Guestroom Design & Amenities, Get a Human, Best Luxury Hotels in the U.S., Turnpike,
The Pineapple as Symbol of Hospitality, Fair Franchising, Quote of the Month
|By Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
1. Guestroom Design & Amenities - In the September 1912 issue of American Homes & Gardens, writer and futurist Harold D. Eberlein presented his predictions of the impact of air travel on American cities. Eberlein foresaw a proliferation of roof gardens on top of large hotels to provide pleasing views for guests. He also predicted that travelers could expect to find “clerks and bellboys posted on the top floor ready to attend to the immediate wants of tourists who have just arrived by airplane. “Aerial taxicabs” will circle like vultures over the hotel, “he wrote, waiting for a doorman to signal one of them to alight and pick up a departing guest.”
Eberlein’s fanciful but inaccurate prediction of the future shows just how difficult it is to guess about the impact of technological innovations on hotel design and operations.
Wireless high-speed Internet access, that ubiquitous service that has taken the hotel industry by storm; has been or will be installed in most hotel guestrooms as well as public spaces, in economy as well as luxury hotels. Other hotels are installing net-based platforms that control everything from the concierge’s wireless headset to water pressure; 40” LCD screens that do quadruple duty as a 5.1 virtual surround-sound theater, computer screen, satellite radio and digital art studio; touch-screen VoIP phones that schedules wake-up calls, retrieves your car from the valet, orders breakfast and checks your flight status. While the hotel industry is connecting with wireless technology in a big way, there are still certain basic shortcomings in the average hotel room that can be corrected without additional technological breakthroughs.
Here is a description of the shortcomings of a one-bedroom suite in a large convention hotel where I stayed recently while attending a conference. It’s unfortunately true that these shortcomings are also present in many hotel rooms in the United States.
3. According to TripAdvisors, the ten best luxury hotels in the United States are:
1. Sofitel New York, New York, NY4. Do you know that the word “turnpike” came from the practice of placing a pike or staff across a toll road. One side of the pike was imbedded with spikes. When the toll was paid, the pike was turned spikes down so the traveler could pass. The first turnpike was built between Philadelphia and Lancaster in 1792.
5. The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality - In order to understand how the pineapple became the symbol for hospitality, we must return to Newport, Rhode Island in the 17th century founded in 1639 by settlers seeking religious freedom. Newport’s majestic schooners participated in the infamous Triangle trade: ships would sail to western Africa to pick up slaves, continue to the Caribbean to trade the slaves for sugar, molasses and sugar and then back to New England. Along with these commodities, captains would bring home pineapples whose exotic nature and sweetness made them a rare delicacy in the colonies. Before emails or cellphones, sea captains would place the pineapples on their gate posts or over their doorways to inform neighbors that they had returned. Colonial hostesses would set a fresh pineapple as a centerpiece of their dining table when visitors joined their families in their homes. Later, carved wooden pineapples were placed over the doorways of inns and hotels to represent hospitality. The practice has continued to the present and frequently one sees the pineapple icon in hotels, restaurants and homes to signal an atmosphere of hospitality and welcome.
6. Fair Franchising is Not an Oxymoron - As every franchisee should know, franchise agreements developed by the legal departments of major franchisors are presented as boiler plate documents. There is little or no practical room for negotiation unless the franchisee is a major company. The greater the clout of the franchisee’s company, the more likely it will receive serious consideration of beneficial adjustments to the franchise agreement. The most important contract elements are territorial protection and termination clauses. These are the most difficult to negotiate especially with the largest franchisors which have the most one-sided licenses.
However, there are other important clauses in the typical franchise agreement which hotel owners should negotiate: choice of law clause, statute of limitations, arbitration, no-jury clause, sales/assignment/ transferability, merger & integration clause, right of first refusal, etc.
There may be no better way to negotiate a fair franchise agreement than to take the following two steps:
7. Quote of the Month
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”
Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC operates his hotel consulting office as a sole practitioner specializing in franchising issues, asset management and litigation support services. Turkel’s clients are hotel owners and franchisees, investors and lending institutions. Turkel serves on the Board of Advisors at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. He is a member of the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants. His provocative articles on various hotel subjects have been published in the Cornell Quarterly, Lodging Hospitality, Hotel Interactive, Hotel Online, AAHOA Lodging Business, Bottomline, New York Times, etc. If you need help with a hotel operations or franchising problem such as encroachment/impact, termination/liquidated damages or litigation support, don’t hesitate to call 917-628-8549 or email email@example.com.
Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
|Also See:||Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 24 / Loose Cannon, Fair Franchising, Manhattan Hotel Profits, Hotels of the Future, Interesting Miscellany, Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / January 2007|
|Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 23 / Biting The Hand That Feeds You?, By The Numbers, Shortage of Hotel Rooms, There is No Free Lunch, Iron Laws of Business Travel, Happy New Year / Stanley Turkel / January 2007|
|Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 22 / Smart Elevators, Tony Marshall’s Memorial, Women in the Hospitality Industry / Stanley Turkel / December 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 21 / The Drake Hotel in New York, Fair Franchising is Not an Oxymoron, By the Numbers, Another Secret Underground Shelter, Passing of Anthony G. Marshall / Stanley Turkel / December 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 20 / Turnabout Is Fairplay, Secret Underground Shelter, By the Numbers, Genuine Fair Franchising/ Stanley Turkel / November 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 19 / International Society of Hospitality Consultants, Great Miami Hotels, Reduce Carbon Monoxide Emissions, Turn Gray Into Gold / Stanley Turkel / November 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 18 / John Q. Hammons, Save the Belleview Biltmore, Chinese Tourism, CFLs, Ernie Byfield, Guestroom Entertainment in 1905 / Stanley Turkel / October 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 17 - AAHOA's 12 Points of Fair Franchising, Protected Territories, / Stanley Turkel / September 2006|
|The Newest Independent (and Oldest Partially Independent) Franchise Association in the Hotel Industry / Stanley Turkel / September 2006|
|In Hotel Franchising, Reality Trumps Wishful Thinking / Stanley Turkel / August 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 14; Impact Studies, Stretching Segments, Short-Stay Rentals, Smoke-free Marriotts, Franchising in China, Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel / August 2006|
|The U.S. Population Age 65 and Over is Expected to Double in the Next 25 Years; What Does this Mean for the Hotel Industry? / Stanley Turkel / July 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 12; Portman, Women Homeowners, Minimum Wage, Tipping, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinese Tourism, Impact Studies / Stanley Turkel / July 2006|
|Do Hotel Franchisees Need Independent Franchise Associations? / Stanley Turkel / June 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 10 / Chinese Tourists, Gasoline Prices and Alternatives, GLBT Segment, Travel Agents, FAC's, Manhattan's Record Breaking Year, Impertinent Questions / Stanley Turkel / June 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 9 / Blang, Bathtubs, Best Green, Arbitration, Best Western, AAHOA, State Franchising Laws, VFR / Stanley Turkel / May 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 8; Bathtubs, Smokefree Hotels, Maps, Saving Water, Nevada Revenues, H.P. Rama, Ritz-Carlton, Statler Service Code, Mother’s Day / Stanley Turkel / April 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But….No. 7 / Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC / March 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / February 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / January 2006|
|Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / December 2005|
|Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / November 2005|
|Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / October 2005|
|Nobody Asked Me, But…. / Stanley Turkel / September 2005|