Choice Hotels: First in Hospitality to Fully Embrace the Cloud

Choice Hotels: First in Hospitality to Fully Embrace the Cloud

By Author

Published on February 1, 2024

Big news in the hotel world! Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) has just hit a major tech milestone. They're now the first hotel company to shift their entire system infrastructure to the cloud. That's right, no more data centres for them – they're fully on Amazon Web Services (AWS) now.

What does this big move mean? For starters, it's a game-changer for how they respond to market conditions. This cloud setup gives Choice Hotels a super flexible, resilient, and scalable platform. It's not just good news for the company; it's great for hotel owners and operators within the Choice system too. They're looking at more efficient hotel-facing operations, management tools, and even the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to boost profitability and guest experiences.

Brian Kirkland, the Chief Information Officer at Choice Hotels, is excited about what this means for their franchisees. "Moving everything to the cloud means our franchisees are always in the loop with the latest tech, saving them time and money. It also keeps us ahead in the competitive hotel booking journey," he says.

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This wasn't an overnight change. It's been a five-year journey, but what a finish line! Over 3,729 servers were decommissioned, more than 300 applications retired, and upwards of 250 applications migrated.

Matt Garman from AWS is praising Choice for their bold cloud-first approach. "They've been able to innovate, scale, pivot, and grow sustainably over these five years, thanks to their cloud-first mindset," he says.

Choice's cloud journey started back in 2015 with their cloud-based central reservation system, choiceEDGE. At that time, it was the first new CRS from a hotel company in over three decades.

Jason Simpson, Vice President of Cloud Engineering for Choice Hotels, is thrilled about leveraging their cloud-first infrastructure. "AWS Cloud was crucial for us to integrate Radisson digitally in record time and increase our traffic and booking revenue," he notes.

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Choice Hotels has been on the forefront of tech innovation in the hospitality industry for a while now:

1995: Launched the first hotel website with real-time rates and availability.

2003: Introduced the first cloud-based property management system, choiceADVANTAGE.

2009: Released the first hotel app for iOS.

2014: First hotel company to offer instant booking on TripAdvisor and listed on Forbes' Top 100 Most Innovative Growth Companies.

2016: First hotel company with instant in-app gift card downloads.

2018: choiceEDGE goes live, the first cloud-based CRS.

2019: First hotel company to commit to 100% AWS Cloud.

2021: Launched ChoiceMAX, an AI mobile-first revenue management solution.

2024: Completed cloud migration.

Fully cloud-based now, Choice Hotels is all set to continue innovating and leveraging AI for greater business value for franchisees.

About Choice Hotels®

One of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) boasts over 7,500 hotels in 46 countries and territories. With 22 diverse brands, Choice Hotels® meets traveller needs across various segments, driving value for franchise owners and shareholders. The Choice Privileges® rewards program and co-brand credit card options offer members fast ways to earn reward nights and personalised perks. Discover more at www.choicehotels.com.


Tock Teams Up with Curator Hotel & Resort Collection to Enhance Guest Experience at Independent Hotels

Tock Teams Up with Curator Hotel & Resort Collection to Enhance Guest Experience at Independent Hotels

By Nishang Narayan

Published on July 15, 2024

Tock, a leading reservation, experiences, and events platform for the hospitality industry, announced its partnership with Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. This collaboration will offer Curator member hotels and resorts access to Tock's comprehensive solutions suite, enhancing their food and beverage operations and providing additional experiential amenities to their guests.

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts worldwide, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators.

As Curator's newest platform partner, Tock will empower member hotels and resorts to streamline their operations, drive ancillary revenue, and elevate guest experiences all on one system. Through its integrated suite of reservation, event, and guest relationship management tools, Tock delivers seamless, innovative solutions for the hospitality industry.

"Tock provides a holistic solution that empowers our customers, and we're thrilled to bring that to Curator's elite network of independent hotels and resorts," says Patrick Venn, Head of Hotels and Enterprise at Tock.

"This partnership aligns with our mission to empower hotels of all sizes with forward-thinking technology focused on revenue management. Together, we aim to help these properties not only in navigating today's competitive landscape but also setting new standards in delivering extraordinary guest experiences."

