news & features


Lemon Tree Inn Celebrates New Landscaping with Ladybug Release & Pollination Package

NAPLES, FLA.—Lemon Tree Inn of Naples, Florida celebrated its new landscaping by releasing thousands of ladybugs on January 17. The boutique hotel has also sprouted a new “Pollination Package”, which offers a three-night stay with two tickets to the Naples Botanical Garden and a packet of flower seeds. Lemon Tree Inn, which has a butterfly garden in its courtyard garden, releases ladybugs as needed to rid the plants of pests. The hotel will release another group of ladybugs this June in celebration of National Pollinator Week. “The butterfly garden that Hunter Reno helped us create in 2010 was exquisite,” said Sid Kalmans, owner of Lemon Tree Inn. “All the plants she selected thrived and Lemon Tree Inn’s garden became a desired destination for butterflies as well as our guests. With the new landscaping, we added bamboos, more native plants and further increased the number of plants butterflies love.” Master Gardener Hunter Reno, a mother of two, former travel journalist and supermodel, has built organic vegetable gardens for five-star restaurants and developed edible school gardens for public schools in Miami.

featured vendor video
Polly Products - Recycled Outdoor Furnishings Manufacturer Profile
Polly Products

Length: 3:43

Recycled plastic products, including benches and picnic tables--proudly made in the USA.

publisher's point of view
Storytelling Made Easy in Marriott’s ‘Heart of the House’ Social Platform

This past week Marriott International officially launched “Heart of the House,” an online social platform featuring real stories about guest service, community service, innovation, culture and recognition. I strongly encourage you to check out the site. Anyone can submit a story for consideration, including Marriott employees, the employees of franchisees, customers and guests. Submissions can include photos and videos. Stories must be from 50 to 100 words in length. The lead story on the site is a video of Gregory Scott, Engineer at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. Gregory overcame drug addiction and 18 years of homelessness prior to working at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Also on the site are photos of teams performing community service.

guest column
A Hotel Industry Future Without Vinyl Products?

Vinyl or PVC materials have been a staple in hotel projects for many decades. Vinyl offers performance and a cost value that other materials found hard to match for a very long time. Unfortunately PVC based materials also present an environmental headache that many hotel owners, builders and designers want to avoid in the future. Of course many in the vinyl industry would argue otherwise including the Vinyl Institute which represents many of the film and chemical manufacturers. Leaving aside the science for a moment which is very compelling against chlorine chemistry; you need only observe the marketplace to see where the interiors furnishings industry is headed. Scores of manufacturers each month advertise their products in design magazines; with the tag line “PVC free” in promoting their own products.

featured product
Hotel Operations in California, Chicago or New York?

Save up to $50,000 on your New Electric Shuttle Van from Zenith Motors! Zenith Motors is a manufacturer of 100 percent electric shuttle vans. We partner with our clients to help reduce their fleet costs and carbon footprint. Standard features: Seats up to 12 passengers, 90 mile range can be upgraded to 110 miles, Electric sliding door & step and Luggage rack. Contact Zenith to learn more about our Electric Shuttle Vans and voucher opportunities to reduce your upfront cost. Call (800) 630-9833. *Voucher programs available in California, 30 counties in New York and 6 counties in Chicago. Voucher amounts range from $25,000 to $50,000.

green hotel focus
Courtyard Property in California Nips Flower Beds in the Bud

TORRANCE, CALIF.—Courtyard Los Angeles Torrance/Palos Verdes is taking its green efforts to the next level with the completion of a landscaping renovation project that will not only save the hotel money but will help take the edge off of California’s severe drought. The unique project brings a low-maintenance, low-water outdoor environment to the hotel in Torrance, Calif. and demonstrates the Courtyard’s commitment to the surrounding community. Flower beds, hedges and turf have been replaced by drought-resistant plants. After a self-audit, the hotel also replaced areas of its irrigation system while adjusting timing and putting in new sprinkler heads. “Our hotel is an excellent representation of Marriott’s Spirit to Preserve program,” said David Zimmerman, General Manager.

upcoming events
Hotel Association of Canada National Conference
Hilton Toronto Hotel

Monday, February 02, 2015

The NAFEM Show
Anaheim, Calif.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York

Sunday, March 08, 2015

BD West
San Diego Convention Center

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

personnel profile
Denihan Hospitality’s Naomi Mirsky Helps Company Take Holistic Approach to Sustainability

NEW YORK—It is becoming a common story in the lodging industry: Executive passionate about sustainability convinces higher ups to create a full-time position dedicated to implementing best, green practices. Naomi Mirsky, Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation for New York based Denihan Hospitality Group, did just that in her company. She joined Denihan in 2011 but in 2013 she pitched the idea of Denihan moving her into a full-time sustainability position. A year later, the middle of last year, Denihan gave her the title and responsibilities she wanted. Now, a little more than half-way into her first year as Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation, Mirsky is helping to formalize Denihan’s commitment to efficiency and corporate social responsibility. Denihan, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique hotels, currently has 14 total properties open with one under development. Two hotels are fully owned, six are majority owned, and six are managed.

blog post
Article Prompts Mattress Recycling Suggestions
4 days ago

I posted an article this past week on mattress options that are more sustainable than those historically purchased by lodging establishments. I had several people respond with notes about places to take mattresses for recycling. Jeff Hanulec, Director of Engineering at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, suggested UTEC Mattress Recycling in the Boston area. UTEC Mattress Recycling is a nonprofit social enterprise within the Workforce Development Program at United Teen Equality Center (UTEC). I also heard from Kathy Baldwin, Executive Director, The Mustard Seed of Central Florida, about that organization’s mattress recycling program. It received The Sustainable Florida—2014 Best Practice Award for its achievements. John Austin wrote about Spring Back Charlotte Recycling, a nonprofit in the Charlotte, N.C. area that collects mattresses for recycling. If you do not happen to be in any of the above areas mentioned, Global Sustainability Solutions (GSS) is an outstanding company to work with in regard to mattress recycling.

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