Monday, April 29, 2013

Secluded European Destinations

When traveling to Europe there are the common attractions and cities tourists like to visit, but what about going somewhere new? Here are a few little known about, but exciting travel spots.

The Matarranya Region in Southern Aragon, Spain is filled with rivers, mountains, and vineyards. One can go for a peaceful bike ride through the mountains. A notable place to visit here is a 15th century palace, Hotel Torre del Visco.


Ile de Noirmoutier, France is known for its beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast and diverse wildlife. It is a great place to go sightseeing as you can walk or ride a bike through the multiple villages on the island. 

Lodz, Poland is a lively town with its 19th century industrial center, Manufaktura, now featuring museums, shops, and cinemas. It is home to Hollylodz, an international film school with Oscar winning alumni. The Museum of Art also has the most extensive collection of Polish art.


Ikaria, Greece is known for being one of the geographic regions around the world where residents have the highest life expectancy (1 in 3 residents of this region lives over 90). This remote, small village provides an escape from the fast paced world of the tourist filled cities in Greece. In addition to swimming in the crystal clear, blue water, visitors can attend the popular Icarus Festival in the summer that has musicians and singers from around the world.

Which of these cities do you think would provide the most fascinating, new travel experience?

 For more hidden, but exciting European destinations please visit

Friday, April 26, 2013

Impressive Airport Hotels

Traveling for business can be tiring so why not stay at a hotel near your airport and save on transportation costs and time?? Let’s take a look at a few of our top airport hotel choices…

Kempinski Hotel Munich is located at the Munich, Germany Airport. This hotel has guest room soundproof windows and blackout curtains so that guests can unwind and if more relaxation is needed the Fit & Fly Spa equipped with an indoor pool, sauna, gym, and solarium is the perfect mini getaway.

The grand Hyatt Dallas/Fort Worth offers a complimentary shuttle service from the terminals at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Guests can stay in sound proof rooms with access to a rooftop pool, spa, cooking school, and nearby golf courses. The availability of 45 meeting rooms and 20 conference suites make it easy for travelers to go straight to their hotel after a long flight and get a head start on their work.

The Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong can be easily accessed from the Hong Kong International Airport by an indoor, climate controlled bridge. This hotel was ranked as the top airport hotel in the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Everything guests may want is conveniently located in the hotel including six restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, conference and meeting facilities, and a spa.

Which of these hotels do you think would make travelling for business more hassle free?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hotels: Today’s Art Attractions

One new way hotels are enticing guests is by appealing to art coinsurers. From paintings in the lobby, to a full art gallery, to simply using new and creative decorating ideas, the using of art to appeal to travelers seems to be a new trend amongst hoteliers. Check out a few of our artsy hotel picks…

The Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht has the largest in-hotel video art collection in the world. Not only is this a striking hotel, it doubles as an art gallery. The décor and visuals are designed by world renowned artists, Yael Bartana, Cristina Lucas, and Martha Colburn to name a few. This hotel is beloved by Amsterdam’s creative community, and has potential to become a huge success.

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris is an art lover’s paradise- only steps away from Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. Filled with paintings and photographs from international artists, the property also provides an art concierge to keep travelers informed about local Parisian art events.

The Faena Hotel Buenos Aires is just blocks away from the Faena Arts Center. Both are owned by the same company, the Faena Group, and have helped to create a lively art district. The center features contemporary art from all over the world, and the admission fee is waived for guests of the hotel. The property also offers a unique program allowing artists to stay at the hotel to work on their art.

As hotels focus on appealing to guests through art, which of these do you think would be the most interesting to visit?

For more information on artistic hotels please visit

Monday, April 22, 2013

Innovative, Eco-Friendly Gadgets

In honor of Earth Day, let’s take a look at a few tech items designed to save energy.

The Hue Lighting System revolutionizes lighting in your home. The light bulbs connect to a wireless network that with a smart phone app allows users to adjust the brightness, remotely control the lighting, and it even lets you change the color of the lighting. You can also use the app to set a timer so instead of using an alarm clock the lights will turn on when it’s time for you to wake up. Hue uses 80% less energy than standard light bulbs while providing a new, innovative lighting system.

The Conserve Switch AV does more than your average surge protector. It comes with a remote that wirelessly lets you turn off any devices that are plugged in. It also has two outlets that always stay on for devices that need continuous power.

The AM05 Hot + Cool fan is bladeless, but instead uses Air Multiplier technology that amplifies surrounding air to completely cool or heat a room. This fan uses 30% less energy than traditional ones and when combined with central air conditioning, it can lower energy bills by 20%. It is energy efficient because the fan automatically turns itself off once the room has reached the selected temperature.

