Category Archives: Hotel and Resort

The Luxury Hotel

Nestled amongst a rugged landscape on the outskirts of Ranthambore National Park, Aman-i-Khas is a luxury wilderness camp with 10 elegant tents, as well as a tented dining room and spa. Inspired by the tents of Mughal emperors that traveled the ancient lands, this exclusive retreat offers a serene setting ideal for viewing the area’s abundant wildlife including tigers, leopards, chital deer, crocodiles, hyenas, and sloth bears. Raised on concrete plinths, the air-conditioned luxury tents are reminiscent of Mughal pavillions with cotton drapes creating separate sleeping, dressing, and bathing areas. Positioned to ensure privacy, the tents overlook the natural landscape, teaming with wildlife. Featuring high draped ceilings, tents have classic furnishings as well as wifi, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and heating systems. There are living rooms with twin writing desks, oversized daybeds for lounging, chest coolers for drinks, and dining areas. Plus, sleeping quarters with king or twin beds, dressing areas, and twin vanities. Within each luxury tent there is a bathing area separated by cotton drapes from the living and sleeping areas. Offering all the modern comforts, there is a shower, bathtub, and separate toilet. In addition to the luxury indoor living spaces, the tents have outdoor sundecks providing panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness. The Aman-i-Khas has a tented, lamp-lit dining room with a large communal table and smaller tables. Reminiscent of the Mughal emperors’ tent cities, the dining area provides guests with a seasonal menu featuring chef-prepared dishes crafted with ingredients from the property’s organic garden and local sources. There’s also a tented spa with two treatment rooms and a bubbling fountain, as well as Reiki massages, Ayurvedic treatments, outdoor yoga, and a pool lined with lounge chairs. For guests looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, Aman-i-Khas offers Tiger Safaris with expert guides taking visitors into the untouched jungle to see tigers in the wild. On the safaris, guests learn about the tracking and movements of the tigers, leopards, hyenas, chital deer, and crocodiles. A wilderness camp of 10 tents set on the edge of Rajasthan’s Ranthambore National Park, Aman-i-Khas combines aman, the Sanskrit word for peace, with khas, meaning special in Hindi and Urdu.Surrounded by the starkly beautiful Aravalli Hills, the camp provides access to the wildlife of Ranthambore National Park which measures a total of 1,334 square kilometres. Guests of Aman-i-Khas can also explore the region’s ancient forts and colourful rural villages nearby.Open from October through April each year, the best season for wildlife spotting, Aman-i-Khas is a wilderness camp located in a rugged brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. Aman-i-Khas offers accommodation in 10 luxury air-conditioned tents each with soaring canopies draped in the Moghul style. There are also three separate tents for dining, spa treatments and relaxing. Twice-daily, guided wildlife viewing excursions take guests into the park to spot indigenous game including tigers, leopards, hyenas, sloth bears, crocodiles and chital deer.

Hotel Facilities and Services

At Imperial Hotel we guarantee check-in from 3.00 p.m., but if the room is ready upon your arrival, you are welcome to check-in before. If, on the other hand, the room is not ready when you arrive, you can store your luggage with us at no charge until the room is available.

Check-out from the room is at 12.00 p.m. at the latest, but if you need a late check-out, then contact our reception upon arrival, or during your stay, and we will do our best to accommodate your request. Similar to check-in, you have the option to store your luggage when checking out.

If you’re busy and can pay with a credit card, or your accommodation is already pre-paid, you can make use of our popular Express Check-out and avoid the waiting time. Our Express Check-out stands can be found in the lobby right next to the main entrance. The receipt for your stay will then be sent via e-mail on the same day.

