Mövenpick reopens castle near one of the New 7 Wonders of the World

Posted by - October 18, 2018

Petra’s popular Mövenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel has officially reopened following the completion of an extensive renovation and enhancement project.
Mövenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel is located 10 minutes from the entrance to Petra — a 2,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’. The hotel, which is an attraction by itself, is perched at an elevation of 1,400 metres and offers views of the valley, making it an ideal and inspirational base for discovering the ancient archaeological landscapes nearby.
The hotel features an indoor lap pool adorned with Romanesque pillars, while a function room with an adjoining outdoor terrace caters to bespoke meetings, weddings and incentives. Guests can also dine at Al Madafa, an atmospheric restaurant serving Jordanian specialities and international dishes, with ingredients and organic products sourced from local suppliers.

Highlights of the renovation include 90 contemporary rooms decorated in natural tones, featuring showers and tile flooring that create a fortress-style hotel, which is located in the rolling hills of the Rift Valley, close to Jordan’s most visited attraction – the ancient city of Petra, also known as the ‘Red Rose City’.
Also part of the renovation, a new Bedouin tent has been built where traditional Jordanian cuisine and Arabic coffee are served while the revised layout at the Nadeem Bar & Terrace promises impressive views of Mount Aroun, the area’s highest peak. In addition, the venue’s décor has been enriched with heritage-inspired art, enhancing its appeal as the best destination to visit when in Petra.
Finally, the property has also introduced new tailor-made experiences such as mountain-view bonfires, designed for special occasions or small family gatherings.
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DayBreakHotels CEO Simon Botto on making luxury hotels “more accessible”

