Hospitality Technology

Avanade Mobile Applications

I will admit that I am personally very hesitant to endorse mobile applications and usually write most of them off as toys, with no real advertising value.  However, there are several that are so great that I can’t help but want to use them and talk about them.  Avanade certainly makes apps worth talking about.  This app connects travelers and their destinations in a very useful and meaningful way, for both parties.  The traveler can download the app and immediately begin interacting with the hotel through the virtual concierge.

The guest may now pre-order room service, spa treatment, and other services that are made available on the app.  The many different tabs focus on the guest’s experience in every area.  They may arrange their transportation, review different forms of entertainment, interact with other guests, order amenities, control their billing, and even use their phone/tablet as a room key!  The app’s social media integration also encourages additional reviews, check-ins, and Facebook likes/comments.

The best part of this for the hotelier is that all of these interactions are stored and easily integrated with CRM platforms, as well as the built in analytics cloud that lets you really get to know your customers.  By keeping track of their purchasing and travel habits, you will be able to better predict sales, market your services, and create meaningful content for social media!


This innovative idea projects user-controlled images onto a restaurant dining table turning the table surface into an interactive menu.  The diner may now control everything involved in his or her dining experience.  Once at the table diners would be able to immediately order, if they want, or sit and peruse detailed pictures and descriptions of every item available.  The additional pictures are certainly an advantage over the traditional menu, as well as being able to order without having to summon the waitress/waiter or having them hovering.  The interface also provides the estimated wait time until your food arrives.

Another cool feature of this product is that the guests can peek in on a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen if they desire giving the restaurant great transparency and customer loyalty.  The product also allows for customers to play games, either solo or with each other while waiting, customize the look of their table, and even order a taxi home. 

Many locations have been experimenting with using iPads and tablets as menus.  By doing that they are not only putting thousands of dollars in technology in harm’s way, but also making the restaurant a target for thieves.  By projecting the screen onto the table, the E-Table keeps the electronics out of the hands of the guests and increases the size of the interactive surface significantly.

Hydro Floors

Picture a wedding reception at a hotel where everybody starts off with a big fancy meal, in a room full of tables.  Everybody has a great time, the toasts are made, and then the tables are cleared and everybody dances.  Now everybody is asked to clear the dance floor and once they’re clear, the floor begins to sink.  As the floor lowers it begins to flood and upon reaching its lowest point there is now a swimming pool in the middle of the room!  So that’s why the invitation said to bring your bathing suit!

Not only a great way to create extra space in the building, this is a great way to turn some heads!  Hydro Floors create an experience that will not soon be forgotten.  This product is not only for pools but can be used for Jacuzzis in guest rooms and common areas as well.

Smart Televisions

Although I’m sure this product is not news for most of our readers, I couldn’t write this article without mentioning it.  The introduction of smart televisions into hotels is a guaranteed method to WOW your guests.  While a WIFI connection was once considered luxury, the future has now arrived!  The travelers can lay back and SKYPE with their friends, enjoy a Netflix movie, interact with the hotel staff and other guests through various applications, and everything else the internet has to offer.  The only problem is that they might never want to come out of their rooms!

With a sophisticated network of these devices, the possibilities are endless.  The hotel can host a huge variety of events like online poker tournaments, online conferences, and video game tournaments.  As with everything else done online, all of this can be personalized for the guest and at the same time collect valuable marketing information for the hotel.

By Michael Faulds

Dispenser Amenities Sends AVIVA on the World’s First Polar Carbon Neutral Voyage

Quark Expeditions has combined the spirit of adventure with a deep sense of environmental responsibility and a strong desire to educate others about the wonders of the polar region.

Quark has the largest and most diverse fleet of passenger vessels in the Antarctic,  that include the ‘Sea Spirit’, an all-suite ship, and the ‘Ocean Diamond’, offering the first carbon neutral voyages in polar travel history.

 Our AVIVA Dispensers will play the small but important role of ensuring that no disposable plastic is needed for shower and bath amenities on both the Sea Spirit and Ocean Diamond, throughout their lifetimes.  Quark’s Carbon Neutral projects ensure that all voyagers have a green experience! 

Quark is not your average cruise line.  They specialize in niche voyagers that are looking to go places that regular cruise lines can’t take them. The company was the first to transit the Northeast Passage with commercial passengers, the first to take AVIVA Chorme Dispenser on Quark Cruise Linestravelers to the ‘far side’ of Antarctic continent, and the first to complete a passenger hot air balloon ride on an expedition to the North Pole.   Their smaller ships are designed to be able to maneuver into more remote areas and are also equipped with enough zodiacs, so that all passengers aboard can immediately go exploring should the ship encounter any marine wildlife, or need to reach a shore not equipped with docking facilities.

