InterContinental Park Lane publish the Insider Guide to London

I really love it when I see hotels thinking of great ways to engage with customers and to help them experience what’s right on their doorstep during their stay.  A hotel is always best placed to know all of the unique things to do in and around the properties location, but sometimes spreading this message is the tricky part.  As a hotel, when you do undertake this activity it’s also important to consider your clientèle – recommending a night at the local Bingo when your running a five star boutique hotel is not going to help anyone.  So when I discovered a lovely “Insiders Guide” that’s produced by the team at the InterContinental Park Lane I was really impressed to see just how well they’ve managed to capture London life and produce a quality publication full of ideas reflective of the strong InterContinental brand.  I received the latest publication this week, and it’s a really excellent example of marketing activity.
The Insider Guide to London is the winter edition of this well produced magazine and captures the hotels target market perfectly.  Now in its fourth edition, the Insider offers valuable insight into how readers and guests alike can Live an InterContinental Life here in the capital,  highlighting some of the best activities in town as well as looking forward to 2013.
This Insider includes a special shopping guide to the East End curated by city experts Urban Gentry and a round-up of the most sought after gifts from Ed Burstell, Managing Director of Liberty.  Top UK Food Futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye predicts trends for 2013 while our resident experts share current cocktail ideas, top seasonal recipes and the best of what’s on in London a local perspective.  The edition also features a trip to Bank Farm in Kent, to see where much of our produce is sourced and enjoy a tour of London’s top microbreweries.  Importantly, the publication also adds a personal touch, introducing members of the Park Lane team, giving their own insights into London life.
To promote the publication, the InterContinental Park Lane  has also created additional collateral, such as an insert which is given to guests when they receive their bill in one of our outlets, with key dates, pricing and information on our offerings which also works as a mini Insider guide.  Of course, this may be a very traditional publication in physical print, but the hotel recognise that guests will want to read this in their own time and in their own way, so they have also supported the launch of the Insider through dedicated social media campaigns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.
Ed Prunell, Area Director of Marketing for London commented “A key priority of InterContinental London Park Lane is to enrich our guests’ experience and help international visitors, and those closer to home, see a new side of London. The Insider is an extension of our expert Concierge team and reflects our location at No.1 Park Lane, which place us perfectly to share our expertise of the city”.
I really love this publication and am really impressed with the high quality production and features, perfect for InterContinental guests.  To take a look for yourself, you can access the Facebook edition by clicking below.

The Socialnomics Social Media Video 2013

For regular readers of my blog, you will know that each year I tend to post the latest Social Media Video produced by Socialnomics.  In my opinion, this annually produced video is one of the most powerful ways to explain the influence, reach and usage of social channels with some incredible and hard-hitting facts.  Socialnomics was founded by Erik Qualman with the intent of providing short social stories, statistics, studies and surprises.  I refer to these videos regularly and often share them with people asking me questions about why their hotel should be taking social media seriously.

So, with my thanks as always to Socialnomics, here’s the 2013 video. Enjoy.

TravelClick wins over 60 awards for hotel web design

I was impressed to learn that representation and distribution solutions company TravelClick have won an incredible total of 63 awards for website design in hotel and lodging categories from the IMA AwardsWebAwards,W3 Awards and Adrian Awards in 2012 – more than any other website development company specializing in the hotel industry.  This seems a very impressive number and something I wanted to share with you for when you’re looking for inspiration or ideas on who to talk to when contemplating how to optimise your hotels website.

TravelClick are one of the leading provider of revenue generating solutions for hoteliers and offer hotels reservation solutions, business intelligence products and media and marketing solutions to help hotels grow their business and are currently helping around 30,000 hotel clients in over 140 countries.

“A hotel’s website is an extension of the property, and a key source of bookings,” said Jason Ewell, senior vice president, e-Commerce for TravelClick, “TravelClick continues to be a leader in developing best-in-breed web properties for hotels, helping them to increase bookings and revenue. This year, TravelClick was recognized over 60 times in the nation’s top website competitions for our superior design and performance.”

I’ve listed the full award winning websites below – there are some great examples and I hope you find this a useful reference point to check out some inspiration and different ways of designing your hotel website.