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Tock's unique and innovative platform can be tailored specifically for hotel operators. Curator member properties can transform guest experiences far beyond simple dining reservations by monetizing underutilized spaces and selling diverse experiences such as brunch buffets, fire pit gatherings, seasonal activations, afternoon tea, cabana rentals, and more. The collaboration will also provide member hotels access to unique features like Tock's Concierge Program to book reservations on behalf of their guests, and strategic integrations for CRM, reporting systems, point-of-sale systems, and loyalty programs to help operators deliver better hospitality and increase sales.

"By partnering with Tock, we are supporting our member properties with a world-class reservation platform built to improve their bottom line," says Brent Hayhurst, Vice President of Program Development at Curator.

 "Tock's incredibly powerful suite of tools will be instrumental in helping our members who are looking to enhance their guest reservation capabilities and confidently deliver more innovative dining and event offerings."

To learn more about how Tock is powering hotel food and beverage operators, from streamlining reservations to creating unique guest experiences, please visit exploretock.com/join/hotel-restaurant-reservations.

About Tock

Tock, a Squarespace company, offers an all-in-one solution for reservations and table management. For over a decade, Tock has been working to create solutions to the industry's toughest problems. From reducing no-shows to controlling costs, Tock builds tools that help businesses adapt to hospitality's ever-changing needs through greater creativity and control. Restaurants, wineries, hotels, and bars all around the world love Tock for its flexibility and world-class support. To learn more, visit exploretock.com/join.

About Curator Hotel & Resort Collection

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts worldwide, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators. Curator provides lifestyle hotels and resorts access to a wide breadth of program offerings to enhance the guest experience, improve employee engagement, and create value while allowing their members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique. It offers the benefits of associating with other unique lifestyle hotels, resorts, and small brands while participating in best-in-class operating agreements, services, reporting, and technology. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Davidson Hospitality Group, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Sage Hospitality Group, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit curatorhotelsandresorts.com and follow us at @CuratorHotelsResorts.


Stayflexi: Transforming the Indian Hospitality Landscape

Stayflexi: Transforming the Indian Hospitality Landscape

By Nishang Narayan

Published on July 12, 2024


Stayflexi, a Y Combinator-backed company, has emerged as a trailblazer in the hotel technology industry, rapidly gaining international acclaim. With a presence in over 2,400 properties worldwide, Stayflexi is revolutionizing hotel management with its all-in-one platform designed to optimize operations and boost revenue. This rapidly growing startup is now celebrating significant success in India, where it is substantially impacting the hospitality sector.

Industry Professionals

India’s hotel industry is on the cusp of a transformative era, driven by increasing domestic travel and a projected annual growth rate of 10 percent. However, this growth is hampered by outdated hotel technologies, even in prestigious 4-star and 5-star establishments. Stayflexi addresses this challenge head-on by modernizing the entire hotel technology stack, providing a comprehensive, efficient, and innovative solution.

Celebrating Success Across 2,400 Properties with 50,000 Rooms

Stayflexi’s AI-powered all-in-one hotel technology platform is widely adopted by ambitious hoteliers and state government tourism boards throughout India. This includes various segments such as resorts, hotels, luxury villas, boat houses, camping, and glamping sites. Notable clientele leveraging the Stayflexi platform include the Isha Foundation, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), and Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). With over 50,000 rooms modernized across 2,400 properties, Stayflexi is making waves in the Indian hospitality industry.

The Future of Indian Hospitality

The Indian hospitality industry is poised for rapid growth in the next five years, driven by a surge in domestic travel. Modernizing hotel technologies is imperative to sustain and accelerate this growth. Stayflexi’s platform optimizes operational costs and generates additional revenue through its AI-powered price intelligence. This results in instant benefits, such as increased direct bookings from day one.

The All-in-One Solution: Stayflexi’s Product Hubs

Stayflexi’s platform is divided into four primary hubs, each designed to address specific needs within the hospitality industry:

  1. Operations Hub The Operations Hub includes a Property Management System (PMS), Point of Sale (POS), Expenses Manager, and Inventory Manager. These tools automate 70 percent of manual tasks, significantly reducing operational costs and enhancing efficiency.

  2. Sales Hub The Sales Hub comprises a Market Intelligence (MI), Channel Manager (CM), Booking Engine (BE), Revenue Manager (RM), and Direct Billing products. These tools are designed to boost hotel revenues by 35%, with some properties experiencing increases of over 50 percent.