For guests who like to be pampered, (aka all of them), the Ocean Diamond features an onboard massage and wellness center, flat screen TVs and DVD players in every cabin, exterior view in all cabins, and an onboard doctor.  The spacious and luxurious yacht-like Sea Spirit is well appointed with features such as marble bathrooms and teak balconies.

Quark also makes sure that by taking people to the Antarctic that they are also educating them, to help realize the importance of preserving the sensitive area.  It’s hard not to care about it once you’ve seen it for yourself!  Every passenger is automatically enrolled in the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute with a donation made on their behalf, at no extra charge.  There is also a polar library and expert in residence program available, for patrons who are interested and expert staff of knowledgeable people who are incredibly experienced and ready to share all they know about the Polar Regions.

By Michael Faulds and Liz Giles

Hospitality Groups Worldwide are Racing to Keep Pace with the Chinese Economy

The race is on!  Whether it is to get hotels erected in China, or to accommodate the massive wave of Chinese travelers coming out of China, it seems like the entire hospitality industry is scrambling to get their share of this growth-trending market.

Out-bound Travel from China

There is wide speculation from several media and Government sources that China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest source of outbound tourism by the end of this year.  Massive economic growth in China has quadrupled the average income in the country and unleashed a wave of spending that has left the hospitality industry, in particular, reeling!  Early in 2012 an around-the-world tour with a price tag of over $100,000 US, took only 13 seconds to sell out in China. The Washington post reported that in 2012 Chinese tourists spent $85 billion overseas. 

Since streamlining visas for Chinese tourists, the USA has experience a phenomenal increase in tourism from the country, as well as a very high level of spending from those visitors.  Ferdinando Guerra, of the LA County Economic Development Corporation stated that “the Chinese actually spend more than double the average international visitor, in California”.

Thailand was certainly enjoying the fruits of increased tourism from China boasting 2.5 million visitors.  Hotels in the country, in many cases, were filled to capacity and tourists reported paying double the usual costs for various things.  Australian Tourism and Transport Forum Acting Chief Executive, Trent Zimmerman, attributed Chinese visitation to a 33% rise in international arrivals and $3.2 Billion in spending.  He also predicted that Chinese citizens taking overseas vacations would number over 100 million by 2015.  In April, 2012, Matt Thompson, project director for the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, attributed China’s increased outbound tourism to expansion of China’s middle class, increased support from Government, relaxation of visa application procedures, and the appreciation of Chinese currency.

Hospitality Development in Mainland China

Perhaps the only thing outpacing the excitement from the explosion of Chinese tourism abroad, is the frantic race to erect hotels to service the economic boom (and business related travel that goes with it) within China itself.  Alongside the dramatic increase in average income enjoyed by Chinese citizens combined with their vast population, comes a comparable increase in business related travel to China.  CNN Travel predicts that business related spending on travel to China will exceed that spent on traveling to the USA by about $12 Billion.

China is growing so fast that it is believed that development and increasing use of groundwater that many of the country’s most developed centers are actually sinking.  This is believed to be the cause of a 26 foot-long crack that emerged at the Shanghai Tower Project (see right). The 4th Annual China Hotel and Resort Summit is scheduled for June 20th-21st, in Shanghai, China to discuss development opportunities and challenges.

The reaction from the Hospitality community has been similar across most major organizations whose collective reaction is an urgent need for rapid expansion of their service within the country.  Most worldwide brands are adapting their proven strategies into the market but they are facing fierce competition from a domestic brand with big plans of its own!

Ji Qi (shown left), founder of Hanting Inns, plans to own the world’s biggest hotel chain by 2020 by opening a hotel every 2 days. “I first got the idea from a book introducing Accor, about how they open small hotels with less expensive but cozy, clean rooms,” Qi told CNN’s Richard Quest.  Qi keeps his hotels cost-effective by putting the majority of investment money into the guest rooms, while keeping the lobbies and common areas very simple and cost effective, in order to keep prices low.  This careful planning and bold strategy has enabled Qi to offer quality “no-frills” rooms beginning at $15 a night across the 1000 hotels owned in China mid 2012.

On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has been creating some of the most breathtaking resort in the world in China. Opening August 1, 2013 is the Sheraton Bailuhu Resort, Huizhou (shown right).  This resort is built in the beautiful setting between the South China Sea and the Pearl River Delta.  As much as they are promoting the luxurious amenities at the facility, Starwood is emphasizing the business services and perks available there.  The most intriguing Chinese Starwood location, in my opinion, would be the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort (see featured image at top).  This giant horseshoe shaped structure seems to rise up right out of the ocean; it is certainly a landmark to remember!