IMA Awards
Websites Designed by TravelClick That Received Best in Class Awards:

•  Edison Hotel (http://www.edisonhotelcp.com/)

•  Le Blanc (http://www.leblancsparesort.com/)

•  The Rendezvous Hospitality Group (http://www.rendezvoushotels.com/)

•  Sentosa (http://www.thesentosa.com/)

•  Opus (http://vancouver.opushotel.com/)

•  Umstead (http://www.theumstead.com/)

Websites Designed by TravelClick That Received Outstanding Achievement Awards:

•  Makena Beach & Gold Resort (http://www.makenaresortmaui.com/)

•  Turnberry Isle Miami (http://www.turnberryislemiami.com/)

•  Paradise Island Harbour Resort (http://www.paradiseislandbahama.com/)

•  Chandler Inn Hotel (http://www.chandlerinn.com/)

•  Sivory Punta Cana (http://www.sivorypuntacana.com/)

•  Don Hall’s Guesthouse Hotel (http://www.donhallsguesthouse.com/)

•  Sun Palace (http://www.palaceresorts.com/sunpalace/)

•  Hotel Windsor (http://www.thehotelwindsor.com.au/)

•  Puente Romano (http://www.puenteromano.com/)

•  Castello del Nero (http://www.castellodelnero.com/)

•  Titanic Hotels (http://www.titanic.com.tr/)

•  Pacifica Host (http://corporate.pacificahost.com/default-en.html)

•  Blue Doors (http://www.bluedoorshotels.com.co/)

•  Palace Resorts (http://www.palaceresorts.com/)

•  Royal Group (http://www.royalgroup.it/)


Web Awards:
Websites Designed by TravelClick That Received Outstanding Website Awards:

•  The Sentosa (http://www.thesentosa.com)

•  Castello del Nero (http://www.castellodelnero.com/)

•  Amrath Hotels (http://www.amrathhotels.nl/)

•  Umstead Hotel & Spa (http://www.theumstead.com/)

•  Blue Doors Hotel Website (http://www.bluedoorshotels.com.co/)

•  Turnberry Isle Miami (http://www.turnberryislemiami.com/)

Websites Designed by TravelClick That Received Standard of Excellence Awards:

•  Titanic Hotels (http://www.titanic.com.tr/)

•  Royal Group (http://www.royalgroup.it/)

•  Rendezvous Hotels (http://www.rendezvoushotels.com/)

•  Hotel Windsor (http://thehotelwindsor.com.au/)

•  Westbury Hotel (http://www.westburymayfair.com/)

•  Sun Palace (http://www.palaceresorts.com/sunpalace/) 

•  OPUS Hotel Vancouver (http://vancouver.opushotel.com)

•  Le Blanc Spa & Resort (http://www.leblancsparesort.com/)

•  Edison Hotel Website (http://www.edisonhotelcp.com/)

•  SivOry Punta Cana (http://www.sivorypuntacana.com/)

•  Chandler Inn Hotel ( http://www.chandlerinn.com/)

•  Paradise Island Harbour Resort (http://www.paradiseislandbahama.com/)

•  Makena Beach & Golf Resort (http://makenaresortmaui.com)


W3 Awards:
Websites designed by TravelClick That Received Gold Awards:

•  Amrath (http://www.amrathhotels.nl/)

•  Sivory Punta Cana (http://www.sivorypuntacana.com/)

•  Umstead (http://www.theumstead.com/)

Websites designed by TravelClick That Received Silver Awards:

•  Blue Doors (http://www.bluedoorshotels.com.co/)

•  Chandler Inn Hotel (http://www.chandlerinn.com/)

•  Don Hall’s Guesthouse Hotel (http://www.donhallsguesthouse.com/)

•  Edison Hotel (http://www.edisonhotelcp.com/)

•  Le Blanc (http://www.leblancsparesort.com/)

•  Makena Beach & Gold Resort (http://www.makenaresortmaui.com/) 

•  Paradise Island Harbour Resort (http://www.paradiseislandbahama.com/)

•  Puente Romano (http://www.puenteromano.com/)

•  Royal Group (http://www.royalgroup.it/)

•  Sun Palace (http://www.palaceresorts.com/sunpalace/)