  • 24-hour reception
  • Check in possible after 15.00
  • Latest check out by 12.00
  • Breakfast buffet from 06.30-10.30
  • Lunch from 11.00 to 15.00
  • Dinner from 17.30 to 22.30
  • Bar
  • Room service
  • Allergy friendly rooms
  • Rooms with connecting doors
  • Air conditioning in all rooms
  • Coffee and tea facilities in all rooms
  • Free WiFi in all rooms
  • Fitness Center
  • Lounge with open fire
  • Business lounge with free WiFi
  • Six conference rooms
  • Free WiFi in meeting rooms, lobby and restaurants
  • Wake-up call
  • Sightseeing
  • Car hire
  • Bicycle hire
  • Laundry and dry cleaning
  • Option to borrow a fridge for the room
  • Own parking space
  • Fitness room
  • Indoor heated pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Sauna
  • Steam bath
  • Spa treatments and massages
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel
  • Concierge
  • Business Centre
  • Sunrise Breakfast
  • Laundry and Dry cleaning
  • Valet service
  • Iron and ironing board in the room
  • Tea and coffee making facilities in the room
  • Porter
  • Parking
  • Car wash service
  • Safe deposit box at concierge
  • Storage room
  • Room service
  • Souvenir shop
  • Wake up service
  • Non allergic pillows
  • Non smoking rooms
  • Currency exchange
  • Facilities for disabled
  • Ramp access
  • Florist
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and meeting rooms
  • Business centre with support staff
  • Dedicated Events Planner
  • Computer hire facilities
  • Complimentary onsite mobile phone for organisers
  • Copy/print service available
  • Fax machine rental
  • Internet connectivity on request

Hotel and Restaurant Industry

A restaurant, is a business which prepares and serves food and drinks to customers in exchange for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on the premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services, and some offer only take-out and delivery. Restaurants vary greatly in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of cuisines and service models ranging from inexpensive fast food restaurants and cafeterias to mid-priced family restaurants, to high-priced luxury establishments. In Western countries, most mid- to high-range restaurants serve alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and light beer. Some restaurants serve all the major meals, such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner (e.g., major fast food chains, diners, hotel restaurants, and airport restaurants). Other restaurants may only serve a single meal (e.g., a pancake house may only serve breakfast) or they may serve two meals (e.g., lunch and dinner) or even a kids’ meal.

In many countries, restaurants are subject to inspections by health inspectors to maintain standards for public health, such as maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness. As part of these inspections, cooking and handling practices of ground beef are taken into account to protect against the spread of E coli poisoning. The most common kind of violations of inspection reports are those concerning the storage of cold food at appropriate temperatures, proper sanitation of equipment, regular hand washing and proper disposal of harmful chemicals. Simple steps can be taken to improve sanitation in restaurants. As sickness is easily spread through touch, restaurants are encouraged to regularly wipe down tables, door knobs and menus. Depending on local customs and the establishment, restaurants may or may not serve alcoholic beverages. Restaurants are often prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages without a meal by alcohol sale laws; such sale is considered to be activity for bars, which are meant to have more severe restrictions. Some restaurants are licensed to serve alcohol (“fully licensed”), and/or permit customers to “bring your own” alcohol (BYO / BYOB). In some places restaurant licenses may restrict service to beer, or wine and beer.

New food & hospitality entrepreneurs should be constantly researching and looking at current customer habits and trends that will bring them the best return on investment. Owners need to perform a tricky balancing act, managing human interaction, personalization and technology, to keep customers coming back for more.

  1. Connecting with People Where They Are: Personalizing Customer Experiences through Mobile Technology

Smartphones, tablets and wearables are only gaining in popularity, making mobile the top new technology focus for food & hospitality. Businesses can now reap the benefits of customers using their Bluetooth enabled mobile devices on property by providing two-way communication with localized beacons. Restaurants, airports and museums have successfully rolled out beacons, with hospitality slowly dipping their toes into the water to test if they can be used to add additional profits. For example, Marriott has placed beacons at 14 locations near spas, restaurants and bars, where they can send promotional messages to nearby guestsabout things like spa packages, drink specials or restaurant offerings. Starwood Hotels are now using beacons in select hotel lobbies to provide seamless mobile check-in, send guest names to front of house staff and any prior booking details from their mobile bookings. It’s only a matter of time before other features will be integrated, such as wayfinding, local tourist attractions, partnerships with local vendors, room service and personal shopping experiences.

2. With New Technology Comes Risk: The Importance of Security

With the steady increase in online services that require both personal and financial data to be sent through the web, investment in data security is quickly becoming a top priority. This will always be a hotly contested subject in food & hospitality tech circles, as hackers and cyber attacks become a greater threat. “People’s attitudes toward security are totally changed, and this area is highly funded,” says Hotel Technology Next Generation CEO Mike Blake. As new technologies like mobile room access to replace key cards emerge, guest privacy is a growing challenge that the industry must face head on. With more mobile and social channels broadcasting sensitive information, more and more money will be spent on intrusion detection and prevention.

