If you’ve had the pleasure of working in the hospitality industry for any amount of time, you’ll recognize a consistent theme among the people who drive it: it feels like a family. A family full of funny, smart, thoughtful, welcoming people who do their best to BRING their best to the job every day. And, while the realities of the pandemic have made it harder to be there for each other in person, we’re doing our best to get our Continental branch of the family back to the face to face, in person connections that are the cornerstone of the hospitality industry.
The newly renovated guest rooms at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center maximize space, highlight specially curated artwork, and prominently bring technology to the forefront to create a superior guest experience. The end result is six floors (plus renovated corridors and a new lobby bar) of completely redesigned guestrooms and suites unique to Auburn.
While many of us have been traveling again for nearly a year, visiting properties and meeting with partners and colleagues, last month seemed to mark the return of the conference circuit in the hospitality industry. From intimate industry gatherings to the mega trade shows, there is no denying that hospitality professionals were, and are, ready. We are ready to travel, to find solutions, to make deals, and to celebrate surviving the last 18 months.
The hospitality industry is home to some truly amazing folks. And at the Lodging Conference in Phoenix, we had an opportunity to celebrate one of them. Continental was honored to host a champagne toast to Gilda Perez-Alvarado, Global CEO of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, following her receipt of The Castell Award at the Lodging Conference. We love seeing people with a passion for the hospitality industry get recognized for their contributions. Thank you to Peggy Berg, Harry Javer, Emily Pavelka Mueller, Karin Harrington, and Michelle Finn and all those who helped put together a lovely event.
At its best, hotel design has the ability to transform us to another time and place. From polished marble floors and sweeping staircases to funky sculptures and bright colors, when we cross the threshold into a hotel lobby, we are entering a new world. That first step into a hotel may be a guest’s first glimpse into what makes the surrounding area special. The increased demand for a more unique and tailored hotel experience has pushed even the largest hotel brands to break out of the old cookie cutter designs and embrace what the local community has to offer by incorporating the area’s “feel” into the design, architecture, artwork and even events at the property level.
Routines are starting to change… again. Children are going back to school, and some adults are going back to the office… at least for some of the time. Vaccination opportunities are widespread and we’re seeing signs of herd immunity in many communities. Restrictions are being lifted and people are beginning to think about traveling.