Hotel Supplies and Amenities 101 – Influencing the Guest Review

Expectations are high among members of the traveling public, especially when a hotel stay is part of their trip. Exceptional guest services, competitive room rates and comfortable, inviting guest rooms are among the highest of expectations. These are just a few aspects of a hotel stay that guests will comment on when they pen a guest review. There are standard, quality hotel supplies that people anticipate being in their hotel room. Absorbent bath towels and comfortable furniture are among the hotel supplies travelers expect to find in their rooms. When booking a guest room, people expect that it, along with the common areas, will be outfitted with a variety of basic hotel supplies.

Family reunions, conferences, weddings and business trips are among the dozens of reasons why someone might stay at a hotel. Often different reasons for a stay demand different hotel supplies, business centers, free internet access and swimming pools to name but a few. People traveling for business typically have their accommodations booked for them so they have no say in where they stay or which hotel supplies and amenities are available. Families and vacationers on the other hand usually choose their hotel based, in part, on the amenities and hotel supplies available or on the location relative to points of interest. The common denominator is, no matter where they’re staying, all hotels want to please their guest and will make every effort to please guests.

Just as different people have different reasons for staying at hotels, we’re all impressed by different aspects of a hotel. Some of us are impressed by doors the simplest things, such as doors that open automatically while others of us aren’t impressed by anything less than telephones in bathrooms and other fantastic amenities. Hotels also make a great impression when they exceed expectations by providing superb guest services, going above and beyond the norm or providing better than expected hotel supplies. When guests write reviews about their hotel stays, they write about what impresses them and what has disappointed them.

So what constitutes a memorable, share worthy hotel stay? The people, the hotel supplies or the room itself? When guests are greeted warmly and attended to quickly, they remember it. Hotels whose entrances are clean and inviting make great impressions on guests. When common areas are open and light it makes a great impressions on guests. When guest rooms are furnished with helpful amenities that do double duty as d├ęcor pieces, they usually leave guests impressed. Inviting rooms that exude warmth and relaxation make just about everybody feel appreciated and pampered. Sometimes the simplest hotel supplies will please guests and make their stay a pleasure.

In a world where everybody has an opinion, hotel guests are no exception. Once it was the verbal word of mouth about the service or hotel supplies that won or lost a hotel or business new or repeat guests. Today guest reviews on a variety of travel sites praise and pan hotels but now they reach a much broader audience. Amenities are an important parts every hotel stay. They also influence and inform guest reviews which also play a role informing potential guests about real life experiences at the hotels they might potentially book. Overall, every aspect of a hotel stay, including the hotel supplies, has the potential to influence guest reviews and, therefore, future business.

Working With Your Dog’s Food Allergy

There are many signs that your dog could have a food allergy. The list is almost endless, but the main culprits are itchy skin, a dull and/or frizzy coat, inflamed ears, excessive licking of certain areas (paws for example), lethargy, diarrhea (even projectile stools), blood, mucous or both in the stool, gas and possibly even vomiting. These, coupled with horror stories of owners coming home from work to find their living rooms sprayed with sick-dog diarrhea can all be symptoms of dog food allergies. Some symptoms can be a lot more dangerous, like seizures or negative behavior changes. When dealing with your dog’s food allergies you need to understand, change and monitor the dog’s diet and reactions.

A dog owner should keep in mind that most reputable dog foods don’t contain corn, soy or wheat. Another part of the understanding of a dog’s allergies is to comprehend the grains used to make dog food. If your dog’s food does contain any of those “filler grains” it might be wise to continue looking for a different food. Corn, soy and wheat are grains that pet food companies fortify their food with because they are relatively cheap products. But not only that, these three grains are regular allergy culprits.

If you have changed your dog’s food in the recent past, this is a telltale reason as to why your dog may be acting sick. A general rule of thumb when changing a dog’s diet is to gradually introduce new food into his diet. 25% percent at a time over the period of ten days. This basically breaks down to a 25% increase in the new food and a 25% decrease in the old food every 2 to 3 days. Some dogs adjust well, and some dogs need a more gradual shift. The main point here is that sometimes what looks like an allergic reaction is simply your dog having an upset stomach while re-calibrating his intestines to a different diet.

In order to get your dog back on track if he is indeed suffering from a food allergy is to completely monitor his food intake. This means a “reloading” of his entire diet. Tackling your dog’s food allergy starts with changing what your dog consumes while assessing what he has been consuming. This also means that there can be no cheating and that the diet needs to be strict. Look for hypoallergenic foods. Follow the above principle of a 25% shift in food every few days. Things get complicated at this point however, because the words “hypoallergenic” don’t necessarily mean that your dog won’t be allergic to the food. An example of this is lamb. Lamb is what used to be considered as the “ultimate” hypoallergenic meat. Lamb allergies while not common, are possible as well. So whatever exclusive diet you decide upon for your dog it should fit whatever your dog works with. This could take some trial and error, or it could work nicely and immediately.

