What Guests Really Want – Top Hotel Amenities in 2017

Hotel Amenities pic
Hotel Amenities
Image: travel.usnews.com

As president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall oversees nine popular hotels in California and Texas. Bharat Lall’s hotels feature the latest and most sought-after amenities, including state-of-the-art fitness centers and heated outdoor pools.

Less persuaded by mini bars and in-room bathrobes, today’s travelers are increasingly interested in more modern services. Across the board, the amenity that is most popular with hotel guests today is free wireless Internet. Guests want to be connected constantly, and they expect to be able to get online easily and for free. For many, lack of this amenity is a deal breaker.

Guests are also demanding spa-quality toiletries. Luxury hotels already offer top-tier bath and beauty products, and many boutique-style hotels offer interesting local products. Even at three-star hotels, consumers are increasingly looking for appealing toiletries that don’t dry out their skin or hair.

Like the demand for toiletries, the demand for fitness centers has spread across all sectors of the hospitality industry. Guests are no longer satisfied with an aging treadmill and elliptical machine in a small room. Instead, they want high-quality fitness facilities with a range of cardio and weight equipment. These amenities go hand in hand with hot tubs, saunas, and upscale spa services, which are also in high demand these days.

Australian PM Visits Swaminarayan Akshardham

Swaminarayan Akshardham pic
Swaminarayan Akshardham
Image: baps.org

Bharat Lall has served as president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA for more than a decade, leveraging his experience to renovate distressed hotel properties and transform them into profitable ventures. Outside of his professional life, Bharat Lall supports Indian awareness groups such as BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

Last April, the Swaminarayan Akshardham, a spiritual complex based in New Delhi, played host to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was escorted through the grounds by Narendra Modi, who serves as India’s Prime Minister. They kicked off their tour by stopping by the Swaminarayan Akshardham Mandir to pay reverence to the Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a revered Hindu teacher. During their time there, they took in the architecture around them, commenting on the location’s unique combination of history, technology, and spirituality.

During the trip, they also visited the Gajendra Pithika, a collection of stone elephant sculptures, and the Sanskruti Vihar exhibition, where they experienced a first-hand look at the cultural history of the country, as well as the unique spiritual significance of the locations. Turnbull ended the trip by writing his own personal entry in the site’s visitor’s book.

ISKCON Offers Online Marriage Counseling Courses

ISKCON pic
ISKCON
Image: iskconnews.org

Based in San Diego, Bharat Lall serves as president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA. When he isn’t working, Bharat Lall supports numerous causes, including the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), formerly known as Hare Krishna.

In response to the growing divorce rate in many countries, ISKCON recently rolled out an original digital platform that offers premarriage counseling services based on the philosophy of Srila Prabhupada. The new program, titled “Getting Ready for Married Life,” begins by offering two different learning tracks, one for each gender, to help couples adequately prepare for the challenges that come with marriage.

Throughout the classes, individuals are given the tools to examine their reasons for wanting to marry and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on how to build successful and lasting marriages. The program also offers courses designed to help couples who are already married improve their relationships and bring more harmony into their lives.

The San Diego Public Library’s I CAN! Center

San Diego Public Library pic
San Diego Public Library
Image: sandiego.gov

The founder, president, and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall focuses on locating, acquiring, and regenerating underperforming hotels throughout the United States. A San Diego resident, Bharat Lall supports numerous city initiatives and entities, including the San Diego Public Library (SDPL).

In an effort to provide services that are accessible to those with disabilities, the SDPL created the I CAN! Center. Located on the central library’s first floor, the I CAN! Center offers a range of programs, services, resources, and professional help so people with disabilities can use the library in a comfortable environment.

Equipped with 16 computers, each with enlarged screens and assistive software, the I CAN! Center also hosts two private study areas. Moreover, it features not just a number of large print and Braille books, but also e-readers and digital talking books.

Service animals are welcome at the I CAN! Center, which also operates a free library-by-mail service for people with significant visual impairments that prevent them from traveling to the library.

Changing the Roles of Hotels Locally

Pinnacle Hotels pic
Pinnacle Hotels
Image: pinnaclehotelsusa.com

Bharat Lall serves as the president and CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA in San Diego, California. In this role, Bharat Lall oversees a portfolio of eight hotels with more than 1,200 guest rooms.

For the past decade, “local” has been a major buzzword across many sectors, including the hospitality sector. The hospitality sector’s idea of “local” may have typically involved making artisanal products available to guests in hotels. However, the meaning of the term is likely to change in the near future.

Hotel experts have predicted that hotels will eventually play greater roles in the lives of members of local communities. While hotels used to serve as major community centers, in recent decades, they have focused more on guests from out of town than on locals. Not surprisingly, locals avoid going into them because they feel that they need a room number to receive services.

Hotels will once again begin offering services to the community by holding packages and keys, recommending nearby services, helping locals accomplish simple tasks, etc.

NSIF Grants for AVID Programs in Oregon

Nike School Innovation Fund  pic
Nike School Innovation Fund
Image: news.nike.com

A hospitality industry executive, Bharat Lall is the San Diego-based head of Pinnacle Hotels USA. Away from work, Bharat Lall supports Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a nonprofit organization that offers college-readiness programs to close the achievement gap.

Recently, AVID announced that it would receive $1.5 million in grants from the Nike School Innovation Fund (NSIF). This money will be distributed among schools across Oregon to bolster AVID programs for college and career readiness as well as school success. The grants will enable AVID to extend its operations to 40 percent more schools.

2017 is the third year of NSIF’s collaboration with AVID. In 2015, 50 high schools benefited from the partnership. In the subsequent year, 71 schools received funding. This year, to mark NSIF’s 10th anniversary, Nike is extending support to 100 schools.

NSIF began its partnership with AVID after Nike asked Oregon school leaders what was necessary to improve student success. The leaders indicated that AVID constituted impactful programming that would have positive results.

What Makes Kiva Stand Apart?

Kiva pic
Kiva
Image: kiva.org

A successful investor and hotel regeneration expert who purchases and reinvigorates underperforming hotels as part of his work with Pinnacle Hotels USA, a company he founded in 1998, Bharat Lall brings 20-plus years of hospitality-industry experience to the profession. Also a philanthropist, Bharat Lall supports Kiva, which offers loans to budding entrepreneurs to help them realize their potential.

One of the earliest adopters of crowdfunding technology, which websites like Kickstarter have gone on to make famous, Kiva provides a platform that brings together entrepreneurs and lenders. Entrepreneurs are able to obtain funding from hundreds of small lenders via the platform, while the lenders have the opportunity to invest in projects they really believe in.

This model lowers the fees borrowers often have to contend with when trying to launch projects, while increasing the likelihood of lenders receiving their loans back in full so the same money can be used to help others, either in local communities or locales across the world.

Thus far, the organization, which takes nothing from the funds offered by lenders, has distributed close to $1 billion in loans to borrowers in over 80 countries. Further, the platform has a loan repayment rate of over 97 percent.