Posted by - October 18, 2018

Now you can enjoy rooms and facilities of luxury hotels for a fraction of the price. Travel tech start-up DayBreakHotels makes it possible for guests to enjoy lavish rooms, spas, swimming pools, and other amenities for a ‘day break’ instead of booking an overnight stay.
This model allows hotels to maximise their capacity and profits by opening up bookings to a new market of ‘staycationers’ during times where rooms are traditionally under-utilised. And, through their integrated system of offering additional services to customers, hotels are able to further the potential for new revenue streams.
The platform is also geared up for the convenience of business travellers needing somewhere to rest and change between meetings or during layovers. Business travellers can book rooms and meeting rooms through the platform.
“We’re opening up the possibilities when it comes to hotel stays”
Co-founder and CEO of DayBreakHotels, Simon Botto, said: “There are so many beautiful hotels around the world with amazing facilities on offer, but most overnight guests are rarely able to enjoy them properly and many others would love to experience the luxury of a hotel stay, but can’t spare the money or the time. With DayBreakHotels, we’re opening up the possibilities when it comes to hotel stays, making these amazing venues far more accessible and attracting a new segment of the market.
“We’ve got a gorgeous selection of venues in the UK already on board and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more hotels into our growing network over the coming months. Through our platform, hotels can make the best use of their rooms during times when they are typically under-utilised in a simple, user-friendly way.”
Inspired by own travels
Before taking over the role as CEO of DayBreakHotels, Simon Botto used to be a professional water polo player, playing for various teams in Italy. Bottom competed in national and European championships, which means he used to travel in the continent for their games.
“While travelling with my water polo team and being frustrated that we had to hang around in hotel lobbies before games when all I wanted was somewhere comfortable to relax for a few hours. It was frustrating knowing that there were floors of empty rooms right above you, but you couldn’t access them without booking a full overnight stay.
“At the same time, when I was travelling as an M&A lawyer and staying in luxury hotels, I never really took full advantage of the hotels’ facilities as I was working long hours and, thus, I would generally check-in late at night and check-out early in the morning. From this realisation, the idea of our travel tech platform was born,” Simon said in an exclusive interview with TD.
Maximising profits
Using blue ocean strategy, DayBreakHotels are helping businesses, corporate travellers, and consumers with their platform. It is inevitable for hotels to have empty rooms, especially during the off-season. Why not offer those rooms to guests who want to use it for a few hours? “Hotels across the world are suffering from poor utilisation of their facilities, with the vast majority of rooms empty and unused throughout the day. We wanted to solve the issue of under-utilised rooms, helping hoteliers get more out of their assets,” Simon says.
“Hotels may get (1) entry into a new market with low competition, (2) obtain incremental revenue from the sale of both day rooms and other services, which go directly to their profit line, (3) acquire new customers from outside of the traditional night hotel industry and gather more visibility,” he adds.
Day rooms are available between 9am and 12pm, with users able to save up to 75% on a room or service’s usual cost. Overnight rooms can also be booked between 10pm and 6am. Other facilities such as pools, spas and restaurants can be booked independently, or in addition to a day use room.
Bleisure travellers and staycationers Business and bleisure travellers may find DayBreakHotels quite useful. Most people travelling for business cannot fully enjoy the amenities that their booking entails. DayBreakHotels enables people to book hotels either for day use or overnight stay only. This could be an option that travel managers and travellers can look into to make the budget leaner.
“In addition, they can also easily transform hotels into perfect temporary offices, with a day room to work, relax, freshen up and use all the rest of the hotel facilities (restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, business centre) to be used to meet customers, business partners etc. And all this at a cheaper rate than a temporary office, where what you get is generally just a desk, a chair and a wifi password. With hotels under pressure from a range of challenger offerings, this kind of innovative approach to their services is exactly what the sector needs,” Simon adds.
Lastly, DayBreakHotels opens the doors of luxury hotels to a wider consumer base for allowing them to book rooms and amenities for a limited time of the day such as an office worker wanting to go for a spa treatment or a swim on a weekend.
“We also wanted to help people realise that hotels offer much more than overnight accommodation. They’re home to fantastic amenities, perfect for a relaxing day-break away from the stresses of everyday life.”
Worldwide expansion Starting humbly in Italy, DayBreakHotels managed to expand its listings in most of Europe, North and South America. In just five years, the company has established a presence in cities across the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, UAE and Russia. Simon assured that DayBreakHotels has no plans of slowing down.
Simon Botto, CEO of DayBreakHotels“It’s been a phenomenal journey and we’ve got no plans of slowing down, so the rest of the world is definitely in our sights…We want to be expanding our presence even further across the world. As to which countries this will entail, you’ll have to wait and see,” he says.
In the next six months, this travel tech start-up aims to pump up its portfolio with listings in the UK, branching out to more cities across the country and becoming Brits’ go-to site for booking a ‘day-cation’.
Simon also revealed how they will achieve these plans. “We’re investing in as many opportunities as possible. We’re utilising social media platforms, advertising, press opportunities, to get DayBreakHotels even more well-known.”
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Revinate connects with hotels globally via SiteMinder Exchange

Posted by - October 18, 2018

Revinate has announced a partnership with the global hotel cloud platform, SiteMinder, to connect with SiteMinder Exchange.
Revinate, a software company that helps hoteliers transform their guest data into revenue, announced its partnership with the cloud platform, SiteMinder, as the latest hotel application to connect into SiteMinder Exchange.
Through the partnership, Revinate Marketing will be accessible to a variety of property management systems (PMS) integrated into SiteMinder Exchange — a solution for connectivity problems in hotel PMSs and hotel applications.
“To more easily take advantage of our Marketing service”
According to Dan Hang, the chief product officer at Revinate: “This partnership with SiteMinder enables thousands of hotels to more easily take advantage of our Marketing service, thereby driving more direct revenue.”
The connection will allow Revinate to broaden its addressable market, expedite its speed to market, and increase adoption of its Marketing service among hotels globally.
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Since launching the platform in June this year, SiteMinder Exchange has already attracted nearly 100 publisher (PMS) and hotel application partners, with dozens more in development. It’s designed to address the connectivity challenge for developers of hospitality systems — acting as a data layer that sits between and connects hotel PMSs and applications, ranging from CRMs to upselling tools, revenue management systems and guest messaging.
“The guest data they need”
SiteMinder’s SVP global partnerships, Dai Williams, added: “We are excited to partner with Revinate, a brand known and trusted by hoteliers all around the world. Through SiteMinder Exchange, many more hotels can now use Revinate’s proven solution to access the guest data they need for today’s sophisticated marketing programs and, in turn, drive revenue from targeted email campaigns.”
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Ctrip: Online giant opens its first hotel with Rezen Hotels Group