Corn, soy and wheat may not be the best grains to fortify your dog’s diet with, but brown rice and potatoes are both starches that receive more respect, and have a better track record as far as dog allergies go. Let’s assume that you choose a chicken and rice diet. You could prepare the chicken and boil the rice. This way you will know what your dog is consuming, how it was prepared, etc, etc. Hopefully, you will notice an immediate improvement. Most people queried on this subject for this article were very secure with the fact that the determination of a food allergy is started with home cooking your dog’s meals. What this betrays is a general mistrust in store-bought dog food. But we also have to be realistic here, some of us simply don’t have the time or patience to boil copious amounts of chicken breasts and brown rice. If that is indeed your case, then another method is to scrutinize the dog food that is on the market and find that which seems the simplest, healthiest, and most suited for your dog.

Dog food allergies are unpredictable, much like human allergies. An example of this is that most people are born drinking milk. They drink it through their adolescence but then as adults, they develop a lactose intolerance. Dogs are similar in the fact that they might eat the same thing their entire life and then suddenly a latent allergy kicks in.

As I researched this article, I found that the most heartening fact is that if your dog isn’t allergic to the food that you settle on, the positive change can be immediate. When working with your dog’s food allergies you need to comprehend, adjust and watch your dog’s demeanor as well as his food. A dog is a resilient creature, and when you find the proper diet for your pet, he will bounce back quickly.

Running Tips – Picking A Winter Destination Race

Do you hate running in the winter? Do you need motivation to get out the door and keep your mileage up? Maybe a destination race is what you need

A destination race is a major race event that you plan. It is a race that you travel to and need to make plans to do. Up until this year, I always have run a marathon or half-marathon in Florida during January or February. I live in Virginia and these are really cold months here. And the older I get the more I hate the colder weather.

So, I started planning a winter destination race in Florida during this time. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first one is pretty clear – I just want to get out of the cold weather for a week or so. I love Florida and I love being there in the winter!

Second of all, having a marathon or half-marathon to do the beginning of the year keeps me running longer distances through November and December. Now, I’ll run everyday anyway – but without a schedule or a plan – I’ll just run a few and be happy. With a race on the plan, I know I have distances to cover for training and won’t slack off and be a wimp!

I’ve had some issues that kept me from doing my winter escape this year. My Dad has been really sick and I need to travel back to my home town every week to take care of things for them. So, there was no way that I could take the time off from taking care of my parents – let alone be 15 hours away.

But, I decided that next year, I’ll be back on track. So, I decided to find my race of choice. I know that I wanted it to be in Florida – and during late January or February.

Also, entering into my decision was that it should probably not be a full marathon. With what’s going on with Daddy, I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to train for more than a half-marathon. Also, my husband need a 3rd and 4th knee replacement this year (and he is not a runner), so I know that I’ll be taking care of him, too.

January and February is also a good time for us to take a little extra time off. My husband and I also have a Dairy Queen, and that is a slower time for us. So, it works out perfect!

So, to the race calendars I went. I decided that I wanted to do something different. I’ve run the Disney Marathon 3 time and love it – and the A1A Marathon twice. There’s a half-marathon that I want to do sometime in Clearwater, but then, I saw it. The Key West Half-Marathon!

I haven’t been to Key West in a few years – and it will be the perfect destination race! So, next January – road trip! And, my wonderful husband (driver and stuff-holder) has already agreed!

I wanted to share this with you to show you some of the thought processes that you need to go through in planning your races. It’s great to “want” to do something, but you need to make sure it’s feasible. You need to consider all the angles. Time you have to put into training, work schedule, spousal/family support.

I hope that you plan a winter destination race – or a destination race anytime! It helps with the motivation!

The Culture Interview

Interviewing for new positions or open positions in the company can be an arduous task. Whether it is to fill an existing role or a new position, or to meet an internal or external candidate, the same attention needs to be paid to a very specific detail – company culture.

What is culture? In any company, culture is the way the organization and the players in the organization behave. Culture is how behaviour lines up with values. Culture is propagated by storytelling, passing along information, sharing experiences. An organization and its leaders recognize the behaviour of values and share honestly with their people if they are off the tracks. Leadership is examples, living the culture and modeling the way. It is essential when bringing candidates into the organization that they can fit into the culture and enhance it with their presence.

When preparing to interview, look over the role requirements, the candidate’s history and the experience they bring with them. Questions to prepare can have a somewhat standardized format for all candidates because the questions that follow the original one will lead to more information.

Role requirements are critical to understand. Not only the physical work, also the mental work, leadership and management that will be required. When reviewing this information, having the candidate qualifications nearby can be helpful. This can be part of the question formulation process.

Questions need to include the words that are prevalent in the organization. Every company has a “lingo” of its own. Using this lingo helps the candidate understand the necessary participation and engagement that will be required to be successful in the position. With external candidates, using and defining the lingo can be helpful, providing the candidate with more company information.

Initial questions lead to more in depth behavioural questions. Looking for explanations as to why something occurred or was reacted to in a certain way or how results were obtained can help both the interviewer and the candidate Find common ground.

Many forms of interview processes can reflect the culture. A high team-involved company would benefit from using team interviewing. A highly customer focused company such as a retailer would benefit from seeing the candidate in action, selling on the sales floor or even merchandising. Just as a journalist would be required to show a portfolio, any other candidate can be put through their role in order to see how they would act/react in the organization. This provides the organization with a clearer view of what they will be getting in terms of performance in the future.

After the interview is completed, asking for any culture-based questions can help clarify a potential fit both the organization and the candidate. The candidate should leave with a clear understanding of whether they would be able to work in that company for the rest of their career. That fit would make the difference.