Web Exclusive: Property execs talk ’23 expectations

Hotel Business spoke with executives from hotels around the world to see what they expect for travel in 2023, and what they are doing to attract guests.

Lyle Tanaka, GM, Park James Hotel, Menlo Park, CA

“There is a sign that hangs over our front door that reads, ‘No strangers here, just new friends’ and it’s more than just a slogan, it’s a way of life here at Park James (pictured above). With the return to business travel, we’ve found that guests are eager to socialize and network again, but are in many instances struggling to get completely comfortable in a post-pandemic society.

We have already begun to offer ways for guests to easily reconnect with colleagues and other guests and will continue to make that a major focus in 2023. The return of happy hour has been a huge hit for both business associates and locals to casually gather at the end of the day, share drinks and laughs and listen to live music. Other special programming we offer provides opportunities for strangers to meet and learn something new together that inspires conversation—from exclusive wine tasting events to panel discussions with experts from NASA, relationship experts and wellness experts who focus on healing mind, body and spirit.

Pets have become a more important part of people’s lives than ever before and in 2023 we will be not just pet-friendly, but pet-forward. Pets receive their own personal welcome notes, plush toys, cushy dog beds and water bowls to use during their stay, filtered water, and of course, organic dog treats. We also make it easy for owners to bring their dogs to dinner, happy hour or breakfast with ample outdoor dining and healthy options guests can order for their furry friends.”

Brandt Tiffany, GM, Cincinnati Marriott RiverCenter

Cincinnati Marriott RiverCenter

“Looking ahead to 2023, our team at the Cincinnati Marriott RiverCenter focuses on delivering an exceptional guest experience. While Q1 of 2023 may see some economic stress, we are following the guidance of tourism experts who project that there is pent-up demand seeking a full-service hotel experience. Our team will capitalize on this by delivering a differentiated environment where guests can work, relax and play.

The guests traveling now are energized to meet with people face-to-face and desire a place where they can work effectively and socialize. With our recent renovation, a newly branded restaurant and focused service strategy, we are poised to deliver better for our guests, team members and partners than ever before. We have a mindset that guests have plenty of choices in the area. We want to take every opportunity to validate their choice of staying with us in every interaction. Service and experience will differentiate all sectors of hospitality in 2023.”

Tamara Mims, president/CEO, Four Sisters Inn (multiple locations in CA)

Blue Door Inn, Four Sisters Inn Collection

“In 2023, travelers will continue to seek an environment conducive to relaxing and unwinding while easily switching gears to working remotely when needed. At Four Sisters, we are making a significant investment into upgrading WiFi infrastructure to ensure reliable and fast connections to meet this need.

We anticipate an increased demand for accommodations that provide personalized services, daily housekeeping and a well-versed, onsite guest services team that can provide insightful knowledge and tips on the local area.

Lastly, value. Value is one of the most significant factors of consideration when guests are looking to plan their next stay. The complimentary extras that Four Sisters Inns provides with each stay, such as our signature breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese hour, freshly baked cookies and WiFi are big benefits to our guests.”

Stephen Power, GM, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

“In 2023, luxury guests will continue to look for personalized experiences when traveling. Here at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, we will continue to curate unique experiences including the evolution of our wellness programming and another “pop-up” food and beverage offer in our Terrace Courtyard. Along with activations, our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to elevate the service experience, looking for opportunities to further individualize each guest’s stay.”

Jason Bossenberry, director of sales & marketing, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA

“In regards to 2023, due to our close proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, we anticipate a continued need for small, elevated meetings where executives can gather for high-level encounters that go beyond the typical board room.

There seems to be a trend in hosting exclusive, one-of-a-kind culinary encounters for small groups that want to be productive on the business-side, but also have time to enjoy a meal together. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay has the ability to facilitate the small group demands because of the resort’s highly regarded dining options including our breathtaking oceanview signature restaurant Navio and meeting and event spaces throughout the property.”

John Woods, GM, Skyline Lodge, Highlands, NC

Skyline Lodge

“2023 has already proven that travelers will continue seeking outdoor adventures and authentic experiences at unique locations. At Skyline Lodge, we certainly offer picturesque mountain views (even home to the only steakhouse with mountain views in the area), but we also welcome those seeking to journey through the woods instead of just having them in their sights.

John Muir’s ‘Into the Woods I Go to Lose my Mind and Find My Soul’ epitomizes our philosophy. From their first step on to the mid-century motor lodge, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired property, guests are greeted with lawn games and fire pits for community gathering—though they likely first had to venture past the Highlands Excursions open-air adventure vehicle awaiting guests for a local guide to the surrounding waterfalls. This is the year we settle into our property and offer more activations, personalized experiences and increased lively programming.”

Logan Miller, GM, Nanuku Resort Fiji

Nanuku Resort Fiji

“The past several years have not only created pent-up demand for travel, but a desire to check bucket list destinations off lists, prioritizing locations that provide an immersive experience into a local culture. In 2023, Nanuku Resort will be focusing on ever-expanding opportunities for guests to connect with the local community—not only to give back, but also to discover firsthand why Fijians are repeatedly named as the happiest people in the world. While Nanuku provides a breathtaking location with beautiful design, what resonates with guests the most time after time is the genuine warm welcome and care that they receive from our tribe during their stay. One recent guest even decided to name their unborn child after one of our staff members! Creating a safe environment where people can recenter through wellness treatments, seize the day with adventure activities, and create meaningful and lasting connections and lifelong memories filled with Bula spirit is how we at Nanuku Resort will help guests thrive in 2023.”

Eduardo Segura, GM, The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, Los Cabos, Mexico

The Cape, a Thompson Hotel

“We find more and more that our travelers are prioritizing sustainability; one of the things we’ve already implemented is the elimination of paper in the guestroom, as all menus and hotel information are available through QR codes or via The Cape channel on our in-room televisions. Providing interesting minibar and amenity options with a local focus and that are unique to the destination also remains important to guests; we look forward to introducing several new products to our in-room offerings soon, including mini versions of our most popular cocktails (mixer kits) and gorgeous hand-woven robes made in Oaxaca (these will also be sold in our boutique). And personalized welcome amenities also remain popular. We want to learn more about our guests during the pre-arrival process, so that we may create ever more special, tailored and unique arrival experiences.”