Archive for the ‘Hospitality Trends’ Category

Our Covid Policies and Practices

August 2nd, 2020 by camdenmotel

Hi 2020 Towne Motel guests! As you can imagine, we have been having a pretty quiet season so far,  which can be a good thing for travelers in need of relaxation and restoration! Yes, not all restaurants are fully open, and the boats are following a different schedule, but there are also fewer travelers to vie for them. And there is plenty of what you probably came to Midcoast Maine to enjoy: trees, lakes, trails, ocean, mountains, and other forms of natural beauty, all of which are good for your health and usually allow for plenty of social distancing.

But of course, we want you to stay healthy and safe in and around our property as well. Immaculately clean rooms have always been a top priority at Towne Motel, but this year we have been working hard to make changes required by the state of Maine, recommended by hospitality organizations, and suitable for our property, guests, and employees. The following are also based on a class we took this spring, “Lodging Foundations,” a COVID-19 online training course developed by Hospitality Maine, in conjunction with Eastern Maine Community College. 

Here are some of the changes we have made for the (un)foreseeable future:

Checking in: Our check in process can be as contact free as you’d like it to be. If you prefer not to come into the office, you can let us know by phone or email in response to your reminder email, and we will let you know how and where to get your key and welcome note. Office check ins will be limited to one (small) party and / or person at a time, and commonly used surfaces and items will be sanitized after each check in. We will be wearing face coverings during check in, and we request the same of  our guests. If you can’t find your mask(s), we have some for you outside the door, and there are hand sanitizers both outside and inside the office.

Common Indoor Areas: given that we have a motel, and will not open our dining rooms until it is safe enough for guests and staff to do so, the only indoor area visited by several people a day is our office, where we are observing social distancing rules as described above. Almost all guest rooms open up to the outdoors; there are only two rooms which share an interior corridor, and that corridor has a window and a door which is open during the daytime. If more than one of these rooms is occupied ( which has not happened so far this year),  please wear a mask as you walk through the corridor. 

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The Boutique Hotel Trend Has Jumped the Shark

January 15th, 2014 by camdenmotel

TIt’s official: the boutique hotel trend has jumped the shark.

We’ve been wondering  when this would happen but never expected that we’d hear the news from a David Brooks column in the The New York Times (nor did we ever think we’d laugh so hard at a Brooks column).  In “The Edamame Economy,” (1/6/14), Brooks announces the arrival of the “mass boutique,” heralded by Marriott’s boutique chain, Edition. (First edition? Limited edition? )

A boutique chain: now there’s an oxymoron.  And a shark-jump.  Food trends are a good example of the shark-jump phenomenon, whereby something is initially perceived as unique/exclusive and then, as its popularity spreads, takes a seemingly-inevitable downwards trajectory to end up, ingloriously, on a McDonald’s menu. Remember (this will reveal your age) when Caesar salads were considered gourmet, mixed tableside at fine restaurants?  When balsamic vinegar was special?  When salted caramel-whatever was a rarity?

But this applies to other mass commodities too, sold as “experiences,” whether sneakers, sodas…or hotels.  As David Brooks notes, the boutiqe hotel experience is all about difference and uniqueness, offering “edginess, art, emotion, and a dollop of pretension.”  Boutique hotel guests, Brooks says, attract travelers who identify as discerning and for whom the hotels “hold up a flattering mirror…they are supposed to feel like they are entering an edgy community of unconventional, discerning people like themselves.”  They want a “happening lobby scene” where they can bring their laptops and sit alongside other people with laptops or mobile devices.

But wait, there’s more: Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre boutique hotels in the Bay Area,  claims that his top hotels offer “identity refreshment” and brings to their guests “an awareness of self-actualization..

When we stopped laughing, we started to imagine a boutique-makeover at Towne Motel.  First order of business: to signal our new “brand” with a cooler, boutique-ish name.  How about T?  Or 68 Elm, like all those restaurants that use their street address in the name—another trend that may be about to jump the shark, if it hasn’t already.  Then room makeovers with mid-century modern furniture.  Breakfast room lighting: minimal, but you’ll be expected to wear sunglasses and bring mobile devices.  Very happening.  And—oh yeah–much more expensive.

What Brooks describes, of course, is the urban version of boutique hotels.  The boutique inns where we’ve stayed in Maine don’t have an edgy lobby scene, and the owners are friendly and welcoming.

But don’t worry, Towne Motel will not be jumping on the boutique wagon anytime soon.   Because we proudly offer the opposite:

–The most affordable lodging option in the village of Camden, with  bright, immaculately clean rooms, a homemade Continental breakfast, and a friendly and decidedly unpretetious vibe.

–Towne Motel’s “no sticker-shock” prices mean that our guests have money  left for fun stuff  like great meals and shopping sprees in Camden.

–Our guests don’t need Towne Motel to hold up a flattering mirror to them so that they can be re-affirmed in their edgy uniqueness.

So what  can we say? Boutique-schmootique! In fact, we think we have discovered a new lodging category.  Come visit us at Towne Motel, the Un-Boutique!


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