Tag Archives: lifestyle hotels

RFP Season 2012 — Who do Gatekeepers think they are anyways?

Every year for the past 20 odd or so, I’ve spent 6 months or so working through the trials and tribulations of the Request for Pricing season.

During this tedious procedure (please someone invent a new one!), you must make your way through a ton of mazes, twists and turns and lastly, GATEKEEPERS.

Who are they and why do they hold such power?  We all have a ton of questions about these people.  They are entrusted to make decisions which could affect the outcome of a property’s overall occupancy and revenue per available room.

I believe that most independent hotels who rely on these marketing and distribution groups and who are entrusted with making wise decisions, actually have no clue what is really going on behind the scenes.  They have a RIGHT TO KNOW, that’s for sure.  Problem is, they are probably clueless about it.

There exists a huge potential for business that is being left on the table because of the GATEKEEPER.  They are actually CLOSING THE DOOR for one full year for that property.

It is clear that favoritism also plays a role.  What — are the Gatekeepers getting extra attention, freebies?  This is not what the RFP process is meant to achieve.  Commerce is held up by the opinions of these people.  Their job is to be alert to bringing opportunities and they should allow the people in charge of the bottom line, including the owner, in on what opportunities there are, keeping their opinion to the sidelines.

What a shame that the property GM’s and Owners haven’t an idea of what is really going on behind the scenes!

BLLA is an Elite Hotel Program that is not for the weak at heart.  We are here to drive business and awareness of boutique & lifestyle independent hotels, brands and collections on a global basis.  The Elite portion involves many other elements, so we do not fit in a box, i.e. the traditional consortia box (which is old, stinky and outdated).

Don’t ignore this if you are an Owner, a GM, a management company.  Opinions anyone?


El BLLA Capitan


And we’re back!

And we’re back! With acronyms, no less.

As you can see from our last few posts, we have been spending some time on definitions.

The boutique hotel segment of the industry is in a state of flux – it continues to grow and evolve.  And so, naturally, people are looking for a reliable and rooted source of information – information that defines and sets standards. Enter our 1st White Paper on the Definition of Boutique & Lifestyle, where we have laid out the groundwork for exactly that.

Our founder and chair, Frances Kiradjian, was recently interviewed in this special report by Michael Andre Adams (see below). Independent Thinking is an exploration of the opinions of industry professionals regarding the changing platform of hotels that call themselves “boutique”, the alliances that are being formed between these properties, and whether or not they are staying true to the definition of what truly is a boutique hotel.

Well, what is a boutique hotel anyway? Boutique hotels are CUIP (Yes, there is the acronym for you). Customized. Unique. Individual. Personalized.

Kiradjian also adds: “The most important defining features of boutique hotels are cultural and historical authenticity and that it provides interesting, unique services. Other important defining descriptors of boutique hotels include social spaces such as living rooms, libraries with social rooms and many high quality in-room features.”

After covering definitions relevant to the industry, the report continues to examine how boutique hotels and independent hotels are looking into opportunities to enter into groups and alliances with bigger brands and how staying truly independent and maintaining that special identity can become a challenge, but ultimately makes all the difference. Simply put, it’s about having the WOW factor.The WOW factor is an important part of the experience. It’s also attractive – hotels want to have it, and guests want to experience it. So, we ask ourselves, if you have the WOW, does size really matter? How much more important is the experience versus the size?

Continue reading this special report below while you enjoy some independent thinking of your own.

Here’s a link to Independent Thinking By Michael Andre Adams
Until next time,
the BLLA-gger

BLLA’s first Board meeting held in New York

The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association held its first board meeting today at the Wales Hotel New York City.  Participants came from as far away as Bangkok and included hotel owners, consultants, the official legal counsel to BLLA and others.

The most important discussion was on hotel membership.  Boutique & lifestyle hotels only please.  The first White Paper in the industry will help distinguish and define the association’s criteria.  More on this shortly.  Keep telling us what you think boutique and lifestyle properties are defined as.

Shown here: Christophe Vielle, Johanne Brierre, Tim Dixon, Frances Kiradjian, Becka Chester, Nelson Migdal, Michelle Finn

We’re in Miami! The Top Boutique Hotels will be announced on Wednesday!