3. Big Data, Big Profits: The Monetization of Big Data

With all of this new technology and the Internet of Things embedded into our culture, hoteliers and restaurateurs now have massive amounts of data from mobile bookings, PMS Systems, guest review sites and Google. What do you do with it all, and how does it convert into cash? Using this collection of hotel guest data to create a guest-centric culture can be even more effective than old school points systems at keeping loyal or repeat guests. Companies such as Cheerfy help the hospitality industry consolidate all of this information and make it more useable and actionable, ultimately delivering more remarkable guest experiences. Revenue and operations can useCornell verified study data that shows the correlation between guest satisfaction and increases in financial performance of a property.

Best Hotel In The World

A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a modest-quality mattress in a small room to large suites with bigger, higher-quality beds, a dresser, a fridge and other kitchen facilities, upholstered chairs, a flatscreen television and en-suite bathrooms. Small, lower-priced hotels may offer only the most basic guest services and facilities. Larger, higher-priced hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre (with computers, printers and other office equipment), childcare, conference and event facilities, tennis or basketball courts, gymnasium, restaurants, day spa and social function services. Hotel rooms are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some boutique, high-end hotels have custom decorated rooms. Some hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours. In Japan, capsule hotels provide a tiny room suitable only for sleeping and shared bathroom facilities.Timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership involving ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage. A motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Boutique hotels are typically hotels with a unique environment or intimate setting. A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London. Some hotels are built specifically as a destination in itself, for example at casinos and holiday resorts. Most hotel establishments are run by a General Manager who serves as the head executive (often referred to as the “Hotel Manager”), department heads who oversee various departments within a hotel (e.g., food service), middle managers, administrative staff, and line-level supervisors. The organizational chart and volume of job positions and hierarchy varies by hotel size, function and class, and is often determined by hotel ownership and managing companies.

Best Hotel In World:

1. Aria Hotel Budapest, Hungary
“Simply perfect. Wonderful amenities and design, perfect location, helpful staff, clean, modern, great spa services, delicious daily breakfast and afternoon wine & cheese!”
2. Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Ubud, Indonesia
“Amazing. Everything we could have ever hoped for was taken care of even before we thought of it.”
3. Turin Palace Hotel, Italy
“A beautiful hotel, with some of the kindest staff I’ve ever encountered. Good-humored, extraordinarily helpful and down-to-earth.”
4. Hotel The Serras Barcelona, Spain
“Wow, wow, wow. This hotel has basically reached perfection in service, style, cleanliness and comfort.”
5. BoHo Prague Hotel Prague, Czech Republic
“Small, chic, comfortable and well-situated. Well-appointed without being cold or minimalist. The staff is friendly, resourceful and highly responsive.”

Best Resort

A resort is a self-contained commercial establishment that tries to provide most of a vacationer’s wants, such as food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping, on the premises. The term resort may be used for a hotel property that provides an array of amenities, typically including entertainment and recreational activities. A hotel is frequently a central feature of a resort, such as the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan. Some resorts are also condominium complexes that are timeshares or owed fractionally or wholly owned condominium. A resort is not always a commercial establishment operated by a single company, but in the late 20th century, that sort of facility became more common.

A destination resort is a resort that itself contains the necessary guest attraction capabilities so it does not need to be near a destination (town, historic site, theme park, or other) to attract its patrons. A commercial establishment at a resort destination such as a recreational area, a scenic or historic site, a theme park, a gaming facility, or other tourist attraction may compete with other businesses at a destination. Consequently, another quality of a destination resort is that it offers food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping within the facility so that guests have no need to leave the facility throughout their stay. Commonly, the facilities are of higher quality than would be expected if one were to stay at a hotel or eat in a town’s restaurants. Some examples are Atlantis in the Bahamas; the Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando, Florida, United States, Costa do Sauípe, Northeastern Brazil; Laguna Phuket, Thailand; and Sun City, near Johannesburg, South Africa. Closely related to resorts are convention and large meeting sites. Generally, they occur in cities, where special meeting halls, together with ample accommodations and varied dining and entertainment, are provided.

