in hotel product and guest expectations, he was keen to make the contact with the guest more meaningful and less transaction-based.

Vibhu explains where he found inspiration and why he decided to replace the traditional lobby with a more vibrant entrance hub. Lobby ambassadors help guests to do the menial tasks while engaging meaningfully.

He speaks, too, about how the company is looking to recruit multi-skilled individuals from outside the hotel sector, and increase its focus on customer service.

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Hoteliers' Voice S2E2 - Zetter Hotels - Overhauling the techstack for data intelligence

Liutuaras Vaitkevicius (LV), explains how he overhauled the tech stack. He speaks about how he’s using data intelligence and working with his team to optimise performance at the company’s three centrally-located boutique luxury properties in London.

LV discusses how best to go about overhauling the tech stack, including clarifying the company’s objectives and selecting the right partners. He explains the importance of involving the whole team in making decisions. And expands on the changing trends in revenue management.

The company chose SiteMinder for distribution and HotelREZ for the GDS connections. Other major partners included Apaleo, LightSpeed Commerce, Up Hotel Agency, GuestRevu, Foresight, Flexkeeping, Xero, PACE, OTA Insight and STR Report.

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Hoteliers' Voice S2E1 - StayCity - Underpinning revenue strategy with business intelligence

This is a story of data and business intelligence, and how and where hotels can gather data to underpin the revenue strategy. Paolo Dona, CIO of StayCity Group explains the importance of data and business intelligence within its tech stack to gain essential insights into targeting individuals with the right marketing strategy. The goal is to move away from aggregators and win more direct bookings.

Paolo says the company was able during the pandemic to focus on the corporate side of its business. But its long-term strategy is to use data to hyper-personalise its offers, and optimise upselling, to the various groups that use its units, including families, corporate visitors and groups of friends.

StayCity Group uses Oracle Opera and works with HotelRes.

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Hoteliers' Voice S1E6 – Joe Setchell, A Curious Group of hotels digitalise hotel services and operations

Joe Setchell the Group Marketing Manager at A Curious Group of Hotels talks about new tech being implemented at the four properties in the portfolio: Canal House (Amsterdam), L’Hotel (Paris), Portobello Hotel (London), Cowley Manor (Cotswolds).
We discuss the use of a guest app and how they have used it to digitalise services whilst also integrating Benbria Loop within the app, which enables guests to request a wide range of services with a click including F&B, housekeeping, luggage assistance, hotel transfer etc.

For A Curious Group of Hotels, they recognised the need to digitalise the customer, from ordering to check-ins. As part of the tech change, Joe turned to Criton – however his key concern was “how do we achieve what we want to while preserving our boutique feel… Everyone has a smart phone, so it gave importance of developing the app.

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Hoteliers' Voice S1E5 - Michael Reynolds, Maximise Revenue changing PMS in 7 days

In this episode we speak with Michael Reynolds, a revenue and hotel tech consultant with Maximise Revenue who has worked with chains including Village hotels, easy hotels PLC as well as independent properties.

For Michael it’s about moving away from legacy systems to maximise revenue, optimise system performance and processes and enable hotels to be more savvy. As part of his Procurement research, Michael said “following experience and having to research new systems in the past, I knew the main players but wanted to look at up and coming providers to see the opportunities. It was a tick box exercise, with one main criteria being an Open API, to continue linking more and more to it. We quickly discarded a few PMS for this reason. Then a quick demo, to see how easy it is to use and how quick to onboard."

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Hoteliers' Voice S1E4 - Jayson Heron-Smith, Cordis Hotel NZ and a unified guest platform

In this episode we speak with Director of Sales & Marketing, Jayson Heron-Smith, at Cordis Hotels Auckland New Zealand part of Langham Hospitality which has had a big technology focus this year. Jayson talks us through the focus they’ve had on the tech stack and why they’ve made such grand investments for the future of the property.

Included in the list is Data Protection, upgrades and system changes to F&B reservations systems, a new unified guest platform including marketing databases, an online gifting platform plus a new sales & catering (Delphi) platform, as well as new data tools from the likes of Travelclick, STR & OTA insight to access additional insights.

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Hoteliers' Voice S1E3 - Thibault Catala, The Revenue Management Tech Stack

In this episode we speak with Thibault Catala of Catala Consulting, a revenue manager by trade with a background at IHG and Four Seasons, he talks us through his approach to developing the revenue management strategy starting with the tech stack.

We talk about his choice of systems, and what he did at The Eccleston Square Hotel London, London. “Tech is one of the key elements in the hotel structure and if it’s done correctly they can improve productivity, gain stronger revenue and develop market share,” says Thibault.

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Hoteliers' Voice S1E2 - Robert Marusi, Turtle Bay Resort and improving fortunes with business intelligence

In this episode we speak to the chief commercial officer for Turtle Bay Resort, Robert Marusi, previously of Hamilton Beach Resort a Fairmount Hotel Bermuda, 5 star Pelican Hill Resort – he now looks after the 400 room Turtle Bay Resort on 1300 acres of land with a organic sustainable farm, spa, golf courses, and beaches.

Robert has taken Turtle Bay Report and like the previous resorts taking it on a fast-paced journey to digitalisation moving its PMS to Opera Cloud, replacing the sales and catering platform, while implementing Amadeus Advanced, Salesforce Cloud. For Robert it’s all about customer acquisition and the need to look at metric differently.

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Hoteliers' Voice S1E1 - Iain Jurgensen at Portavadie and the guest experience inspired by Disney

Speaking to Managing Director Iain Jurgenseon of Portavadie which received £35m investment to become an inclusive resort, it hosts 400 staying guests across its campsite, marina, hotel and serviced apartments.

We learn how tech is an incredibly important part of the resorts wider strategy, inspired by Disney as they roll out contactless payment and high quality internet throughout, paying close attention to integrations and interfaces, and why they need to look at the overall guest experience before putting time into development.