Posted by - October 16, 2018

Travel tech company, Ctrip recently unveiled its hotel management brand Rezen Hotels Group at the World Cultural and Tourism Forum. The group aims to bring together top-rated hotels in China’s first- and second-tier cities and help them improve performance and services with big data analysis backed by Ctrip.
Also, the newly-announced Rezen Hotels Group signed a strategic agreement with Shanghai Jinmao Hotel Management. Both parties will collaborate in hotel branding, big data application and improving conversion rates. In the next three years, they will launch over 30 co-branded hotels, providing more than 6,000 rooms.
The launch of Rezen Hotels, Ctrip’s first high-end hotel brand, marks the group’s strategy to branch out to the high star-rating hotel sector.
Rezen Hotels Group owns three high-end brands, namely the upper upscale brand Rezen Huating, the full-service upscale brand Rezen Hotels and the special upscale brand Rezen Ruixuan.
After three months of recruitment exercises, three Rezen hotels are operational, 15 have been officially signed and in the pipeline, and 50 more are in the process of negotiation. It is also reported that more than 50 franchised Rezen hotels will come into operation by the end of this year, 250 by next year and 500 more in the year after.
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How tech can help solve your hospitality HR problems

Posted by - October 16, 2018

Adrian Tan, co-founder of The Resource Group, summarises his thoughts on the recent TD Executive Summit:
30+ senior HR folks gathered at SPACES (a very cool co-working space in downtown Bangkok) to learn from each other as well as speakers from the worlds of HR, leadership development, operations and technology.
Spaces co-working spaceAs usual, I would be talking about HR Tech. But at the event, I also learned about the unique pain-points hotels are facing on day-to-day. Hoteliers are often under pressure to hire lots of people, within a short time frame, whilst rushing from one location to another and, of course, maintaining a professional disposition and making sure everybody is happy.
It is a tough job and attrition can be high. So when you are short on headcount, you face the added dilemma of ensuring newcomers are properly trained versus putting them straight to the floor.
I knew there must be some HR tech that would work well in a hotel environment. So I set out to do some research and uncover a bunch of solutions which are, or could be, adopted by the hotel sector. If you work in hospitality and want to improve your business performance via HR, read on:
Keep your employees engaged
One of the common issues raised by the hotels’ HR at the event was how to keep their people engaged. Typically they would have big internal events which would drive up the engagement but it would just drop equally fast soon after the end of the event.
Just like keeping fit, you don’t complete a single megamarathon to clock an entire year’s mileage. It should come in frequent, smaller doses –this is where EngageRocket comes in.
EngageRocket builds better workplaces with people analytics, helping companies see the business impact of improving their employee experience. And they did that for a Singapore-based private hospitality club with a headcount of more than 200 employees.
They wanted a way to become an employer of choice in the hospitality sector amongst private clubs, by monitoring and improving employee engagement in real-time. Their challenge was the unwieldy nature of their workforce, which included F&B, housekeeping, front-of-house and corporate employees.
Prior to EngageRocket, the company had run surveys, infrequently, using expensive consulting companies. However, while the data came with good comparison benchmarks, these were not useful in driving action as the latency of the data and the speed of staff turnover in the industry meant that the issues surfaced through the consultants’ analysis were always too late to be relevant.
What was done? The HR team ran multiple surveys to gather overall employee sentiment, as well as on an ad-hoc basis, to get employee feedback on various staff welfare decisions. This analysis allowed them to dive deep into specific teams with challenges in order to support them in a timely manner, while also getting immediate feedback on their people decisions.
Outcome By focusing on a few areas of low engagement, the club increased the engagement score by 10% and ENPS (employee net promoter score) by 20 points in less than 6 months.
While it’s still early days, the ability to run targeted, immediate interventions created an ROI more than ten times the amount of the clubs previous systems purchased in the past. Meanwhile, the effort from running and analysing the data from the surveys is estimated to have been reduced by almost 20 man-days, with overall efficiency gains conservatively estimated at around SGD 100-250K (USD 73,000-181,000).
Consistent onboarding
The nature of the hotel industry gives way to high attrition. Hiring fast enough is one thing, getting them up to speed is another major challenge. That prompted a major hospitality company with over 20 million guests a year and 12,000 staff to look for a faster and more efficient ways to onboard its millennial customer service employees.
This hotel strongly believed that their customer service employee’s skills and attitude were crucial to the customer experience. However, the customer operations director observed that his millennial staff were not fully engaged during traditional classroom training and wanted to test new ways to strengthen the service culture.
