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05/11/2021

New Hospitality Brand to Focus on Tech

Led by former Holiday Inn CEO Ken Hamlet, Olive Tree Hotels and Resorts is investing substantially in technology.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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In a recent press release, Olive Tree Holdings announced that was launching Olive Tree Hotels and Resorts and earmarking $500M to acquire select-service hotels and opportunistic full-service assets. Led by former Holiday Inns, Inc. CEO Ken Hamlet, Olive Tree Hotels & Resorts will focus on dramatically improving customer service with white-glove training and enhancing operations through the introduction of intuitive technology. To learn more about what types of technologies the hospitality brand plans to invest in, HT reached out and spoke with Hamlet.

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Ken Hamlet, CEO

How much money does Olive Tree Hotels and Resorts plan to invest in technology rollouts, upgrades, etc.?
Olive Tree Hotels and Resorts is investing substantially into technology. We have a vertically integrated technology stack that enables us to build software in-house end to end, along with institutional analytics, technology, and automation that enables a beautiful UI/UX experience throughout our business. These efforts work in unison to reduce time spent per action, lower cost, enhance our ability to select markets and micro-locations, and improve magnitude and probability of successful outcomes.

Where will you focus your attention when it comes to technology rollouts and upgrades and why?
It starts with data. The more data sources and better data architecture powering our technology stack, the more frictionless, more curated and delightful the customer journey will be. Data goes hand in hand with design and the minimal number of actions to get to the moments of gratification.

How will the company’s existing platform provide it with a unique competitive advantage?
Olive Tree has an integrated and collaborative team that combines all aspects of enabling a successful hotel repositioning in-house. From analytics and acquisitions on the front end through diligence, construction management, asset management, re-design, and finance and legal. Our team of exceptional performers, leaders, and systems-builders facilitates consistent exceptional outcomes through hard work, collaboration, consistent open dialogue, and iterative discovery.

What kind of energy efficiency upgrades will you be implementing? Do you have a sustainability goal?
As a people-first company, sustainability is very important to us along with our Environmental, Social and Governance policies. I can tell you that Olive Tree on the multifamily side has provided beautiful, safe, highly regarded affordable housing for tens of thousands of people across the United States. Olive Tree focuses on major green efficiency initiatives where it has systemitized the implementation of low flow plumbing fixtures and LED lighting at each of its properties as part of its capital improvement strategies. Additionally, we are looking into technology to measure HLP and water usage and state-of-the-art tech systems to control usage while giving the customer the best environmental experience we can, as well as solar, wind power, and other meaningful sources of alternative energy where feasible. We recognize that energy efficiency and climate change is often the most important social issue for our guests and we want to make sure that we are completely aligned with our guest expectations.

What type of intuitive technology will you be introducing to enhance operations?
Laser-focused on the user experience, we are identifying opportunities to simplify the check-in process, simplify the guest's interactions with hotel staff and a wide breadth of concierge services to gratify guest needs during the stay. Additionally, we intend to use the latest techniques to reduce energy and water consumption and protect the environment. We plan to use technological innovations to enhance staff training, so that we will deliver excellent customer service throughout the guest-stay experience. We are also developing improved workflow patterns for the team to make their jobs more efficient - resulting in less wasted movement and better labor efficiency.