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Hospitality Technology Announces 2021 Hotel Visionary Award Winners

Choice Hotels International and Loews Hotels & Co. honored for outstanding achievement, vision and leadership in technological innovation.
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Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Hotel Visionary Awards. The Hotel Visionary awards honor hotel companies for outstanding achievement, vision and leadership in technological innovation.

Every year, HT honors a select group of lodging companies for outstanding achievement in delivering technological excellence. This year’s awards were presented on Dec. 15 during HT-NEXT at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hospitality Technology (HT) and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) are collaborating for the fifth year in a row to host HT-NEXT 2021, a unique conference for the hospitality technology industry. The HT-NEXT Awards program includes the HTNG TechOvation awards and the Hotel Visionary Awards.

“Hotel technology is becoming more nimble and responsive — to operators’ needs, market demands, and guest preferences,” says Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor-in-chief at Hospitality Technology. “This year’s Visionary Award winners represent that acceleration, with one providing operators with an exceptional new tool for optimizing price structures in real time, and the other delivering digital tools that allow guests to customize their experience from end to end.”

The Hotel Visionary Awards, now celebrating 16 years, are presented in two categories: enterprise innovation and customer-facing innovation.


As Choice Hotels International saw the impact the global COVID-19 pandemic had on travel and the way it disrupted booking curves and pricing, the brand decided to launch a new revenue management system called ChoiceMAX to help franchisees optimize their pricing structure and increase revenue production. As an advanced and automated tool, ChoiceMAX continuously adapts to changes in the market using real-time data to ensure its hotels are always priced competitively. Additionally, the product’s mobile-first, user-friendly platform gives franchisees the power to access the information they need to make decisions from anywhere. Furthermore, as labor shortages continue to impact the hotel industry and owners’ ability to serve guests, ChoiceMAX helps free up owners’ time to focus on running their hotels and filling critical positions while maximizing ROI.

Some of the key capabilities of ChoiceMAX include: an optimization window of 365 days, rates that are updated four times per day, competitor shopping happens two times per day, real-time alerts that can be customized to stay up to date on price changes or when competitors make adjustments, automated delivery and implementation of pricing decision, and setting price floors and ceilings by day of the week and season.

To date, 93 percent of pricing recommendations from ChoiceMAX have been accepted by properties and the reception of ChoiceMAX among franchisees has been overwhelmingly positive. However, ChoiceMAX is only in its first phase of rollout. Choice Hotels plans to rollout two more phases of the product beginning in March 2022 which will focus on enhancing the user interface, group pricing, forecasting and pricing for extended stay hotels, and more.


In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Loews Hotels & Co. took a fast and aggressive approach to implementing contactless technologies at its 28 North American properties to ensure guests could return to the brand with confidence. This meant that the brand accelerated the implementation of a variety of guest-facing technologies, all housed within the guest portal. The portal provides guests with a variety of amenities. For instance, guests can opt in to a “Chat Your Service” program which allows guests to communicate via text message with the hotel’s on-property team – not bots. The portal provides guests with the option of ordering food from more than 40 different outlets for delivery, pickup or poolside delivery, and it has become the replacement for all traditional paper-based materials such as the in-room compendium, dining menu, outlet menus, arrival details, local attractions, outlet reservations and more. And guests have complete access to this portal without ever needing to login. This portal is offered to guests via various means including the Wi-Fi landing page, the in-room television, a QR code found in the guestroom or at front desk, and a key packet insert. It is also texted to all guests after they check-in at the PMS.

“Essentially, the Loews team has digitized and disconnected guests from a jagged and antiquated approach to information. Instead, we are now delivering information on the guests’ terms, at thoughtful intervals, to our guests’ most intimate piece of technology: their mobile devices!” said Barry Phillips, Senior Director IT Strategic Systems.

Since implementation, Loews has seen more than 70 percent of guests opt-in to the guest portal. This high rate of use means that the team has been able to make up for a lull in restaurant reservations during the pandemic with a high rate of food and beverage orders using the delivery/pickup service. In fact, this aspect of the portal accounts for more than 50 percent of all mobile orders and has brought an increase in revenue of more than $200k in 2021 alone.


Past Visionary Award Winners Include: 

·         Edwardian Hotels London (2020)

·         Hyatt (2020)

·         Motel 6 (2020)

·         RLH Corp. (2020)

·         IHG (2019)

·         Choice Hotels International (2019)

·         The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (2019)

·         Hyatt (2019)

·         Hilton (2018)

·         Nordic Choice Hotels (2018)

·         Caesars Entertainment (2018)

·         Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (2018)

·         EAST, Miami (2018)

·         Hyatt (2017)

·         NH Hotel Group (2017)

·         La Quinta Inns and Suites (2017)

·         Watermark Luxe Waterfront Cottages (2017)

·         Grand View Lodge (2016)

·         Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (2016)

·         Hilton Worldwide (2015)

·         Fontainebleau Hotel (2015)

·         SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts (2015)

·         Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2014)

·         La Quinta Inns & Suites (2014)

·         Red Lion Hotels (2014)

·         Hyatt Hotels (2013)

·         Red Roof Inns (2013)

·         Choice Hotels (2013)

·         Conrad Hotels & Resorts (2013)

·         Hilton Worldwide (2012)

·         LaQuinta Inns & Suites (2012)

·         Gaylord Entertainment (2012)

·         Flamigo Las Vegas (2012)

·         Choice Hotels International (2011)

·         Morgans Hotel Group (2011)

·         Galt House Hotel (2011)

·         Royal Caribbean (2011)

·         CityCenter (2010)

·         Courtyard by Marriott (2010)

·         JHM Hotels Group (2010)

·         InterContinental Hotels Group (2009)

·         Harrah’s Entertainment (2009)

·         Hyatt Place (2009)

·         Thayer Lodging Group (2009)

·         MTM Luxury Lodging (2008)  

·         The Peninsula Hotels (2008)

·         Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (2008)

·         Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2007)

·         Ginn Resorts (2007)

·         Hilton Hotels Corporation (2007)

·         Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (2006)

·         Harrah’s Entertainment (2006)

·         MGM Mirage (2006)

·         Wyndham International (2005)

·         Sea Island Company (2005)

·         Marriott International (2005)

·         Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (2005)

·         Hyatt International (2005)


About Hospitality Technology

Hospitality Technology (HT) is the only publication dedicated to covering the role of information technology in improving business performance for hotel and restaurant operators. The Hospitality Technology portfolio includes: a print publication that publishes eight times annually and reaches more than 16,000 hospitality industry executives, three networking and educational events (MURTEC, HT-NEXT and MURTEC Executive Summit), a comprehensive website, e-newsletters, web seminars, and several exclusive annual reports and studies. Visit Hospitality Technology online at Hospitality Technology is published by Chicago-based EnsembleIQ.

About EnsembleIQ

EnsembleIQ is the leading business intelligence platform serving the retail, consumer goods, health care, food service; pharmacy and hospitality industries focused on helping customers solve big problems and inspiring bold ideas. EnsembleIQ operates an integrated network of media brands across all retail sectors and leverages its scale to inform, connect and provide actionable marketplace intelligence to help clients achieve growth. Visit

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