In turn, Dispenser Amenities’ products are beginning to establish their own presence within mainland China.  Most Four Points by Sheraton locations and Aloft Beijing have already installed their custom made AVIVA Wave White front BeijingDispensers, while the rest are scheduled to be installed soon.  Also look for our custom WAVE units in the spa at the Four Seasons Beijing! (shown left)

By Michael Faulds


Come Enjoy Great Tradeshows With Dispenser Amenities

AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show

The 2013 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade show will take place from March 26-29 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX.

AAHOA is one of the fastest-growing organizations in the hospitality industry and is the perfect setting for Dispenser Amenities to showcase Dispenser Amenities full product offering. We look forward to joining thousands of hoteliers for several days of networking and entertainment. Building on the convention’s theme of being’ Inspired by the Past, Building for the Future, we are introducing our newest and most forward design – iQon. The world’s most beautiful and elegant shower Dispenser. There is nothing finer!

For advance product information/samples or to schedule a meeting, please contact

Please stop by and visit us at Booth #206. We look forward to seeing you.

The Hi-Connect Design

This show is just entering its second year and is already drawing attention from key international markets. This innovative concept features an open floor layout with “vignettes” that display products in virtual hotel rooms as they would be used at the location. This now patented design will only be found at the Hi-connect show. It features designers, suppliers, architects, hotel executives, owners and developers.

Join us at the Gaylord Opryland Resort& Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee, April 10 – 12, 2013 where we are showcasing ourbeautiful Dispensers.

Guest passes for this event are available and we invite all of our newsletter subscribers to take advantage while the supply last. We would be pleased to introduce our valued subscribers around at this fabulous event! Contact for information.


The Marine Hotel Association Annual Conference & Trade Show

MHA is back to Orlando for its 28th Annual Conference & Trade Show and you can bet that Dispenser Amenities would not miss it! Being held again at the landmark Peabody Hotel, April 21-23, 2013, it is the Marine Hospitality Industry’s Premier event. MHA is run by and for the cruise line industry and is dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of the cruise experience. This event provides the forum for continued and open dialog between global cruise companies and suppliers.

Featured speaker is Alvin Dennis,MHA Board President; V.P. Purchasing, Norwegian Cruise Line and Guest Speaker Karl Holz, President, Disney Cruise Line.

Dispenser Amenities is a proud supplier to many leading cruise companies. We invite you to visit us at Booth #526

Esthetique SPA International Toronto 2013

The ESI SPA show will take place in Toronto on April 28 & 29, 2013 at the Downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Now in its thirteenth year this show is one of the most popular industry events in North America. It features the most comprehensive educational program available to spa owners with over 131 speakers scheduled to present. Dispenser Amenities’ International Sales Manager, Andrew Davis will be there to present our beautiful dispenser and bath liquid offering featuring the brand new iQon Dispenser line with a waterproof branding label chamber faceplate.

By Michael Faulds and Liz Giles

wave brownhouse rituals and beekind custom faceplate dispensers on white background dispenser amenities

WAVE Shower Dispensers are the Perfect Choice for Spas, Resorts and Upscale Hotels

The WAVE Shower Dispenser by Dispenser Amenities is sleek, sexy, appealing, and adds excitement to any shower, in any setting.  WAVE Dispensers not only provide cost savings but they also bring a level of sophistication and elegance that has been endorsed by some of the world’s largest hotels, Home2Suites and Best Western but it has also been endorsed by some of the world’s most prestigious spas such as the Four Seasons.

All WAVE Shower Dispensers are tamper-proof and 100% secure so your patrons can be assured that the product contained is absolutely pure and fresh.  They can accommodate both bulk refills of your choice liquid product or sealed cartridges.  The WAVE Dispenser is easy to use; simply open the locking lid and pop out the refillable 16 ounce chamber.  Top it up with your choice of bulk liquids and then pop the chamber back into place.  All of the units are locking so that the liquids can only be accessed by your staff and not the guests.  For additional security, liquids can be provided in a closed cartridge system.

WAVE-Labeled grouping (2)It is easy to customize your WAVE Dispenser to reflect and enhance your showers or present your liquid amenity selection to your guests.  Dispenser Amenities also offers three liquid amenity selections with the option of free designer easy to read amenity labels.  We manufacture superior quality, environmentally friendly, lightly fragranced liquids, WindRiver, WAVE Sensation Spa, and Green Tea.  Your guests will love them!

WAVE Dispensers also feature the largest faceplate customizable surface area of all amenity dispensers in the world allowing locations to fully utilize their creative capabilities should they desire to personalize the unit to fit their property or liquid.

Is it time to change your shower amenity program???

No matter the color of your Dispensers, they’re GREEN!!

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