This Earth Day celebrate by checking out one of these eco-friendly technologies!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tablets: A Must for Hotels

When tablets made their debut a few years ago it seemed that their primary use would be for surfing the web, reading books, watching movies, and playing games. However, now that they have more advanced features and capabilities, hotels are utilizing tablets to revolutionize the modern hotel guest experience.

Traditionally, Concierges stored information regarding nearby entertainment and restaurants in manuals or binders. Through the use of tablets such as iPads, hotels have begun to store this information as well as restaurant menus and local events electronically. 

Aside from informational storage hotels are also utilizing tablets in ways that enhance a guest’s hotel experience. For example, InterContinental Hotels use the YouTube app on iPads as a way of providing guests with a step by step video on how to use the tablets to access information. The hotel brand also provides Skype and Face Time as a way that guests can communicate directly with hotel staff should they have any questions.

Sheraton Hotels is another brand jumping on the tablet bandwagon. They have partnered with Microsoft to bring PixelSense to hotel lobbies. PixelSense resembles a normal coffee table, but has a large touch screen display resembling a large tablet type screen. Through PixelSense guests can find area attractions, interact with other hotel guests, or play games.

And just when you thought tablets could only be used by hotels as informational tools, Citizen M Hotels in New York and London are currently testing MoodPad controllers as a way for guests to personalize their hotel rooms. The MoodPad is a small device that allows guests to change the room lighting, play music, control the temperature, open the blinds, control the TV and the list goes on.

Well there you have it – it seems to us that tablets are on the verge of being a standard amenity in properties worldwide. Which of these uses for tablets would you find most innovative and useful during your next hotel stay?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Top Tech Hotels

In the increasingly competitive hotel market, hotels need to have the latest and greatest technology in order to stand out. Let’s take a look at some of the most technologically advanced hotels.

Citizen M, New York: Here guests can check themselves in with touch screen computers. Once they enter their rooms,guests can customize their stay with an electronic mood pad that allows them to change the color of the lighting, music, digital art on the TV, and even select mood enhanced wake up calls. 

Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel, Miami: In addition to standard technology features, all guestrooms are equipped with desktop PCs that include Microsoft office and printer connectivity. Hanging privacy signs on guestroom doors are a thing of the past through the use of notification devices, allowing guests to simply press a “do not disturb” button or by calling housekeeping.

Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas: This hotel has Control 4 technology, which can detect when a guest walks in the door and addresses them by their name. The room itself can also turn on the lights, change the temperature, and open the curtains. And instead of having to swipe a traditional keycard to access your room, this hotel has radio frequency identification data cards which sense when you’re near your room and will unlock the door for you. Talk about hands free!

The Wit Hotel, Chicago: An IP infrastructure system throughout the hotel allows for better service - requests from guests are sent to staff members’ mobile devices. Guest rooms have sensor activated climate controls that can detect guests’ location within the room and adjust it to their body heat. Rooms also have VoIP touch screen phones (a little Percipia Networks shout out), which enhance guests’ stays by allowing them to easily request room service or access their flight information.

Many hotels are now looking for more innovative amenities and services to offer their guests. All of these hotels have cutting edge technologies, but which one appeals to you the most?

For more information on tech savvy hotels please visit

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Could your next office be in a hotel?

With apps, smart phones, and tablets making it easier for people to work on the go, the amount of people working outside of traditional office spaces seems to be on the incline. As part of this trend, hotels are recognizing the demand for a temporary work space - wherever it may be needed, whether it be for a group meeting or personal use – and have begun to partner with a company called LiquidSpace. Liquidspace allows anyone to reserve meeting rooms online or through a mobile app at various spaces and hotels.

Marriott hotels is the first chain to begin utilizing this type of service through the provider Workspace on Demand. Through this service customers can pay per hour to use a conference room and Wi-Fi whether they are a hotel guest or simply need to conduct a business call. Currently, this amenity is only available in San Francisco, Washington D.C, Atlanta, and Houston as Marriott is testing out how many people will actually take advantage of the service.

Westin Hotels and Resorts is also doing this with Tangent. Over forty of its properties are expected to provide this service by the end of this year. These hotels offer meeting rooms designed for small groups as well as for individual work. They also conveniently offer office supplies, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, printers, and televisions.

Do you think workers will make use of these new, innovative hotel offices or continue to do business in the traditional way? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Attracting Millennials: The Hotel Industry in 2013

What is one aspect all successful hotels have in common? Good design, regardless of price. Guests are attracted to a stylish yet functional design. In recent years, the demand for stylish hotels at lower prices is increasing mostly due to the wants of millennials. Many hotels are focusing on redesigning their properties to attract more style oriented guests.

Marriott is one hotel chain that is completely redesigning their Courtyard properties to meet this need. They have already redesigned 650 of their Courtyard hotels, and expect to have this change applied to the rest of their hotels by the end of 2013.

