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And the youth shall lead

When we launched our luxury hotel division five years ago, we did so on the platform of “the next generation of luxury hospitality.” That brand promise works both ways. Not only do we proactively deliver on it every day, our guests constantly remind us what that tagline means to them in terms of their expectations and evolving needs. Facebook, Twitter, our Trump Card Privileges Program and Trump Attaché are among the many ways our guests engage with our brand.

Like us, you are probably hosting an increasing number of younger guests — specifically Generations X and Y. And if you operate an established hotel — one that was built based on the expectations of Baby Boomers or even earlier generations — the challenge is to retrofit facilities and services to meet the needs of a vastly different traveling population today.

I can personally relate to hotel guests who live a high-performance lifestyle and want to keep the momentum going while on the road. I love service that is attentive, anticipatory, responsive and, especially, efficient. I appreciate hotel staff that can read from my body language whether I am about to run off to a meeting or am ready to relax — and adjust their service style accordingly.

Like many of my generation, I was weaned on technology, and I rely on devices when I travel. Easy access to aids that will keep these devices charged and ready for use is no longer a luxury — it’s a must.

On-site fitness centers, which became important when Baby Boomers were my age, have evolved into full-fledged spas that help reduce stress and recharge human batteries while on the road. Even when I don’t have time for a spa service, I’m glad to know the opportunity is there should I get a break in my schedule.

And the formal, quiet, little-used lobby of the past is evolving into a stylish and comfortable social gathering place to appeal to a generation that blurs the line between business meeting and social meet-up.

While most of our portfolio consists of new builds, I’m interested to know how older operations are evolving to satisfy the desires of younger travelers. I know that some are using established hotels as a backdrop for events like Tweet-ups, wine tastings and the 21st century version of the weekly general manager’s cocktail party. I’d love to hear what you’re doing.

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