•  The Westbury (http://www.westburymayfair.com/)

•  Turnberry Isle Miami (http://www.turnberryislemiami.com/)


ADRIAN Awards
Websites designed by TravelClick That Received Silver Awards:

•  Royal Group (http://www.royalgroup.it/)

•  Kenzi Group (http://www.kenzi-hotels.com/)

•  Crown Hotels (http://www.crownhotels.com.au/)

•  The Westin Leipzig (http://www.westin-leipzig.com/)

Websites designed by TravelClick That Received Bronze Awards:

•  AThe Strand Hotel (http://www.thestrandnyc.com/)

•  Umstead (http://www.theumstead.com/)

‘The Content Omniverse’ – check out this great Infographic

I found this great infographic this evening, recently published by CopyPress.  Take a look, it really does represent social content online very well.

Infographic courtesy of CopyPress.

Everything you need to know about Pinterest [Infographic]

I’m a big fan of Pinterest. You can check out (and of course follow) my Hotel Insight Pinterest Boards by clicking here.  But for those who want to know exactly how Pinterest works and if it’s a social channel that your hotel should be present in, take a look at this infographic, courtesy of TechCrunch.

The Athenaeum utilises Pinterest to engage guests in run up to Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve been waiting for a few months now to discover a hotel being really proactive in their Pinterest use, and using the latest social platform to interact with guests in a unique and initiative way.  My wait is now over and I’ve found a great example – and it’s congratulations to The Athenaeum Hotel in London with this fun and interactive campaign, based around one of the big London events.

On 19th May The Athenaeum Hotel will launch an ‘Urban Gardens’ Pinterest competition that will run until the end of ‘Chelsea Fringe’ – the new ‘festival of flora’ which aims to spread some of the excitement and energy around gardens and gardening in the run up to RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The creator of the winning ‘mood board’ will be awarded Evergreen Tea for two at The Athenaeum.

As London starts to turn green in the run up to RHS Chelsea Flower Show, tourists and locals will once again witness giant floral displays and visual tributes to the annual horticultural show appearing around the capital. Installations, events and experiences, exhibits, talks and walks will also take place thanks to ‘Chelsea Fringe’ – a new initiative that will run alongside the historic show.

The Athenaeum Hotel, who’s Living Wall was installed three years ago in conjunction with RHS Chelsea Flower Show, would like to encourage users of Pinterest to capture this activity and to ‘pin’ the best horticultural happenings for all the world to see!

Tim Richardson, the Chelsea Fringe Festival Director and Gardening Writer, says; “The living wall at The Athenaeum Hotel is living proof that Urban Landscape projects can be beautiful, glamorous and cutting edge.This project is a great opportunity to showcase everything that is being achieved in this area across the capital whether they are fringe projects or not. Good luck to everybody who enters, enjoy pinning!”

The Athenaeum Hotel will upload it’s own set of images on to Pinterest to help inspire participants and will ask entrants to tweet their boards with the hashtag#AthenaeumUrbanGardensCompetition.

The hotel’s General Manager Simon Wakefield will select the mood board that he feels best portrays the transformation of London and the creator will be sent a voucher for the award-winning Evergreen Tea for two people at The Athenaeum.

Simon Wakefield, General Manager of The Athenaeum Hotel says; “London is such an exciting place to be in the run up to RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the ‘Chelsea Fringe’ is a welcome addition for Londoners and tourists alike. We hope our competition will capture some of the action for as many people as possible to see. Our Living Wall continues to amaze and excite guests and passers-by – it is definitely a breath of wilderness in the midst of a city, which is what this competition and the ‘Chelsea Fringe’ are all about.’

The Living Wall at the athenaeum is a unique architectural landmark that has transformed the streetscape of Piccadilly; the outdoor living tapestry represents a fusion of the hotel with its Royal Parks environment – bringing the outside in. Three years after it was installed it is in full bloom and has become a valuable shelter for biodiversity. Highlighting the hotel’s participation in making London a greener place, it adds nature to the daily life of not only hotel guests but of London’s residents alike.