Travelers want new, progressive designs while still being functional in order to accommodate all their tech devices. Travelling for work can be very stressful and guests want their hotel room to be a break from stress. Marriott has an ongoing process of researching what their guests want to get out of their stays. It wasn't room service, many restaurants, or a spa; they just want a pool, great design, and great customer service.

As the need to appeal to millennials continues to grow, will hotels find more creative ways to make themselves stand out?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Exciting New Hotel Openings

With so many hotel options to choose from, new hotels are becoming more aware that creativity and unique offerings are a must in an effort to set them apart within the market. Here’s a brief look at a few hotels set to open this year that are doing just that…
The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia was designed in 1817 and used to be a palace. Beginning in May, guests can get the experience of living like Russian Royalty, something you definitely can’t get from an average hotel. Rooms on the 5th floor have personal terraces providing breathtaking views. The hotel will also feature two signature restaurants and a spa, and with it’s close proximity to the Hermitage Museum this may be just the place for tourists to stay!

The Shangri-La hotel in London, opening this May, is in the 95 story Glass Shard Skyscraper, which stands 1,016 feet high making it one of the tallest buildings in Europe. The property will have a fitness center and an indoor infinity pool that looks out onto the city. The individual rooms will have all of the latest technologies, including a bed that molds to your body with contouring technology. The property will also feature a café with an extensive menu with food from around the world – so guests may just be able to be in Europe while eating as if they are staying in the Caribbean.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Spa in Hawaii by Hyatt is set to open this summer and will include a Japanese - Hawaiian fusion restaurant by Iron Chef star Masaharu Morimoto. Visiting Andez Maui might be worth it just for the food alone, but the grounds are also spectacular. Outdoor infinity pools cascade into the ocean, and there will be a 15,000 square foot spa and seven luxury villas.

 Are you planning your vacation after reading this? Which would be on the top of your “Places To Visit” list?

Friday, April 5, 2013

A New Way to Access Facebook

While rumors of Facebook creating a smart phone have been denied, the company does plan to release a new interface for Android smart phones. When users unlock their phone, the first thing they will see on their home screen is what will be called Coverfeed, which works in a similar way to the Newsfeed feature on the actual site. This can prove to be useful and innovative for the many people who check their Facebook accounts first thing in the morning.

Users will be able to access Facebook from anywhere on phones while still having access to all the other apps they may have. Another feature of Facebook Home is the ability to respond to Facebook messages while not interrupting the use of other applications at the same time. Facebook Home will also integrate all Facebook messages and text messages from the same friends onto one screen.

Facebook Home will be available for users to download beginning April 12th 2013, but only on select devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and the HTC One X. Facebook has also partnered with HTC to create the HTC First smart phone that will be less expensive than top selling smart phones and include standard features, but will be optimized for Facebook Home. The goal of this new interface is to have smart phones be centered on people instead of apps. Will smart phone users find Facebook Home more innovative and easier to use or will they prefer to stick to the traditional way of accessing their Facebook accounts?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Targeting a New Group of Hotel Guests

Read any hotel news or rate special and you will more than likely find that properties seem to gear themselves towards two groups, adults and children. But what about the Beiber-loving, Converse-wearing group that makes up so much of our population? With that in mind hotels have begun trying to draw the attention of the teenager market; hotel companies such as Omni Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and Marriott have begun to tap into this important segment.

One way hotels are doing this is by offering teen concierges that find exciting new activities to keep teens entertained during their stay. These teen concierges are staffed with people between the ages of 18-25 so that teen guests feel valued and hopefully want to visit again on their own once they are older (or may even entice their parents to take a trip back). Teens are offered various on and off property activity options while being able to have time away from their parents, but still be in a safe environment with other guests their age.

Targeting teens is an important way to attract potential hotel guests. And because teens are often glued to their smart phones and social media accounts, hotels may gain some free advertising. Sounds like an all around win to us! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Up in the Air and While on Vacation – Airline and Hospitality Mobile Technology

As with the rest of society Airports seem to move their focus towards new technologies, with the overall goal being the improvement of customer service. As part of this airlines have shifted focus with the use of mobile optimized websites and apps.

Mobile apps allow customers to see their wait time and flight delays. Wait times are one of the main annoyances listed by travelers today, and being able to track them is a major plus in our book!

Another new technology is a GPS style system which allows customers to get directions to their specific gate number. No more looking lost in unfamiliar airports! It seems like airports need these new technologies in order to advance and draw more customers.


With all the perks associated with mobile applications it's no wonder that mobile applications seem to be hitting various markets. Take a look at us for example. Percipia Networks' mobile applications allow hotel properties to access their guests even before stepping foot on the property. Guests can make changes to their reservations or locate restaurants and entertainment near their hotels all from their mobile phones. And because hotels can feature their restaurants and spas directly to their hotel guest, mobile apps have become a great and relatively inexpensive way for hotels to market themselves. So what do you think? Would you use your mobile device to customize your flight or stay?