NEW YORK—Much like travelers have a plethora of choices when it comes to hotels—boutique, pet-friendly, select-service, luxury, to name a few—hotel owners and operators have a lot of options when it comes to technology. Forbes Travel Guide, recognizing a need to simplify the process, introduced its Brand Official Program last year, selecting products it believes represent best in class in the luxury hospitality industry. Alice, an operations platform that connects staff with guests and each other, has been named the official guest service technology of Forbes Travel Guide.
Mica Hill, SVP, brand development for Forbes Travel Guide, said that the decision to launch the Brand Official program was logical. “Our Star-Rated hotels, restaurants and spas regularly seek our guidance on anything ranging from what soft goods to put in the rooms to what are appropriate Forbes Travel Guide-caliber F&B products to serve,” he said. “Through the years, we have had many brands approach us that were interested in aligning themselves with Forbes Travel Guide, and, of course, our Star-Rated partner properties, so it gave us the idea to partner with a select group of luxury brands, based on our ratings team feedback.”
The categories range from coffee to uniforms to technology, among other areas. In each category, Forbes Travel Guide seeks the highest levels of quality and customer service, Hill said. The companies don’t necessarily need to be large or the most well-known—but must provide a quality product.
Once Forbes Travel Guide has identified a specific brand, it compares them to other similar companies; speaks with its customers—both the hotels, restaurants and spas that have chosen this product, as well as those that have opted for a competitor; and researches each brand’s strengths and weaknesses. Alongside Alice, other companies Forbes Travel Guide has recognized includes Frette, Laurent-Perrier, Nespresso, Signature Napkins, Valrhona, Dav El, Jalin Design, Natura Bissé, PressReader, Sunraysia Five Star Juices and Window Channel Network.
When it comes to technology providers, Forbes Travel Guide looks for innovation that enhances the stay and customer service that doesn’t sell a product off the shelf, but is able to meet the individual properties needs. “Technology is an area that is rapidly changing and at Forbes Travel Guide we are mindful of how technology can have a positive impact on a guest’s stay. We are constantly seeking technology that will help to make a guest stay more enjoyable or to help the staff communicate more effectively and efficiently,” Hill said.
Why did Forbes Travel Guide select Alice? “Alice is innovative and trained to the standards that we use to rate a property. It is constantly modifying its technology based on each client it works with, listening to feedback and adapting offerings to meet that client’s specific needs and wants,” Hill explained. “In the end, we really admire the way Alice allows a property’s team members to communicate effortlessly with each other, which results in a more engaged guest and a better overall experience.”