With its customer service predominantly delivered by young, part-time employees who stayed only a short time with the organization – not to mention a high turnover, coupled with frequent onboarding of new staff, training had become a daunting challenge.
How could the client strengthen the service culture and improve customer satisfaction under these circumstances?
There were four specific challenges to be addressed:
Capture the attention of millennial employees Be cost-efficient with a workforce that is characterised by a high turnover rate. Allow frequent onboarding so that staff is ready just-in-time. Training translates into behaviour change and improves customer satisfaction. They decided to use a mobile, micro-learning solution – Gnowbe.
What was done? They leveraged Gnowbe’s mobile first micro learning solution to reach their customer service employees physically and emotionally. It was used as part of a blended learning solution where key modules for service ambassadors such as ‘Introduction to Service’ and the company’s unique approach to customer service were delivered on Gnowbe
The organisation’s head of learning & development chose to transform the existing training content himself. And, he created an interactive, multimedia journey of short videos, quizzes’ reflections and quotes on the Gnowbe platform. Once designed, the programs were available for distribution.
Outcome With Gnowbe, learning about company best practice was suddenly accessible round the clock. Employees loved the flexibility they got to learn on Gnowbe; studying during breaks or even at home on the sofa.
The bite-sized, interactive content captivated the young employees and helped them swiftly absorb and apply key concepts such as empathy or listening. The young users also stayed engaged by collaborating on the Gnowbe Journey Board and sharing learning through social media features.
“Their customer satisfaction score will rise from 95 to 97%”
The operations director was pleased with the agility of Gnowbe that allowed him to onboard new staff any time as well reduce the onboarding time from a few weeks to a few days. He is now optimistic that their customer satisfaction score will rise from 95 to 97%, and lead to an engagement up 10 times higher compared to traditional e-learning platforms.
Automating mundane HR enquiries
With a large headcount in a place one can imagine the vast number of questions HR departments can get on a daily basis. From the number of holiday days left, to clarifications on the latest policy on dress code — the sheer volume of such questions could take up a few hours a week.
This problem led a chain of restaurants with multiple outlets in Singapore to consider a tech solution. With the ratio of HR to employees calculated at 1:27, HR function being centrally located at HQ, the operational staff-on-the-ground had limited channels (WhatsApp messaging, HR hotline and also an HR helpdesk email address) to get access to HR information when needed.
An internal visibility study with their HR operations team pointed out that enquiries from staff were highly predictable, and a huge majority of these queries were coming from social messaging platforms. Due to the long wait for email replies and the uncertainty of the HR hotline being answered promptly, the preferred channel was to use social messaging channels to get their HR queries addressed.
Another issue that the HR leaders were facing is the high turnover of their HR operational staff leading to high efforts in retaining tacit knowledge and having to repeat HR operational training consistently whenever there is HR Staff turnover.
What was done? They decided to subscribe to Su-Ette, to enhance HR operations with the use of AI and bot technologies. This option gives autonomy to the client to build and deploy their HR Bots without any high investment or setup cost to acquire bot technology, which is highly advantageous to an SME set up or companies beginning to explore bot technologies.
Soon the operational staff were able to get immediate replies for questions outside of HR working hours, providing a more convenient way of approaching HR queries.
This client even got creative, by training the bot to move beyond standard replies and develop a list of intelligent responses which were linked to ‘action triggers’ to connect employees to their own internal HR systems, as needed. Now the team is exploring how to use bot’s open API to integrate with their internal e-leave system.
Outcome Other than unclogging their mailboxes, the HR team noted a decrease of 37% in time needed to resolve employee queries and deployed only one HR staff (instead of 3) to handle complex questions and redesigned her role to lead employee relations matters.
The other two HR staff moved onto specialised HR roles in driving the long overdue employee benefits review and also leading an implementation study on the use of micro learning for their employees.
“There is immense power in empowering employee self-service”
In the firm’s feedback, the head of HR said: “There is immense power in empowering employee self-service. Unfortunately, many current HR platforms do not always suit the employee’s need in terms of interactive conversation and follow-up questions. A conversational, highly trained, and intelligent chatbot allows our team to deliver personal interaction at scale to all our employees, whenever they need it. Essentially, the annual subscription cost is less than my HR’s Executive monthly pay.”
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The Midland: Iconic British hotel bought for GBP 115 million