Best Resort In The World:

  1. LAUCALA ISLAND RESORT

In 1972, Malcolm Forbes bought this luscious green morsel as his private refuge; now its owner, Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, has spared no expense to create a spectacular tropical hideaway. The high price tag gets you over-the-top luxury and total privacy in one of 25 unique villas—all glamorous versions of traditional Fijian dwellings. Each opens onto its own private pool. Inside, you’ll find the expected mod cons (Bose sound systems, giant plasma TVs, a personal bar stocked with champagne), and exuberant decor—sofas evoke seashells, light shades are crafted from hundreds of butterfly cocoons, bathtubs are carved from single slabs of granite. It’s hard to leave—amuse-bouches materialize throughout the day, and any conceivable meal will be arranged instantly—but Laucala also has five restaurants, a spa, a stable, and an 18-hole golf course. Go on a mountain bike to explore the seven-mile-long island and Laucala almost feels like an independent nation, with an organic farm, armies of friendly staff, a working jetty, a hangar with mechanics to service private jets, and a James Bond–worthy dive boat for trips to fertile reefs.

2. NAYARA SPRINGS

This boutique resort is a Costa Rican dream for anyone looking for a secluded vacation spot. Nayara Springs is perched at the top of a rainforest, surrounded by tropical plants and creeks with gorgeous views of Arenal Volcano. Sixteen private villas include plunge pools, gardens, and open-air showers and 19 more were added in late 2016. Located 2 ½ hours from San Jose, this adults-only hotel gets high scores for service, and the spa has indulgent treatments with volcanic mud and chocolate clay. For those with kids, try the resort’s adjacent, family-friendly, Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens.

3. ANANTARA PEACE HAVEN TANGALLE RESORT

We need your help to tell other travelers about this place. Share your experiences, tips, and stories. Leave a note for the next Traveler. A secluded stretch of beach on the southernmost coast of Sri Lanka is just one of the smart draws of this 152-room resort, where the sound of the ocean is louder than patrons’ chatter. The respect for Ceylonese traditions involves a traditional high-tea served with single estate brews from the highlands, and generous accompaniments of expected scones and artisanal jams. You’d be wise to stay in one of the pool villas, which have wine humidors, butler pantries, and bicycles to use for as long as you’d like. An ancient therapy-based spa treatment followed by an extra chilled superfood wellness juice is just the antidote for heat-searing days.

Hospitality industry

The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry. The hospitality industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or an amusement park consists of multiple groups such as facility maintenance and direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing, and human resources etc.). Usage rate, or its inverse “vacancy rate”, is an important variable for the hospitality industry. Just as a factory owner would wish a productive asset to be in use as much as possible (as opposed to having to pay fixed costs while the factory is not producing), so do restaurants, hotels, and theme parks seek to maximize the number of customers they “process” in all sectors. This led to formation of services with the aim to increase usage rate provided by hotel consolidators. Information about required or offered products are brokered on business networks used by vendors as well as purchasers.

In looking at various industries, “barriers to entry” by newcomers and competitive advantages between current players are very important. Among other things, hospitality industry players find advantage in old classics (location), initial and ongoing investment support (reflected in the material upkeep of facilities and the luxuries located therein), and particular themes adopted by the marketing arm of the organization in question (for example at theme restaurants). Also very important are the characteristics of the personnel working in direct contact with the customers. The authenticity, professionalism, and actual concern for the happiness and well-being of the customers that is communicated by successful organizations is a clear competitive advantage. Companies in this industry operate short-term lodging facilities, including hotels, motels, and resort hotels. Major companies include Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Wyndham (all based in the US), as well as Accor (France), InterContinental Hotels Group (UK), Jin Jiang Hotels (China), NH Hotel Group (Spain), and Whitbread (UK).

The global hotel industry generates more than $500 billion in revenue per year, according to Statista. The most popular travel destinations include France, the US, Spain, China, and Italy. Fast-growing international tourism markets include Japan, Thailand, Hungary, and Myanmar. Emerging regions are expected to drive worldwide tourism industry growth over the next 15 years, led by the Asia/Pacific region. The US hotel, motel, and resort industry consists of about 40,000 companies that operate about 53,000 properties with combined annual revenue of about $175 billion. The industry does not include casino hotels and resorts, which are covered in a separate profile.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Business and tourist travel drive demand. Both are affected by the strength of the economy. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, because many costs are fixed, and on effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in economies of scale in operations, can more easily raise capital, and have strong name recognition. Small companies, such as boutique hotels, can compete effectively in favorable locations and by providing specialty services. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 45%