  3. Guest Hub The Guest Hub offers products like Magic Link, QR Kiosk, Guest Reviews, and Guest Messaging. These tools streamline guest interactions, from check-ins to reviews, providing a seamless and enhanced guest experience.

  4. Payments Hub The Payments Hub includes Flex Collect, Flex Pay, Flex Settle, and Flex Protect products, which automate end-to-end hotel payments and reduce cancellations, ensuring smooth financial operations.

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Empowering Hoteliers with Cutting-Edge Technology

Stayflexi’s platform leverages AI and advanced analytics to empower hoteliers with data-driven insights and automation. This approach enhances operational efficiency and provides hoteliers with the tools needed to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. By adopting Stayflexi’s technology, hotels can optimize their pricing strategies, manage inventory more effectively, and provide exceptional guest experiences.

A Bright Future Ahead

Mr. Venkatesh Sakamuri, CEO and Co-founder of Stayflexi says, “As India continues to capture a significant share of the global travel market, Stayflexi is well-positioned to play a crucial role in this growth.”

Mr. Preetam Mohan Shetty, CTO and Co-founder of Stayflexi says, “The company’s commitment to innovation and customer-centric solutions has already earned it a loyal client base and industry recognition.”

"Our hustling culture at Stayflexi empowers us to constantly push beyond boundaries, innovate relentlessly, and deliver exceptional solutions that transform the hospitality industry. We thrive on challenge and are driven by our commitment to excellence," said Krishna Sasank Talasila, CIO and Co-founder.

Stayflexi aims to expand its presence further across India, partnering with more properties and state tourism boards to drive modernization and growth. Stayflexi’s success in India is a testament to its innovative approach and commitment to transforming the hospitality industry. By modernizing hotel technologies and providing comprehensive solutions, Stayflexi is empowering hoteliers to achieve new heights of success. As the Indian hospitality industry continues to grow, Stayflexi’s cutting-edge platform will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping its future. Hoteliers and hospitality professionals looking to stay ahead in this dynamic market should consider embracing Stayflexi’s technology to unlock new opportunities and drive sustainable growth.


Ian Schrager Enhances PUBLIC Hotel with Stayntouch Technology

Ian Schrager Enhances PUBLIC Hotel with Stayntouch Technology

By Nishang Narayan

Published on July 11, 2024

PUBLIC Hotel in Lower Manhattan, renowned for its upscale, tech-savvy approach to luxury accommodations, has partnered with Stayntouch, a global leader in cloud-based hotel property management systems (PMS) and guest-centric technology. This collaboration aims to enhance guest experiences through streamlined operations and innovative digital solutions.

At the heart of this partnership is the integration of Stayntouch PMS and Kiosk solutions at PUBLIC Hotel, facilitating a seamless check-in and check-out process. Guests can now enjoy a swift 1-minute kiosk-based check-in experience, reducing wait times and enhancing efficiency. This tech-forward approach not only elevates service standards but also aligns with PUBLIC's commitment to delivering a luxurious yet accessible stay experience.

Ian Schrager, the visionary behind PUBLIC, emphasized the importance of leveraging innovative technology to cater to diverse guest needs. "At PUBLIC, our goal is to continually innovate and utilize technology to provide outstanding experiences," said Schrager. The adoption of Stayntouch solutions has not only optimized operational efficiency but also consolidated multiple technology vendors into a cohesive system, resulting in significant cost savings.

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Jacob Messina, CEO of Stayntouch, expressed excitement about the partnership, highlighting their shared vision of enhancing guest experiences through personalized service and cutting-edge technology. "Since implementing our cloud PMS at PUBLIC, we've worked closely to innovate and tailor solutions that meet PUBLIC's unique needs," said Messina. The collaboration has led to ongoing enhancements in product features, further enriching the guest experience.

PUBLIC Hotel's commitment to 'Luxury for All' is rooted in its four pillars: service, style, unique experiences, and value. This philosophy redefines luxury beyond traditional norms, focusing instead on creating memorable experiences that resonate with every guest.

For more information about PUBLIC Hotel and its partnership with Stayntouch, visit their official websites.

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