Posted by - October 16, 2018

Swedish based hospitality group Pandox, owner of an extensive property portfolio across Northern Europe, has announced its plan to buy well known English accommodations, the Midland Hotel in Manchester for GBP 115 million (USD 151,771,250) from real estate investment company, Aprirose.
Known more commonly as The Midland, the iconic hotel, built for a cool GBP 1 million in 1901 – which in today’s money translates into GBP 116,807,608.00, has been at the centre of life in Manchester since its construction and was voted Greater Manchester’s second-favourite building by readers of the Manchester Evening News in 2012.
Those to have stayed at the hotel include Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and Sir Winston Churchill and The Beatles.
With 312 bedrooms, two award-winning restaurants — Adam Reid at the French, and Mr Cooper’s — a Tea Room, a newly refurbished bar and lounge, 14 conference and meeting rooms, as well as a spa and gym, the hotel will retain its name following the acquisition. In addition The Midland will receive an investment of GBP 11 million for renovations.

Pandox is being partnered in the transaction with Fattal Hotels Group through its flagship hotel brand Leonardo Hotels.
Commenting on the acquisition, David Fattal, CEO of Fattal Hotels Group, said:“This fantastic acquisition of Manchester’s Midland Hotel represents a huge step forward in our ambitious growth strategy in the UK. The reputation of the hotel speaks for itself and with this, we have the opportunity to further expand and strengthen the depth and breadth of our portfolio.”
“This is truly one of the great hotels in the UK”
Jason Carruthers, managing director of Leonardo and Jurys Inn Hotels UK and Ireland, said:“We are delighted to have acquired the iconic Midland Hotel, which is very much a flagship acquisition for the group. This is truly one of the great hotels in the UK, which is rightly woven into the fabric of Manchester life.
With a very experienced management team and dedicated employees, the hotel fits well into our broader portfolio and is in line with our strategy to position the Group as one of the UK’s most significant hotel owner and operators. We look forward to working together with everyone at the Midland Hotel to help drive performance and continue to deliver exceptional guest experiences, as we look to retain this great hotel’s status in the heart of Manchester.”
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Newly launched: Hilton Taipei Sinban