Hotels Feel the Pain

The automatic federal budget cuts brought about the by so-called sequestration are already inflicting some pain on the hotel industry. Federal agencies responded to the cuts by slashing nonessential travel by federal employees, which represent at least 30% of business for some hotels. This month, the 67th annual National Defense Transportation Assn. Forum & Expo — which was to be held in September in San Antonio — was called off because of the budget cuts. The association is a nonprofit, educational group focusing on transportation issues for the military.Travel officials worry that further federal cuts will continue to hurt a travel industry that supports about 14 million workers.

As you probably suspected, luxury hotels are feeling the pinch as the economy spirals downward. It’s not just the fact that tourists are no longer interested in paying $1,750 a night for a room when their brokerage accounts are imploding at the same time. The corporate travel market is shifting, too, and some companies are shying away from sending employees to fancy hotels for fear that bad press will follow when people find out that these are the same companies laying people off right and left. Imagine that!

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Hotels like the St. Regis and Four Seasons can’t exactly advertise $99-a-night rates since doing so would lose them the “brand prestige” they worked so hard to create. So there’s no easy solution at hand, although experts say customers should have more “bargaining power” in the months ahead. If you walk into the St. Regis and convince the manager to give you a room for $100, be sure to let us know!

After years of boycotting selected Hyatts for their mistreatment of workers and refusals to negotiate, UNITE HERE announced Monday that it is expanding its boycott to all Hyatt properties worldwide, with the exception of the dozen that have signed union contracts.

The international food and hotel workers federation, IUF, representing 12 million hotel and food service workers in 120 countries, has signed on to the global boycott. Indian workers fighting subcontracting in their hotel industry have joined in, picketing hotels in three states to support the boycott. British and Filipino workers have also picketed Hyatts in support of U.S. workers.

The expanded boycott aims to hit Hyatt overseas, where it’s growing. While the U.S. market is saturated, according to the union, Hyatt has 56 hotels in development in India alone.

UNITE HERE has also launched an online campaign to further dent Hyatt’s brand, asking supporters to vote Hyatt the worst hotel employer.

There are plenty of reasons to believe Hyatt qualifies. High room quotas mean housekeepers work so fast their muscles do not have time to recover, a major cause of debilitating repetitive strain injuries affecting their arms, backs, shoulders, and hands.

In response, California hotel workers have been trying to get a law passed to provide housekeepers with fitted sheets and long-handled mops. The tools are aimed at decreasing on-the-job injuries after an occupational health study found that housekeepers have high injury rates. Hyatt hotels were the worst among those studied.

Youngblood testified at the hearings on the new law, saying fitted sheets “would save our backs.” She said Hyatt was the only major company to speak against the proposal publicly.

Recovery Fades for the Hotel

In fact, hotel room revenue already were down 5% in August–before the attacks–as businesses and consumers cut back on travel spending amid the economic slowdown. Kent said room revenue would have been down 7% to 10% for the rest of the year without the travel crisis, but now that number probably will be closer to 15% for the rest of the year. “It’s hard to see it will get much better than this,” Kent said. “You’re facing tough comparisons through the first quarter” of 2002. The slowing improvement was partly behind Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown’s decision Monday to lower its outlook for five hotel companies: Hilton Hotels Corp., Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Wyndham International Inc., Prime Hospitality Corp. and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts Inc. “Recent data from Smith Travel suggest that the industry’s initial rebound has begun to moderate,” analyst Mark Mutkoski wrote in a research note. He said he expects continued contraction in room revenue through the second quarter of next year, with sequential improvement after that until comparisons turn positive in the third quarter.

The Healthcare Hands Recovery Hotel is a relaxing retreat in the heart of the city and only 1 minute from Bumrungrad Interntional Hospital. The recovery hotel offers a range of premium facilities for medical tourists to help them feel safe and comfortable. 48 calming rooms with creative design touches where guests will instantly feel relaxed and at home. Our Recovery rooms feature wonderfully comfortable mattresses, premium bed linen and hypoallergenic pillows. The contemporary bathrooms are complete with refreshing rain showers while the top-of-the-line amenities keep guests entertained and refreshed with the latest technology televisions, mini-bar and hot drinks counter. Daily housekeeping to ensure a clean and sterile recovery.