Produced By The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association, The Awards Are Setting The Universal Benchmark For Recognition Of Quality In The Boutique Hospitality Sector – Event to Also Feature Hospitality CEOs In A “State Of The Industry” Panel

Miami Beach, Florida — Hospitality leaders and design luminaries from cutting-edge architecture, interior design, purchasing, consulting firms, and from across industry segments including restaurants, hotels, spas and more, will gather together at a special awards luncheon on September 14, 2011 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. during the second and final day of the Hospitality Design Boutique Exposition, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Categories for the awards include: Design & Architecture; Sustainability; Food & Beverage; Customer Service; Marketing & Sales; and Occupancy & RevPAR. The Awards will celebrate, for the second year, top performing boutique and lifestyle independent properties that have raised the bar.

Produced by the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA), the awards are becoming the universal benchmark for recognition of quality among the boutique and lifestyle lodging industry and, is the only one among many hospitality awards worldwide, that is dedicated exclusively to both the boutique and lifestyle hospitality industry sector. The Awards present opportunities for properties to be recognized for achieving overall success within a number of important and equally weighted categories.

The Luncheon Awards event includes a CEO Panel moderated by Jean-Michel Cousteau, famed Filmmaker and Ocean Explorer, on the subject of the ‘State of the Industry for Boutique & Lifestyle properties with a twist on environmental issues in hospitality’. The esteemed panelists include: Brooke Barrett, Co-CEO Denihan Hospitality, Dan Flannery, COO Morgans Hotel Group, Ingrid Summerfield, President and COO Joie de Vivre, and Raul Leal, President and COO Virgin Hotels.

The finalists that have excelled in the three categories and are being considered for the top awards are:

2011 Boutique Hotel of the Year:

  • The Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, NM
  • The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee, WI
  • The Jupiter Hotel, Portland, OR
  • Hotel Renew, Honolulu, HI


Lifestyle Hotel of the Year:

  • The Good Hotel, San Francisco, CA
  • The Surrey, New York, NY
  • W Hollywood Residences, Hollywood, CA
  • The Westlake Village Inn, Westlake Village, CA


Boutique & Lifestyle Hotelier of the Year:

  • Andrea De Trinidad, Mount View Hotel & Spa
  • Joe Kurth, GM, The Pfister Hotel
  • Richard Kessler, Owner/CEO, The Kessler Collection
  • Tim Dixon, Owner, The Iron Horse Hotel


The BLLA Pavilion where relationships are built and new products are discovered, showcasing for the 1st time at the HD Boutique Exposition and Conference that will take place on September 13th and 14th at the Miami Beach Convention Center, is paving the way for suppliers to show their support and interest in the boutique and lifestyle sector. Participating exhibitors in the BLLA Pavilion which is the largest footprint on the tradeshow floor, includes the following companies: Apaiser Bathware, Cobsa-USA, Elektra, Jean-Michel Cousteau by Maricoid, Concept Amenities, Iberia Tiles, Smarter Shows / Club + Venue Design Expo 2012, Central Lock & Hardware and the T-Y Group. Planned activities inside the Pavilion include a variety of entertainment, a flamingo exhibit, prize drawings each day and gift bags full of sample products from BLLA suppliers.

The luncheon features additional Sponsors including Swarovski who has custom designed the BLLA Award icon, Hospitality Design Magazine who is collaborating on the luncheon, Gilchrist & Soames, Getaway Packages, NIS Print, Rottet Studio, TripTV, the Scene Marketing Group, Principia, Fabric Innovations, TCHO Chocolate, Beanitos, Biscoff Cookies, Food Should Taste Good, Tyler’s Coffees, Goody Good Stuff and Fischer & Wieser. Most of these sponsors also contributed to the gift bags being given to each luncheon attendee, a BLLA tradition.

To attend the event with a single ticket or a table of 8, please go to www.tinyurl.com/bllaluncheon.


About The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA)
The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association is the first and only association dedicated to uniting the world’s boutique and lifestyle properties. Created to be the unifying voice of this distinctive subset within the hospitality industry, its goal is to unite the world’s collection of boutique & lifestyle properties and the suppliers that sustain them, offering them the opportunity to successfully compete on a level playing field with major hotel companies, as well as market themselves to meet the ever-increasing demand from discerning boutique-seeking clients. For more information, or to become a member, visit: www.blla.org. Book a stay at www.realboutiquehotels.com. Read about unique destinations at www.boutiquelodgingmagazine.com.