We have spent a lot of time talking about high food prices and equating that to the continual stalemate of economic progress: The reality of doom and gloom. Yet, another indicator has emerged from the doldrums. This time the specific focus is on the travel industry. Hotels that were giving away rooms not that long ago are now more inclined to raise prices and offer pluses to lure you inside. Travel has always been a strong indicator of economic growth, and with the uptick in business travel, leisure has started to fill rooms, too.
What special benefits can hotels offer to distinguish themselves? That is an ongoing industry, marketing question. Hyatt jumped up to the plate with a Welcome Credit. Depending on the number of nights, the monetary reward could be as high as $150. A guest should have no problem enjoying spending the money on the property. Hello, steak dinner.
If you’re Vegas-bound, you have the universe of selections as hotels are tripping over each other with good deals as their economy still lags. Once you settle on a property, take a stroll down the Strip and dine to your heart’s content as a whole coterie of big-deal chefs continue to wine and dine the visitor. It seems no end is in sight as to the restaurant potential in Vegas. Corby Kummer finds that the food now matches the hype! Jose Andres followers take note: The famous chef continues to research and study the history of foods. His latest education turns his palate to Chinese food. Washington, DC, which feels a certain hometown national pride over Andres’s food empire, will readily welcome a good Chinese restaurant, or two.
Let’s not forget coffee. In-room coffee service has been heavily scrutinized, and criticized, for its questionable cleanliness standards. Hotels have fought back with lobby coffee partnerships that promise a respectable cup of coffee. Marriott Hotels have various coffee partnerships depending on the brand. Newer or refurbished Courtyards offer Starbucks in the Bistro, and the higher-end properties (JW Marriott, Renaissance) may have taken coffee to a new height: An Espressamente Illy., a true coffee experience. The logic is quite simple: Keep the money in the property rather than watch guests stroll down the block and return to the hotel with someone else’s cup.
Sure small refrigerators and minibars stocked with a guest’s pre-ordered items (Hilton) are popular, but what’s better than good food and a great cup of coffee? OK, a lovely wine, but that’s not really been a hotel’s downfall. So pack your bags and take a hotel holiday or a mini-vacation. It is summer, after all.