Posted by - October 15, 2018

Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of Hilton Taipei Sinban marking its return to the Taiwan market after 15 years.
New Taipei City’s “first international upscale hotel” this 31-story, 400-room hotel offers itself as an optimal choice for business travel and gatherings with extensive meeting facilities and convenient connections to traffic hubs. Hilton Taipei Sinban is owned by Hong Guo Group Co., Ltd. and managed by Hilton.
“Everywhere our guests want to be”
Qian Jin, area president for Greater China and Mongolia, Hilton, said: “Hilton Taipei Sinban’s debut marks an important milestone for Hilton as we make our return to the Taiwan market, underscoring our commitment to being everywhere our guests want to be. As we continue to expand our global footprint, we look forward to bringing more of our 14 award-wining brands to this market with the opening of Hilton Taipei Sinban and the upcoming DoubleTree by Hilton Taipei Zhongshan.”
Located in the central Banqiao District, New Taipei City, the hotel is in close proximity to shopping and entertainment centers, numerous local eateries, business districts and tourist attractions. The hotel is conveniently found near Banqiao Station with easy connections to high-speed rail and other public transport options. Guests can explore the greater Taipei area and other cities within Taiwan, as well as enjoy the direct connection to Taoyuan International Airport via public transportation.
Guests have a selection of cuisines at the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, an all-day dining venue, and the lobby bar. QING YA specializes in a mix of Taiwanese and Cantonese delicacies, serving the chef’s signature entrées of regional favorites. Market Flavor features international flavors for all-day dining, with local seafood and meat dishes. The lobby lounge, SociAbility, serves deli snacks, sweet treats and beverages in the day and transforms into a bar at night, creating a laid-back atmosphere for winding down or catching up with friends.
Guests seeking exercise or relaxation can re-energize at the 24-hour fitness center, dip in the rooftop infinity swimming pool while enjoying sunset views, or unwind with complimentary refreshments on the private terrace of the Executive Lounge.
MICE ready
With 3,105 square meters of meeting space, Hilton Taipei Sinban can be a potential venue for weddings, business meetings and social gatherings. The largest meeting room– the “Wishful Ballroom”, can accommodate up to 900 guests or host a 70-table gala. The hotel offers nine multi-functional meeting rooms, equipped with ergonomic chairs, state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, and personalized services for diverse event requirements.
“Driving development of the region’s hospitality services”
“We are delighted to welcome Hilton Taipei Sinban as the latest addition to the Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio, our award-winning flagship brand,” said Vera Manoukian, senior vice president and global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “The hotel’s opening will set a new benchmark, driving development of the region’s hospitality services. With the passionate service, energetic environments and meaningful experiences a stay at a Hilton Hotels & Resorts hotel delivers, Hilton Taipei Sinban will become the preferred destination for both business and leisure travelers.”
Hilton Taipei Sinban is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton Honors members will earn an additional 1,000 Points per night for bookings through October 12, 2018, when booking directly with Hilton.
Hilton Taipei Sinban is located at No.88, Minquan Rd., Banqiao District, New Taipei City, 22050, just 28 kilometers from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, and 14 kilometers from Taipei Songshan Airport.
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Review: The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers Bangkok

Posted by - October 11, 2018

Standing proudly on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, the 28 storey hotel with its clever Y-shaped construction, giving every single room a view of the Thai capital’s famous waterway, The Royal Orchid Sheraton has been an icon of Thai hospitality from the time it was built. But its reputation for the quality of its service and the authentic Thai hospitality have it become one of the city’s favourite haunts for both tourists and business travellers alike.
From the moment you walk through the doors at The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers Bangkok and you are greeted by the Green Jade Buddha, serenaded by the dulcet tones of a musician playing the traditional Khim, and welcomed by the friendly staff you know you are somewhere special.
Stay Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & TowersA clever trick of the architecture gives every single room in the Royal Orchid a river view, something that no other 5-star riverbank property is able to offer guests.
This sense of exclusivity is compounded by the interiors of the rooms, comprised of 670 standards, 55 “speciality” suites and the penthouse style luxury suite. All the rooms feature a simple elegant design which combines a distinct local heritage with strong, clean contemporary lines – creating a comfortable cosy environment which makes all guests feel right at home while remaining unmistakably Thai.
For guests who want to take it up a notch the Royal Orchid Sheraton provides the 36sqm Deluxe and Premium Deluxe Riverview rooms; the 55sqm Junior Riverview Suite and 70sqm Executive Riverview Suite – which also feature spacious social areas and separate bathrooms and washrooms.
Sheraton Club Lounge, located on the 27th floor, is a modern high-end hang-out spot for guests of the Club Rooms, found between the 25th and 28th floors. Here, guests can take breakfast or enjoy evening cocktails in a sophisticated calm environment with a 180-degree river view.
The grandness of the Royal Orchid, however, culminates with the magnificence of the Presidential Suite on the 28th floor. This vast 243sqm space, used mainly by VIPs, is the apex of luxury in the hotel and boasts a capacious living area, perfect for reclining in splendid isolation or as the venue of a soiree.
In addition to the social area, the Presidential Suite comes with both a master and twin bedroom, both with connecting bathrooms – the view from the tub in the master bathroom is probably the best in the entire hotel. Not to mention an office, kitchen and even a massage area.
Dining Thara Thong RestaurantDining at Royal Orchid Sheraton will leave guests spoilt for choice with its fantastic choice of four differently themed riverside restaurants – Feast, Thara Thong, Giorgio’s and the Riverside Grill.
Feast is the all-day dining spot, where guests can satiate their appetites with its expansive range of international dishes including Western dishes alongside flavours from across Asia, Japan, China and India.
Thara Thong is not just the place for Thai dining within the hotel, but as one of the famous Thai restaurants in Bangkok, as ranked by TripAdvisor, it is also one of the best places to sample local fare in the entire city. The atmospheric eatery projects a serene ambience enhanced by its use of authentic Thai design, replete with traditional eating cushions, dark wood floors and all set off by dramatic views of the Chao Phraya River, just a few metres away.
Riverside TerraceThere are two European restaurants. Giorgio’s for pizza, pasta and other specialities from the Mediterranean in a low-key trattoria-style setting replete with red and white chequered tablecloths.
The Riverside Grill compliments the high quality of its food menu with the equally well thought out nature of its drinks list, boosting its well-stocked choice of wine and beer with innovative spins on classic and modern cocktails – perfect tipples for kicking back in the burnt amber rays of a Bangkok sunset.
What to do Garden PoolFor guests who don’t let the excuse of being away from home interrupt their fitness regime, Royal Orchid Sheraton have excellent sports facilities including a jogging track, tennis court and a well-equipped 24-hour fitness centre.
Not to mention the two swimming pools; the terrace pool is ideal for grinding out the lengths as well as working on your tan. The second found in the hotels verdant garden area is a different set up altogether, where guests can lounge drink-in-hand, in the shade cast from the surrounding tropical trees and plants — a rare pleasure in a metropolis such as Bangkok.
The Spa Royal Orchid Mandara Spa – Treatment RoomOne of my favourite parts of the hotel is the Royal Orchid Mandara Spa. Located on the third floor, the music from spa greets you as you step out of the elevator, lulling guests into relaxation even before they enter reception. Once in situ, the spa has a myriad of treatments to invigorate or restore guests, in one of five double treatment rooms.
There are also three spa suites on offer, featuring deep aromatherapy floral bathtubs, steam and shower rooms as well as a personal changing area. All of the suites offer that signature Royal Orchid view of the Chao Phraya River, but the deluxe garden suite has the added benefit of its own private rooftop garden
Experience yourself an exceptional riverside stay in Bangkok, simply contact the hotel for more information and reservations.

