Hotel News We Noted: October 12, 2012

Awesome Amenity: A Food Truck Concierge
No matter what you’re craving – ice cream, tacos, dumplings, or more – Thompson’s Food Truck Concierge can assist. They offer a special Food Truck Concierge application, letting visitors know the exact cooking times and locations of their favorite mobile eats. Thompson’s New York hotels are also offering special food truck deals, using code ‘FOODTRUCK’ when booking online.

Hotel Trends: Same Night Booking
Two years ago, we would have told you that the biggest trend in hotel booking was the flash sale. Now we’ll tell you it’s “same night booking,” a platform (often in curated mobile app form) that allows hotels to lower rates for unsold same day reservations. Jetsetter did it earlier this week, HotelTonight even tells you what they do in their name. Hotwire Travelocity and Priceline all have web or application-based tools to allow travelers to book day-of reservations. The platforms all differ slightly. Some are opaque, meaning that they reveal details about the property but not its name until after booking. Others showcase the name of the property or its “type” to entice travelers.

We’re fairly confident that this development is a big one – and we’ll soon be seeing it migrate to other industries, such as fitness, spa and sports.

Hotels Get Social: Sofitel Launches Tumblr Blog
In an effort to engage better with guests of their nine North American properties, Sofitel has launched a new Tumblr blog, Life is Magnifique. The hotel chain says that the content, which is centered on an online concierge experience, will feature cultural activities, restaurant openings, key events and fashion updates by Sofitel staff in each city. We’re excited to see where this goes. Tumblr can be a fun and very interactive platform for hotels, but we have seen too many brands use blogs to push out PR content, leaving little value to the consumer. So far, however, the content seems fun and engaging, and the blog’s layout is easy to read.

Hotel Reviews: HotelMe
A new hotel review site is on the market. HotelMe is touting itself as an alternative to travel review sites like TripAdvisor that have recently been in the news for having fake or unverified reviews on their websites. This new site promises “verified” reviews by partnering with hotels to confirm the reviewer’s stay through a patent-pending method. We’re intrigued … would you use this website to scout out a potential hotel?

Sweet Suites: Diane Von Furstenberg’s Penthouse in Hayman, Australia
Acclaimed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg has crafted a new penthouse on Hayman, Australia’s private island destination, and we’re already lining up for a stay. The two-bedroom is designed with DVF signature fabrics, freestanding tone bathtub and classic furnishings, but that’s not really what gets us excited. We’re coveting this space thanks to its prime positioning in the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, which can be viewed on the oversized balcony. Of course, Butler services and all meals don’t hurt either.