A lot of hotels have started to use Pinterest, but mainly to load their photos of the property onto the Pinboard – some of the efforts I’ve seen tend to tick a box to say “we’re on Pinterest” rather than be a true interactive contribution.  This is the first intuitive and interactive hotel promotion using Pinterest I’ve seen and it will be interesting to see how popular the campaign is.

 

The top Irish hotels getting social

Outside of Hotel Insight, my role in the hospitality industry allows me to get really involved in the Irish market, and for that reason, I was speaking with my friend Christina, the owner of CG Online Marketing based in Ireland, about her thoughts on hotels using social media in her primary market.  We had such a good conversation, that Christina offered to provide her insights into this area – so this post is courtesy of Christina!

Christina: “According to Failte Ireland’s visitor survey, everybody loves the Irish hospitality. In my mind, this means that the Irish charm and warm nature is perfect for social media – so here I’ve compiled a list of the top Irish hotel social media pages and campaigns and together we can you can judge if the Irish brand of hospitality translates as well online.

1)     First up is the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford

A stunning location on the south-east coast and close to Ardmore Bay, the Cliffhouse Hotel are lucky to have the ocean as a backdrop.

Twitter: @cliffhousehotel

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheCliffHouseHotel

These guys were born to tweet and never miss a chance to respond (great customer service).

Practically 4000 Twitter followers and high engagement levels. They have been known to tweet and serve simultaneously.

Their Facebook page is just as busy – plenty of pictures, updates and they even shared a few mentions on third party blogs – nice!

Not one question was left unanswered and the tone was consistently upbeat.

An encouraging start!

2)     Next we have, The Clanard Court Hotel, Athy, Co Kildare

Set on the outskirts of Dublin city, the Clanard Court is a popular local for those living in Athy.

Twitter: @ClanardCourt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClanardCourtHotel

Let’s look at their social media

This hotel set hearts aflutter with their ‘Love Match’ Facebook campaign to win a wedding

(the one of your dreams, of course).

The competition stages:

  • Couples upload their images
  • Four then progress to stage two
  • Each couple is filmed discussing their prospective partners
  • Fans had to guess the couples.
  • Winners crowned (Love match)

Full coverage here

What I loved about this campaign was the innovation and personalisation of it. Interactive, multimedia-driven (upload images and video interviews), personality (some cool questions like ‘What celebrity does your partner look most like?’) and the amount of time and commitment a campaign of this magnitude must have taken. This is more of a free-fall into social media, as opposed to a side-step and it is a testament to what social media can do for a hotel.

3)     In at 3 is The Maryborough Hotel, Douglas, Co. Cork

The Maryborough hotel (a client of mine, incidentally) is well-known for a warm and friendly service. They are constantly adding to the hotel (Pet Farm, Team Building and Dome) and are dedicated to their guests.

Twitter: @TheMaryborough

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maryborough.cork

Let’s look at their social media

The Facebook page has personality! Sales carries this function and it’s updated almost daily – sometimes with offers, something with links, and sometimes a just a feel-good shout out.

You may not note the strategy at play, in fact you might be forgiven for thinking there isn’t one at all…but, there is! The updates are all goal-driven – Talking about Santa’s visit, buying Christmas vouchers, Spa offers, etc. Mostly, there’s a sales message at play, but it’s packaged behind an energetic and happy voice, so fans respond.

#leaders11 Have to say the Energy is just Electric here in the Sherrard Suite Tonight!!!’

Plus – they use #tags for tweets and create a nice buzz for their offerings.

There are countless hotels in Ireland worth a mention, like The Cork Airport Hotel – winner of a number of marketing awards and promoters of an edgy, creative vibe (vibrating seats  – need we say more?) http://www.facebook.com/corkinternationalairporthotel, plus The Burlington Hotel in Dublin http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Burlington-Hotel-Dublin/102643726883 where every status update gets a picture (for those not in the know – this increases your chances of being seen by your fans).

Bio

Christina is owner of CG Online Marketing (www.cgonlinemarketing.com) and has ten years experience in online marketing communications from working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies. Christina is dedicated in providing unique online marketing solutions tailored to individual client needs, and ensuring that all online activities run smoothly and obtain the best ROI possible. Specialties:Online marketing Online media Social Media/Social Marketing SEO / PPC Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing.