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January 14, 2009

NIFTY NUGGETS: Hotels Magazine

Filed under: hotels — Chris @ 12:14 am
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I love Hotels Magazine. (www.hotelsmag.com) Once a month I get the old fashioned hard copy (–still!) and curl up with it before I go to bed. By the time I’m finished, I’ve ripped out all kinds of cool insider news for my travel blogs. Here are a few nuggets I pulled from the January issue:

  • >PAPER SWIMSUITS: How many times have you stayed away from a beautiful hotel pool or hot tub because you forgot to pack your bathing suit and don’t feel like spending a bundle for a new one? For hotels hoping to keep things going swimmingly, a company called FMR created the disposable “Manatee” bathing suit made out of Tyvek (the same material used in FEDEX envelopes).  It’s cheap, hypoallergenic, reusable, hygienic, individually packaged, and most importantly, opaque. See http://www.manateeswimsuit.com
  • >CELL PHONE IS YOUR ROOM KEY. A new concept called NFC (for “near field communication”) allows for short-range connectivity between enabled electronic devices. Soon you will book your hotel room on your PDA, which would then receive a text message with the assigned hotel room info plus an encrypted room key. Upon arrival, you’d bypass the check in counter and go straight to the room, hold your phone near the electronic door lock, and…open sesame! (Nokia already has one phone for sale in Europe and Asia with NFC technology.)
  • >RECYCLABLE ROOM KEYS. Did you know that most key cards offered to hotel guests during the Democratic convention in Denver were made of sustainably harvested wood? Boulder, CO based Sustainable Cards says that using wooden key cards would reduce hotel industry plastic waste by 1300 tons a year. Marriott already is replacing its plastic keys (24 million a year!) with ones made of 50% recyclable materials.
  • >TEXT MSG FROM THE HOTEL. Starwood Hotels is experimenting with sending text messages to checked in hotel guests with special offers such as food and beverage discounts and response has been positive.
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