Guest Satisfaction Index

Knowledge of the evolution of the habits of travellers is just as relevant as the knowledge of their tastes and desires. If the tourist industry needs to know more about the “what” during travels, it’s no less important to figure out the “how”, when it comes to choosing an experience over others. It is this element that, precisely, conditions the product according to the satisfaction that it produces on its consumers.

In this regard, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) provides very interesting data about the evolution of habits in the hotel consumption, not always reflected in the hospitality industry in general, in Spain, or Latin America, or even the majority of the countries around the world. A quick analysis of this data shows that today, priority is not given to comfort, services, complementary activities and other aspects, but to technology. We live in a technological world, and therefore, citizens adopt a technological habit which cannot be interrupted or diminished, even during their vacation. The improvement which is most appreciated by travellers (at least in America), is the ease of the process of making reservations and personal check-in introduced by technology thanks to online engines. The potential offered by Big Data technology will, without a doubt, determine the evolution of hotel reservations in the coming years.

If the ease of checking in is what provides the most satisfaction to hotel customers nowadays, even above the ease of confirming reservations (thanks to mobile technology), it’s well worth thinking about the future of the reception desk and of the formalities and procedures that take place at the front desk. This feature of hotels, if it were to continue existing, will be completely different in 10 years. In its morphology, in its functionality, in its atmosphere, and its consumption of human capital. Continue reading

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts: Milan

Bvlgari Hotel Milan

In Milan, time stands still. I returned not long ago to the city of Visconti and I could not resist residing once again in the Bvlgari hotel, the first one opened by the exclusive jeweler in partnership with Ritz-Carlton International. The hotel is located walking distance from the exclusive Via Montenapoleone and the Teatro della Scala. There was no substantial change in its facilities: if anything, they have a more round appearance, for being vivid, more glamorous, and more visited. That white marble façade that inspired so much respect the first time, those reflective windows, and the architectonic rigor that is expected from the V brand…

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Disabled Or Comfort?

disabled man«Love, union and collaboration can move planets. Let’s see if between us all we can achieve an island without any boundaries», Leda Giordano, manager of the Nautilus Lanzarote Art & Biosphere Bungalows, tells me. Her establishment has 45 adapted bungalows, barrier free bathrooms, ramps everywhere and disabled guests can even submerge themselves in the swimming pool without anything to fear or hide. Accessibility, she says, doesn’t mean hotels can’t be nice, and without looking like «real hospitals with bad odors», as she has seen elsewhere. And, she adds, for people with their full capacities (if any truly exist because, this writer at least, isn’t yet capable of gliding to the moon) her Lanzarotean Nautilus has a collection of artwork thorough every corner of the garden. Even outside of their gardens, in the public garden of Puerto del Carmen, where the business is located.

Giordano hoists the blue flag of another less publicized beach —that of the Association of People with Reduced Mobility of Palante—, through a document signed by Estrella Nicolás. This document highlights the scarcity of properly adapted hotels in Spain, «it would be interesting that someone addressed the issue of complete accessibility on the premises of hotels, from the dining room to the swimming pool. Transportation is a fundamental matter, as is that restaurants, pubs or any stores abide to the regulations. The priority is that when making these places universally accessible, it is done serious and responsibly, in such way that later we don’t come across any surprise (trick-ramps…) that in the end don’t provide solutions and have created a significant expense.»

The document even reflects about access in Lanzarote to the beach fronts as well as «the possibility to move freely through areas such as Puerto del Carmen, where there is a more… therapeutic temperature.» And she continues, «Achieving the most independence at natural (beaches) and recreational environments like these is essential and rightful, without it generating any environmental impact and caring for their sustainability.» Continue reading

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


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