Gratitude. This time of year, it’s important to pause and appreciate all we have and all those who matter most to us. These last two years have been particularly challenging for our industry, which is why I personally want to express my gratitude to you.
I’m grateful that, despite the pandemic’s mighty impact, you have been there for your guests. I’m also grateful that, despite lingering supply issues, you have remained patient with us.
As a hotelier myself, I know the frustration of being short on supplies when you are striving to give your very best. And yet, like nearly every other industry, right now we’re still hampered by bottlenecks in the global supply chain.
However, it’s critically important you know this:
We are doing everything we can to keep your prices low
We are working every day to ensure your essentials are back in stock
We are listening to better understand your needs now and in the future
Your resilience is inspiring. We know you will continue to ensure people have a comfortable place to work, rest, connect, or celebrate. We will continue to be a source you can turn to for the products that help set your property apart. Together, we will get back to full strength.
We are grateful for you, and we wish you a very happy holiday season.
Fall is already here! Halloween is fast approaching. Is your property dressed for the season? We have three quick ideas that just might help – just in time.
First, think foliage. From brilliant-colored flowers to neutral and natural ornamental grasses, create displays that bring your indoor settings to life. Go fresh, dried, or design a bold blend. While you’re at it, get clever with cool vases and cinnamon-spiced candles.
Of course, gourds and pumpkins are easy and essential accents this time of year. But think outside the basic. Perhaps you personalize them with distinct carvings, draw-on designs, or stylish spray paint.
If you’re considering some family-friendly Halloween hijinks, it’s not too late to organize trick-or-treat stations on your property. You might choose to host a spooky movie night or even a themed costume contest. But you better act fast.
Autumn is a great time to add seasonal spice and freshen up all over. Be sure to check out our Smart Buys for Fall page as you prep for your next round of guests.
Surrounded by large oak trees and southern mansions along Bayou Lafourche, the Carmel Inn and Suites is a Louisiana landmark known for its family-run hospitality, which includes complimentary morning breakfast. We chatted with operations manager Rhonda R. Gaubert to learn more about running a successful independent property in the heart of Cajun country.
Tell us a little bit about your property – its history and what makes it unique.
Rhonda: Well, this area and this property is filled with history. In fact, we’re a historic landmark hotel. In 1855 it was a convent and then a catholic high school. My husband’s family – the Gaubert family – bought the building and in 1973 transformed it into a Holiday Inn. It operated under other flags as well but, in 2009, the hotel was restored to reflect its history and was renamed the Carmel Inn & Suites. My husband, Greg Gaubert, is managing partner and owner and our family has been running it since then. Today, it’s ranked the #1 hotel in Thibodaux by TripAdvisor.
How do you advertise/promote your property – through Trip Advisor? Word of mouth?
Rhonda: We definitely depend on online reviews and bookings through TripAdvisor and Expedia. We also have a great relationship with Nichols State University, which is located in Thibodaux, so word of mouth is very important to us. We treat our guests like family, whether they are parents visiting their college student or visitors who are part of the medical tourism and eco-tourism in the area.
Do you cater to a certain type of demographic? (family friendly vs more catered toward adults/honeymooners, etc.)
Rhonda: You might be surprised but we have hosted people from all over the world. We even have a translator available at the desk who can translate in 10 different languages. It’s not just the university drawing them. There are others who visit our part of the bayou system, and all the historic plantations nearby. We also have had many movies filmed in and around Thibodaux, like the Ray Charles story, “The Haunting,” and “The Butler.” We’ve had more than a few Hollywood actors stay here at the hotel.
What are some of the pain points you have when it comes to buying products/supplying your hotel with products?
Rhonda: We are a mom and pop operation, so our budget is tight, and we don’t have the storage to buy supplies in bulk. That can be challenging when there are purchase minimums on certain items. So we have to be very strategic about ordering what we need for the property. But we also try to offer a local feel. Our bath soap is from a local organic distributor, and our coffee is from a Louisiana brewer. People notice when you use eco-friendly products that are unique to your community.
What advice would you give to those new to owning/managing an indy hotel?
Rhonda: Well, you have to understand that it’s a life commitment. You have to be fully involved to make it work. We treat our 24 employees like family, so they are also invested in our success. It does take time and effort. We are not New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Lafayette, so it has taken some time for more people to know about us and know about the different activities and attractions in our area. Every year, we welcome more guests.
At American Hotel, we deliver all you need, when you need it … so you can focus on what matters most. Explore our vast product assortment at americanhotel.com.
You’ve likely seen the headlines. Last month Marriott
International announced that it’s moving away from single-use bath amenities in
its hotel properties around the world. Since these plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel often end
up in landfills, Marriott instead will equip its guest baths with larger, pump-topped bottles – also known as bulk
It’s big news in our industry for a couple of
reasons: First, according to the company’s
August 28 announcement, this environmental
stance is expected to prevent about 500 million tiny bottles annually from
going to landfills. That’s about 1.7 million pounds of plastic, a 30 percent
annual reduction from the iconic brand’s current amenity plastic usage. Secondly,
Marriott’s not the only hospitality leader to launch bold sustainability plans.
Building on environmental momentum
In fact, IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) made a similar pledge earlier this summer. IHG will switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities in all of its properties by the end of 2021. And earlier in the summer, the Radisson Hotel Group™ introduced a series of environmentally and socially responsible initiatives at its beachfront resorts in Asia.
steps included replacing plastic straws as well as plastic bottles.
Marriott began phasing out disposable plastic straws and stirrers in its
properties last year, and IHG promises to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the
end of 2019. Hilton has also made paper
straws a brand standard in its properties.
“As a product supplier to Marriott, IHG and Hilton, we absolutely
support and celebrate these major initiatives,” said Deidre Schwartz, Director
of Design & Sustainability at American Hotel. “But we also view their announcements
as a call to action to the industry as a whole. For us, that means
strengthening our ability to identify and offer more environmentally
responsible products to help our customers be true stewards of sustainability.”
A rallying cry for sustainable practices
To that end, our Living Green
collection of eco-friendly products has grown to more than
4,600 items in a variety of categories. This includes bulk amenity dispensers. As
a product manager at American Hotel, Katie Schultz works closely with hotel
customers who happen to share IHG and Marriott’s renewed focus on bath
“Yes, we are seeing more interest in our bulk
dispensers, but we have also helped customers choose amenities that are made of
natural ingredients, are paraben free, and use recyclable packaging,” said
Schultz. “By partnering with our suppliers as well as customers, we are
offering more alternatives every year that support new sustainability goals.”
As a hospitality source with more than 150 years of
industry expertise, American Hotel has always guided its hotel customers
through the challenges and opportunities of change. Being a partner in support
of environmental change is no different.
“There is no question the way all of us operate is
changing forever,” said Schwartz. “And there is no question we, as a
hospitality supplier, are positioned to make a dramatic difference for our
customers and for our communities. This is a call to action we embrace, because
it’s our collective responsibility to make sure future generations are
afforded the same opportunities we have.”