A day room (hotel) is a method of booking a hotel room for same-day use. Historically, the use of day rooms dates as far back as the hotel itself. In literary history, has been associated with the idea of renting rooms on an hourly basis. For a time, this practice had a negative connotation for hotels and motels. In Japan, this practice is commonplace, but exclusive to a specific type of hotel called a love hotel. Long layovers and unpredictable travel plans re-created the demand for day rooms in modern times. In the United States, jobs that require travel became more popular in the 20th and 21st centuries. The practice of renting a hotel room for a day is also common among travelers and vacationers who go on cruises, due to the fact that cruise ships typically depart and arrive at early hours of the morning. Modern hotels fill daytime occupancy by offering day rooms. Day rooms are booked in a block of hours typically between 8 am and 5 pm, before the typical night shift. For example, the Four Points, a Sheraton hotel in Los Angeles, began offering day rooms. Also, the Rodeway Inn and Suites near Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida offers day rooms.

Creativity and Science Have Merged on Hotel

When Chefs create menus, we look at many different parameters and angles of how to design a dish, and how to group those dishes into a menu. We look at what is new or exciting, or, what is old and forgotten about which may be “resurrected”. We look at seasonality, colors on the plate, quality of the ingredient, trendiness of an ingredient, or uniqueness of a preparation or combination of flavors. These are not mutually exclusive, and they all can play into each other. Chefs sometimes bounce these ideas off of the guests who are dining with them, as “experimentation” whether they admit it or not! Some of these fail, and some take off with such fervor, that they can become national trends. Many recent trends have been successfully focused on artisanal ingredients or old-world preparations. So, what does it mean to use these hybrid, artisanal or old-world ingredients, and are we being true to them?

The term “Artisan” or “Old-World” is normally used to describe food ingredients produced by non-industrialized methods, often handed down through generations but is now in danger of being lost. Tastes and processes, such as fermentation, are allowed to develop slowly and naturally, rather than curtailed for mass-production. Production methods are kept authentic to the nature of the item, so that modernization of processing does not alter the flavor, consistency, or quality as they originally were.

Artisan traditionally refers to both what it is made of and how something is made. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an artisan as, “one that produces something (as with cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods.” The artisan process requires a specific knowledge, a caring philosophy and is most often carried out by hand. Furthermore, artisan foods have been mostly associated with fresh, non- or minimally processed ingredients, and are often locally sourced. Most associate artisan foods which are handcrafted by a skilled creator from pure, local ingredients. Artisan bread comes to mind. One might expect the loaf to be a bit irregular and a bit different looking from the one that shared a spot in the wood-fired stone oven. Its taste and texture would be superior to manufactured bread. These are unlikely conditions under which fast or frozen foods are sourced and manufactured.

The biggest disadvantage of hybrid seeds is that they don’t “reproduce true” in the second generation. That means that if you save the seeds produced by F1 hybrid plants and plant them, the plant variety that will grow from those seeds (known as the second generation) may or may not share the desired traits you selected for when creating the first generation hybrid seed. This may in turn keep a farmer dependent on a particular seed company year after year since they can’t save the seeds and expect the next generation of plants they grow to be identical to the first. This could be devastating to subsistence farmers around the world, who are depending on consistency and quality. Furthermore, major portions the world’s food biodiversity has been lost due to the controls over seed production being shifted from farming communities to a handful of multinational corporations controlling these hybrid seed strains. Some hybrids are also not grown on a massive scale, and retain the uniqueness that an heirloom has. A hybrid can pack just as much punch as an heirloom, and should not be overlooked either.

For the Chef, however, the positives in utilizing either old-world heirloom or hybrids brings excitement to the plate, showcasing products that the region may have never seen before, and generating a buzz about a dish due to the origins of the product. Relishing in creative freedom, Chefs value the fact that there are such hybrids in which to utilize. Avoiding GMOs, however, takes a few steps which a Chef must be willing to undertake:

  1. Opt to buy single-ingredient certified organic food.
  2. Choose Non-GMO verified labeled foods.
  3. Grow their own open-pollinated, heirloom variety plants.
  4. Get to know the farmer and ask pointed questions about his or her growing practices, then opt to support GMO-free growing.

