Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City is not just the most iconic property in this provincial capital city, but also all of Canada. To be the Executive Chef of this property is more than just a position, it is to be the flag-bearer for the cuisine of the hotel, city, region and in fact the entire Quebecois population. This is no small order! Add to this the task of realigning the entire F&B for this 611-room property as part of a $75 million renovation.
Enter Executive Chef Baptiste Peupion, determined to reclaim the property’s leadership in the F&B arena. As Chef Peupion explains, “The property was resting on laurels established many, many years ago. The good news was that there were no sacred cows and no one who would feel put out by reorganizing the entire F&B concept.”
The work was so extensive that someone visiting the property prior to the renovation would not recognize any of the new outlets or locations. The lower level (terraces) occasion restaurant was converted into a dining space for groups and meeting rooms. The main floor dining room, bar and outdoor spaces were completely gutted and replaced
Why spend your European vacation in a small, pricey hotel room when you can rent a private villa?
If the words “because I can’t afford it” are about to roll off your tongue, allow me to interject. While “villa” tends to be synonymous with “exorbitant,” infinity pools, panoramic vistas and private paths to the beach aren’t as out of reach as you might think. You just have to know what to look for, and when. To that end, here are five tips for getting your own exclusive country estate — if only for a week.
1. Nab a couples deal Take, for instance, The Thinking Traveller, a villa rental company based in London. The company’s website has special offers on large villas available only to couples, or couples with a pre-school-age child. Just one of the villa’s bedrooms will be made up when you arrive (the bedroom considered to be the best), and while you must sleep in that particular room, you nonetheless get the entire villa and its grounds to yourself. The current couples offer on the Thinking Traveller is for villas
From messages written in rose petals on your bed to private dinners on the beach, exotic resorts regularly engage in fantasy fulfillment. Extending their fictional spell, a clutch of Greenwich-Mean-Time-defying resorts have adopted their own time zones, adjusting the clock to their purposes.
In Cambodia, the private island resort of Song Saa has been cavalier with the clock since it opened three years ago. Management calls it “island time” and sets all the clocks forward an hour to allow guests to catch sunrise at a more rested time. The resort’s boats, used for arrivals and departures, run on mainland time schedules in order to sync with real-time flights.
Two Four Seasons properties in the Maldives, Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru, both run an hour ahead of official time to extend daylight for guests.
For more prosaic reasons, the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has long kept Central time, originally an hour ahead of its municipality’s Pacific time, to stay in sync with the airport in nearby Puerto Vallarta, which runs on Central time. In 2010, the town
Just a few years ago, hoteliers looked disdainfully upon the appearance of collaborative accommodations websites. They were certain that an offer that provided no standards or guarantees of comfort could have a real future. And yet, seduced by the playful aspect of online booking, by the idea of sharing an experience with the owners, by attractive prices with respect to hotels that have increased their rates, potential guests have jumped on the chance.
It’s a bit too late now to contain the ambitions of AirBnB and all the avatars born in its wake. It will take time and imagination to reconquer their catch because there is a real accommodations shortage on the big marketplaces that is not easy to compensate and also because it is necessary to invent a story for these clients who are demanding with regard to innovation and originality.
Already faring poorly, catering services don’t appear to be learning anything from hoteliers’ suffering. The sharing economy has made its way into all areas of the service, from automobile rental to DIY, from moving house to Sunday brunch. Catering services are the new playing field for all the “collaborative spirits” who wish to fatten up their wallets and share their
Think beyond the conventional wine and food pairing dinner. That is a big idea that is propelling clever chefs to expand their culinary repertoire with craft beer and food pairings, bourbon or scotch paired with food, cider and food, and certainly cocktails and food.
What you may be hearing is the sound of ringing cash registers because these are paths to bolstered sales.
And vastly increased guest satisfaction because they have discovered new ideas.
So many hotel restaurants are tarnished with an image of corporate mediocrity – deserved at some, very unfair at others – but shatter that preconception by hopping on the latest trends in beverage pairings.
Know too: this strategy opens the door to often wildly successful marketing/pr promotions, mainly because restaurant writers and food bloggers are starved for fresh ideas – which is exactly what you will be serving up.
Cocktails are a great case in point. I first discovered cocktail and food pairing dinners perhaps a decade ago when I was a presenter at Tales of the Cocktail, the epic cocktail culture event in New Orleans, and a signature event was the remarkably clever and ambitious dinner pairings of cocktails and cuisine at what Tales calls “Spirited Dinners.”
Pacing is everything in
Late risers and those with inconvenient flight times can relax a bit more in their hotel rooms instead of making a beeline for the door as more hotels offer very late checkout times for guests.
Marc Dardenne, the chief executive of Patina Hotels & Resorts, plans to introduce a 24-hour-stay concept that allows guests to stay for a full day at a Singapore property scheduled to open in December. Guests can check in at 3 p.m. and depart as late as 3 p.m. the next day. There are no check-in desks at the hotels, but key cards can be programmed before arrival (rooms from $650 per night).
The Absalon, an independent hotel in Copenhagen, has a similar policy.
Some hotels now have tiered late-checkout pricing plans. Yotel’s new mobile app, Shaggy, allows guests to check out at 1, 2 or 3 p.m. for a surcharge of $20, $35 or $50, respectively.
Peninsula Hotels began a flexible checkout program a few years ago. At the Beverly Hills property, guests are not even restricted to checking out within 24 hours. “You can check in
Investing at record levels, owners of hotels across the United States are doing everything from rewiring their rooms and buying smart TVs, to replacing bathtubs with more easily maintained walk-in showers.
These represent some of the latest capital expenditures by American hotel owners identified in a new survey by Bjorn Hanson, a professor at the Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at New York University, who estimates that this spending will climb to $6.4 billion this year, up 7 percent over last year.
The heavy investments represent not only an effort by hotel owners to stay current, particularly after the 2008 recession, Mr. Hanson said, but also an escalation of standards set by hotel management companies like Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels. Consumer tastes are changing faster than ever, he said, particularly among younger travelers, who have replaced baby boomers as the demographic hotel owners and management companies most covet.
“Almost no brand requirement — ranging from guest room desk, lighting and bathroom configuration, to restaurant menus — has been untouched,” Mr. Hanson said.
Jan D. Freitag, senior vice president