TripAdvisor highlights its Experiences business in new TV ads

Posted by - October 10, 2018

TripAdvisor has launched a new TV ad campaign across the US, starring the platform’s spokes-owl Little Wiser.
The new TV commercials, which launched on 8 October, will run across a wide mix of media targets in the US and focus on TripAdvisor’s Experiences business, which has seen massive growth over the last year. With over 120,000 bookable experiences live on TripAdvisor, the ad campaign will show travellers the wide range of travel experiences that they can find, compare, and book — all in one place.
“Nearly 80% of tours, activities and experiences bookings… still happen offline”
Dermot Halpin, president of experiences and vacation rentals at TripAdvisor, commented: “We’ve seen steep growth in our Experiences business over the last two years, and yet nearly 80% of tours, activities and experiences bookings travellers make still happen offline.”
Following the success of the review platform’s hotel advertising campaign, the ads show the brand’s spokes-owl Little Wiser enjoying TripAdvisor experiences in New York City and New Orleans.
In New York, Little Wiser cruises by the Statue of Liberty, taking a helicopter tour of the city, and a bike tour of Central Park. In New Orleans, he enjoys a walking tour, a swamp boat experience, and a local cooking class.
The message is that “no matter what tour, activity or experience you want, it’s easy to find and book it on TripAdvisor”. And with its new cancellation policy — most tours now have a 24-hour cancellation for maximum in-destination flexibility.
“To let travellers know there’s a better way”
“Starting today, we’re launching an Experiences-dedicated TV advertising campaign to let travellers know there’s a better way. On TripAdvisor, they can discover and book the world’s largest selection of things to do, avoid the lines, and get the flexibility they need to have a fantastic vacation with our 24-hour cancellation policy.”

Sparefare: “Designed for travel without the ticket touts”

Posted by - October 9, 2018

Have you ever lost money because you could not travel and had a non-refundable flight or a hotel reservation? Millions of people lose money on their unused travel bookings every year because they are not aware of safe, hassle-free ways to resell their reservations, writes Galena Stareva, SpareFare’s CEO.
SpareFare.net, however, has found a solution to this problem. SpareFare is an online platform connecting people who have bought flights, holiday packages or hotel rooms but can no longer use them, with people seeking discounted travel options.
By transferring their booked non-refundable reservations to SpareFare buyers, sellers are able to partially or fully recover the money they paid for the trips, while buyers get a true discount of up to 50-60% by not paying the current price of the bookings. The platform offers fraud protection to both buyers and sellers and dramatically reduces the risk of transferring flights, hotel rooms and holidays to strangers by acting as an intermediary.
TD: Can you really transfer a non-refundable reservation to someone else?
GS: You can transfer your flight to someone else if your airline allows you to change the name associated with the flight. There is always a fee for the name change and they vary from airline to airline. Most low-cost airlines offer name changes as part of their official policy and the name change takes a minute to complete. SpareFare has prepared a list of airlines which allow name change, including a summary of their fees and rules.
Hotel bookings are even easier to resell. If the reservation is made through a booking engine, the name change is done through the traveller’s online account. If the booking is made directly with the hotel, a phone call to reception is all it takes. Hotels do not charge fees to change the name on a reservation.
“Designed for travel and without the ticket touts”
In a way, SpareFare is like StubHub or Viagogo but specifically designed for travel and without the ticket touts. Travel reservations, by their nature, are very different to event tickets. Event tickets are only a limited number, the number of events are very few in a year and many times fans greatly outnumber the available tickets. So concert ticket touts know that their tickets will be purchased by desperate fans. Travel is very different.

There are many flights by various carriers and travellers have an enormous choices. If a flight with a given airline is too expensive, you can choose a different carrier, you can fly at a different time during the day, you can fly on a completely different day, or event to a different destination. So if a ticket tout is selling a flight expensively, travellers just will not buy the tickets because of the sheer variety of travel options. It is the same for hotels – if a tout is trying to sell a hotel room very expensively, the buyer will simply make a booking with the hotel next door.
We want SpareFare to be the go-to site for the cheapest travel reservations, and we will not allow any attempts of ticket touting. This goes against our mission of providing users with the best holiday bargains. We monitor the sales on the site and track relevant information. We want to work in partnership with travel providers to ensure that there are no ticket touts on the platform. We encourage travel providers to get in touch with us and we will collaborate with them to address any concerns.”