Examples of trending old-world, hybrid, or artisanal ingredients would be: Hemp seed (ground or whole), Spelt, Amaranth seed, Quinoa flour, Burdock or Salsify, Raspberry Leaf or Dandelion or Moss Tea, Rose Hips, Comfrey, Romanesco, red carrots, squash, mushrooms, cucumbers, chilies, and certain fruits such as melons, and tomatoes, of course.

So, how can a consumer distinguish between real artisan food and a marketing gimmick? Try asking yourself these three questions about the product: Does a real person craft this product with care? Is it made by hand, in small batches or limited quantities using specialty old-world or artisanal ingredients? Does it reflect expertise, tradition, passion, and a refined process? To learn the answers to these questions, one would need to develop a relationship with the person who crafted the products. Though this is nearly impossible to do with supermarket, fast or frozen food products, a Chef at a restaurant will have done this legwork, and have those relationships and understand the passions and science behind the products.

Creating a Sense of Place in Hotel

Since that weekend, every home in which we have lived has incorporated tree up-lights in its landscaping. Why do I tell you this story? Because these up-lights give me a sense of place.

Anthropologists see it in terms of the relationship between culture and symbols. Sociologists think of it in terms of a feeling of belonging. Urban Planners try to figure out how they can design and build it. And marketers just want to use it to increase sales. But no matter what the viewpoint, there are three fundamental points to remember in developing your property’s sense of place.

First, just as perceptions are different for everyone, so is sense of place. Those up-lights are one of mine, but they were never my husband’s. While he lovingly remembered our walks beneath those trees, he found his sense of place stepping onto the first tee at any golf course. Second, a sense of place needs a place. That is, it has to have a geographic location. Here is where hotels, inns, resorts, and B&Bs can have a leg-up on other businesses. By definition, you already have a physical place. Yours is an airport hotel, or an ocean-side resort, or an inn like Bob Newhart ran on his 1970s TV sitcom. The question is whether it also has an emotional sense of place. Third, places that have a strong sense of place have a distinctive identity that locals and/or visitors can’t necessarily explain, but can feel. The key ingredients here are unique, authentic, and character. It is this third point over which you probably have the most control, but it may also be the hardest for you to implement.

It seems that, with the exploding global hotel industry, finding that unique and authentic concept to establish the property’s distinctive character becomes more challenging. But those hotels who have successfully done it and are reaping the benefits.

For instance, the Hotel Monteleone gives guests a sense of a paranormal place by leveraging its friendly ghosts who have appeared to guests and employees. Of course, this 19th-Century Hotel in New Orleans French Quarter boasts its historic gilded chandeliers, carved paneling, and soaring ceilings as the backdrop for it sense of place. And, oh yes, the actual 13th floor, where most of the ghostly actions happen, is called the 14th floor. In a similar vein, the quaint 1649 Three Chimneys Inn in New Hampshire, established its strong sense of place by exploiting the paranormal sounds and sightings of a young girl who drowned in a nearby Oyster River. And it, too, reinforces its sense of place with antique furnishings.

But a property doesn’t have to rely on ghosts, or historical happenings for a sense of place. It can build its own much like the famous 110 room Madonna Inn did in San Luis Obispo, California. The original 12 room property was not nearly as ostentatious as today’s inn. But after it burned down in the sixties, it was rebuilt as the “most ridiculous and amazing motel you’re likely to find anywhere” with individually themed rooms bearing such names as Caveman, Rock Bottom, and William Tell. And, having had the opportunity to be stay there, I can attest to the fact that it does establish its clear sense of place its guests.

There is no question that the understanding how a sense of place develops and becomes relevant to your guests is not an easy thing to do. Social psychologists, geographers, designers, and marketers have been trying to figure how to do it for years. All we can do is take what they have learned so far and work to integrate it into every aspect of our hotel’s operations. First, a sense of place is actually an emotional bond between a person and his/her surroundings. This comes back to the truism that perception is reality. Second, its three key components are unique, authentic, and character. It is another truism that you can’t try to be something you are not; people will see right through you. It follows then, that an additional truism is: You can fool some of the people all of the time; all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And third, your guest’s sense of place is often rooted in past experience. This last truism comes down to the notion of banked memories and takes us back to my story of Alka Seltzer containers and up-lights.