Service is Liturgy

peninsula shopping

The Peninsula Hotels brand imposes respect due to its unconditional commitment to luxury and the art of hospitality. An idea of service which transforms itself, as these images show, in a concept of liturgy whose only protagonists are the people.

The field of robotics evolves much faster than some think. It has been replacing operators in automotive assembly lines for decades. It also works in hospitals, and not only in menial tasks; Da Vinci even performs heart operations. They shoot photographs and video from the air, dust the crops, and in 2015, will deliver Amazon-branded packages.

In a world that is more technological and mechanized every day, robots already occupy a very important place in the new industrial revolution. They will also be the main characters of the upcoming service revolution, which will affect the tourist industry utterly and completely. It won’t be long before we see them as an essential part of the backoffice workforce in a hotel, a restaurant, or in any company within the tourist trade. Continue reading

Architecture of Snow

Amalfi Coast
The rise in popularity of skiing around the world warrants a look at urbanism and ski resort architecture. Because the white sport, like all tourist activities, should be experienced and enjoyed like the unforgettable experience that it is.

The current managers of ski resorts are aware of the fact that the masses aren’t coming for winter sports as much as they’re coming for a winter vacation. The activity itself isn’t what attracts people, but instead a beautiful mountain vacation. Consequently, we are seeing how ski resorts are transforming little by little into snowy theme parks. And Formigal has been perhaps the first ski resort to understand that, thanks to talented and renowned manager, Antonio Gericó, who in 2015 was named General Director of the Aramón Group, Aragon Mountains.

It’s clear that Formigal-Panticosa has benefitted from recent special public investment that has transformed it into the largest and most modern resort in Spain. But it must be noted that this investment was no miracle. Gericó, before attaining his current position, worked in the hotel sector. He knew very well the difficulties of mountain lodging as he ran of the most luxurious establishments at Formigal, the Hotel Saliecho. While everyone else was homebound, Gericó was taking a page from the book of emblematic North American resorts, like Canada’s Whistler, and he was able to adapt these ideas to local tastes with the heart of a skier and the wisdom of a manager. Continue reading

The Good Name of Gastón Acurio

silla

The son of a well-known Peruvian politician, Gastón Acurio has emerged as one of the shining business stars of South America. Almost everything he touches with his hotplates turns to Incan gold. Nearly everything he says or does goes to church and surely even reaches the Vatican. Many are waiting for the day when he will take everything he thinks in favour of local communities to the political arena to fight for — and probably win — the presidency of Peru.

Gastón Acurio cultivates his connections with Spain very well. Peru’s most acclaimed food critic, Ignacio Medina (who is Spanish, not Peruvian), keeps him informed of the current culinary affairs of the country where he learned to be a cook, and probably, a person. As a youth, when destiny had lined up for him a place in the cream of Peruvian politics, Acurio travelled to Madrid and enrolled at the Complutense University to study law. However, one day, tired of memorizing laws, he told his very surprised father that stoves were more his thing. He escaped from Madrid’s formal academia to get an education in the culinary arts where the ever-great Juan Mari Arzak reigned without contest. Yes, up there in the clouds, in the Alto de Miracruz, San Sebastián. Continue reading

Internet of Hotel Things

internetdelascosas

Google has acquired Nest, a company that specializes in smart thermostats, for $3,200 million dollars paid in cash. This movement confirms one of the clearest tendencies observed in the digital panorama: the so-called Internet of Things, a world that’s hyper-connected through mobile sensors, which will take flight in the tourism industry this year, even though its definitive results will take a while to be of common use by the consumers. Continue reading

Hotel Sleep Concierge

White Pillows

Every day, hotels compete over clients with an ever-growing menu of experiences. The pillow menu, introduced not long ago, has turned into a textile supermarket like the one the International Conrad Hotels chain is proud to offer.

In the arena of strong competition that has been created in worldwide hospitality industry, with incessant openings of new lodgings in advanced and emerging countries, the big chains are doing anything and everything to capture travellers and increase their fidelity to each chain’s brand. One of the classics, Conrad, now offers a very extensive menu of 75 pillows with which to induce more intense and seducing dreams. The menu takes into consideration local intricacies, as well as the diversity of pillow makers focused on being original and unique.

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The Tiger of Singapore

RafflesSingaporeAmong many concrete walls, steel and structural glass, the classic and flattened silhouette of the Raffles Hotel draws the attention of those strolling down Beach Road Street. What is a relic like this doing in a city-state whose flagship hotel is a complex of three skyscrapers crowned and linked by a panoramic pool that defies the basic laws of gravity? If it turns out the sea, when built, almost reached their rooms. And the street, denominated from the beach, received in its number 1 the new tourism tenant, in which Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad would tread.

In 1887, Singapore was still a British colony. The new hotel assembled a collection of 10 small bungalows by the sea, an unnamed paradise for the few merchants who ventured into these dangerous Malaysian waters. But that innate sense of Asian hospitality soon became a mecca of services. First came the famous Singapore Sling cocktail, created in 1915 by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, which attracted bar and clubroom parishioners very fast, including the so-called British writers. Continue reading