Four Seasons Reveals $18 Million Website

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts just unveiled its new and improved website—that cost a jaw dropping $18 million to develop.

Why the change? The luxury hotel chain’s makeover is an effort to increase its online revenue. While the website attracts 30 million visitors every year, online bookings only represent 12% of the Four Seasons’ total revenue—only a 2% increase within the last five years.

The new website includes big, bright photography; a new booking process; social media integration; and personal profile technology, giving users the ability to set preferences and also giving the Four Seasons an opportunity to create a more targeted online experience.

The new look was designed to cater to the findings of the 2012 Four Seasons Luxury Trends Report, which concentrates on digital technology and shows the likes of luxury travelers. A vital factor in their findings was the need for constant mobile access. Four Seasons customers are regularly traveling with their smartphones and tablets, and in 2011, the company experienced a 200% increase in bookings completedon tablet device. The Four Seasons’ goal is to give its users the best possible mobile experience when booking a hotel, providing a scaled-down site for mobile phones that include videos, images and room rates.

Check out some of the other findings on the 2012 Four Seasons Luxury Trends Report and the new Four Seasons million-dollar website!

Hotel Rooms Get Healthy

It’s still pretty early in the new year, and you’re trying your best to keep up with your resolution of losing weight. But if you’re constantly traveling, it’s easy to give in to the hotel mini-bar snacks and letting your workout clothes never leave your suitcase.

It’s true—a steady, healthy diet and exercise isn’t quite the easiest task for travelers. But the Omni hotels are helping their guests stay on a healthy track by offering  “Get Fit Rooms.” The hotel room will come accommodated with a treadmill, two-pound dumbbells, an exercise mat, stretch cords, a canvas bag, a chilled bottle of water, a hand towel and a mini radio handset. New to working out? Guest services will also provide an informative booklet of helpful exercises to get you in healthy shape.

There are no more excuses to be “gym-shy,” because the only member of this gym is you. Keep that resolution alive, and make 2012 your year to stay healthy … even on the go!

Find out more about “Get Fit Rooms” today.

Fast Food, Room Service or Both?

Your business meeting is in an hour. You still have to make yourself look presentable, have the hotel hail you a cab and grab a quick bite to eat. Well, there’s no need to make that extra stop at the fast-food joint next door anymore—hotels like The Four Seasons and Public Chicago are catering their new fast-food room service to the fast-pace travelers and those who love instant gratification and convenience.

When you’re on the go, you don’t have time to enjoy the beautiful flower garnishing your plate. Some hotels offer the food bagged and ready for the travelers racing to their destination. The service is so fast, guests might not even see the delivery man or woman! In a short 15 to 20 minutes, the special delivery is dropped off outside their door.

But just because the room service is designed like a pizza delivery or drive-through, the food is far from pizza and cheeseburgers. Who says travelers can’t enjoy a tequila-lime chicken wrap or a beef brisket and crispy onion panini on the go?

Menus vary depending on location. Click here to check out meal options from the Four Season’s Fast and Fresh 15-Minute Room Service.

Tablet-based Concierge Programs Have Arrived

Aloft Hotels, part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide brand, is piloting a tablet-based concierge program that allows guests to research local dining options, entertainment activities and so much more.

No longer will guests have to talk with a real-life concierge to get directions or restaurant recommendations. They can check flight status and print boarding passes with just a few simple taps on an iPad screen. Hotels will be equipped with two concierge stations near the front desk lobby.

Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood, stated “our guests tend to be independent and tech-savvy so the tablet-based concierge program allows them to conveniently plan their schedules in a familiar way that enhances their overall experience.”

Aloft now joins various other hotel groups that are digitizing service. Some hotels have even made the move to put and iPad in all guest rooms, charging them if they choose to take the iPad with them.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? To find out more information on how hotels are integrating tablets check out travel.usatoday.com.