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Showing posts from July, 2008

Checking into the Ivory Tower

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as published in Hong Kong Business

Beyond mere five-star, there exists a level of luxury that transcends any hotel rating system. A rarefied statusphere where the experience is valued and remembered long after the account is settled. Roderick Eime rose briefly above his station to glimpse life at the very top.

Long envied for their premium cachet and set amid dramatic, blockbuster locations, New Zealand's ultra exclusive 'Super Lodges' continue to earn the praise of luxury travellers and hard-nosed critics alike. Not to be outdone, Australia has launched a counterattack and brought the battle right up to their transTasman cousins. We compare the “front row” from each side.



Grasmere Lodge Cass, South Island NZ

Playing heavily on their dramatic location near Arthurs Pass, Grasmere Lodge will always command the attention of those looking for quiet and comfort in a nostalgic colonial style. Set amidst the spectacular Southern Alps, you'll be wondering which Hollywood epic you&…

Greening Hotels - Saving the Planet or the just the Bottom Line?

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for HM Magazine

The rush for ‘green’ credentials and kudos has many people asking questions – and none more so than the travelling public.

The travel industry as a whole is drawing both praise and criticism for its impact on the environment. Carbon-burners like airlines, road transport and cruise ships are under scrutiny for their obvious greenhouse gas emissions, but hotels and resorts are not immune either.

Luxury travel is seen, with some justification, as indulgent and pampering with scant regard paid to the consequences of such hedonistic and selfish actions. Golf courses suck fresh water from precious reserves while locals gather drinking water in leaky buckets. Outdoor floodlights illuminate empty tennis courts as nearby barefooted villagers cook over smoky stoves and candlelight. We’ve all seen it.

As probing and questioning eyes fall upon the hospitality industry, the industry is responding with various mechanisms and programs, some genuinely practical and effective – others less…

Expertise to Go - The Great Outsourcing Debate

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It’s no longer headline news that many hotels, chains and even humble guest houses are outsourcing many of their non-core activities.

Sometimes it’s as simple as house-keeping and maintenance, in some cases entire hotels are sold with the management company simply retaining operating rights under an agreement with the new owners, usually a large funds management company.

Regardless, it’s a long, sometimes hard, self-analysis that requires identification of core competencies and a commitment to performing those to optimum efficiency.

The criticisms of outsourcing are many, especially when they involve job losses to overseas contractors; airline maintenance and call centres being just two that spring to mind. The overriding issues here are loss of employment opportunities to locals and questions about service quality and control. That said, there are times when outsourcing makes good sense and creates winners all around.

Here at HM Magazine, outsourced public relations is one of the commone…