News Briefs

  • 2/14/2024

    Hospitable Launches Hospitable Connect

    hospitable logo
    Vacation rental software provider Hospitable has announced the launch of Hospitable Connect, making it the first PMS in the world to provide third-party tech platforms with direct access to online travel agents (OTAs) without an integration.
    Powered by Hospitable’s robust API, Hospitable Connect facilitates a swift and straightforward connection that enables tech providers to leverage their customers’ OTA reservation data — even if the hosts themselves are not yet a PMS user. 
    This means that, for the first time, hosts can take advantage of a far wider range of tech tools, which would normally only be available to those with a portfolio large enough to warrant a PMS subscription. 
    Hosts are finally able to build a bespoke tech stack, leveling the tech playing field between themselves and larger property management companies. With more apps to choose from, hosts can select the right tools to help them solve individual problems and elevate their operations – signaling a new chapter of accessible technology for the STR industry. 
    In turn, STR tech vendors gain access to a wealth of invaluable host data, including real-time listings, calendars and reservations, as well as historical channel data. Equipped with these insights, vendors can better understand the needs of their customers, refine their services and expand their product offering. 
    Hospitable Connect aligns with Hospitable’s core mission to gift hosts their time back. While the software provider will leverage the relationship with other platforms and their customers to increase its own subscriber base, the ultimate goal is to provide hosts with the tools they need to efficiently run their business. 
    Hospitable Connect is available for Airbnb at the moment, but Hospitable has plans to extend its services to more OTAs soon. Hospitable has an existing partnership with Airbnb and leverages their official API to facilitate this connection, meaning vendors are not connected directly to Airbnb’s API, but to Hospitable Connect’s API. Hospitable Connect comes at no cost to vendors or hosts. 
    Hospitable Connect builds on the company’s API, which enables third-party vendors to access host data from Hospitable’s customer stack. This enables software vendors to market to a growing number of self-managers and property managers spanning 183,975 properties, and hosts to connect with more software providers and better automate their processes.
    Pierre-Camille Hamana, founder & CEO of Hospitable, said: “Hospitable Connect empowers short-term rental tech vendors to build smarter solutions, and hosts are finally able to create their perfect tech stack. By removing the barriers to OTA integration, we're opening the door for vendors to build the tools that really address the specific needs of every host at any budget. 
    “With access to a wider spectrum of tools, hosts can compete with the most professional managers. Our aim has always been to support self-managers and hosts, and Hospitable Connect is the missing piece of the puzzle for those not quite ready to go down the PMS route but who quickly could once they realize how much easier their lives could be with a full tech stack.”
    Founded in 2016, Hospitable is a vacation rental software provider offering a suite of tools that empower hosts to automate the most time-consuming elements of hosting. To find out more about Hospitable, visit
  • 2/14/2024

    Apaleo Sets ‘New Record’ for Tech Rollout

    apaleo logo
    Apaleo has set a new benchmark for tech adoption after moving all 7,500 rooms at operator citizenM's US and European operations to its property management platform in under two months.
    The Dutch-based hotel brand has just completed the switch at sites located in 18 cities around the world. All this happened in the space of just eight weeks, with the Apaleo team managing to roll out multiple properties per day.
    PMS migrations have traditionally been highly difficult to execute, but the teams at Apaleo and citizenM believe this will have been the fastest onboarding for any mid-sized hotel group to date, owing to modern, self-service architecture, plug-and-play onboarding, and scalable project management. 
    Together, citizenM and Apaleo, worked as partners on state-of-the-art program management that unlocked the ability to take multiple properties live simultaneously, following successful data migration from legacy systems and the complete change of the tech stack. The migration included every citizenM hotel in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Geneva, Glasgow, London, Paris, Rome, Zurich, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Austin, Seattle and Washington DC. Significantly, all of the installations were remotely managed without going on site for any aspect of the implementation.
    Mike Rawson, CIO of citizenM, commented: “The migration was a hugely ambitious project, requiring very detailed planning for many hotels across the globe. Compared to any other PMS of similar size and scope, it was the quickest implementation ever witnessed in our industry. Our congratulations go to our fantastic citizenM team and to everyone at Apaleo, who have proven to be such valuable partners.”
    “Our decision to adopt an API-first platform is futureproofing our business and guaranteeing our ability to move with the times and create exactly the kind of guest experience we want for our guests. Beyond a mere PMS migration, our initiative embraces numerous components and leverages the Apaleo Store to enhance our service capabilities.”
    Philip von Ditfurth, Co-founder and Managing Director of Apaleo, added: “For years, citizenM has been associated with pushing the boundaries of what technology can achieve in hospitality, so it was only logical that we would eventually join forces. The team at citizenM are as passionate as we are about the transformational power of digitisation and personalisation. They want to stay ahead of the game with a digital guest journey that is unique and helps define them as a brand, and we’re going to help deliver that. This project was important because it also demonstrated to other operators labouring under the weight of legacy PMS systems that implementation time is no longer a reason to delay modernisation. It’s now a seamless process with no business interruption.”
  • 2/13/2024

    Curbit, Ovation Collaborate to Streamline the Guest Experience

    Curbit, a technology company specializing in AI-driven dynamic order throttling for restaurants, announced its strategic partnership with Ovation, a platform in the restaurant industry for guest feedback known for its real-time, SMS-based solutions. This collaboration aims to streamline brand interactions with guests, offering an elevated guest experience coupled with a comprehensive feedback loop.
    When patrons with a valid mobile number place an order through a brand utilizing the Curbit and Ovation service, real-time SMS updates powered by Curbit will provide accurate promise times and comprehensive order progress information. This ensures that guests are well-informed and can confidently anticipate the status of their orders.
    Approximately 30 minutes after the scheduled pickup time, customers will receive another SMS within the same thread. This touchpoint, powered by Ovation, invites them to share feedback and rate their overall experience. This dual-powered approach not only keeps customers engaged during the pickup experience, but also increases adoption into the feedback process.
    The integration was successfully tested and fully implemented at Marugame Udon, a California-based multi-unit operator. “Curbit and Ovation have simplified the process for our guests and made it intuitive for our operations team,” said Kristin Yi, Director of Marketing.
    “We are thrilled to bring this to our shared ecosystem,” said Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer Scott Siegel of Curbit. “This pairing closes the operator feedback loop with speed of service and guest sentiment insights. Actionable data goes right back into the operations to support continuous improvement and translates to a more reliable guest experience.”
  • 2/14/2024

    The Surf & Sand Hotel Is Now Pensacola Beach’s First Solar-Powered Commercial Property

    Innisfree hotels logo

    Innisfree Hotels ( proudly announces the completion of an ambitious solar power project at its Surf & Sand Hotel in Pensacola Beach. SunFarm Energy, Northwest Florida’s local solar experts, recently installed a 330-panel rooftop solar array atop the 100-room property, making it the first solar-powered commercial site in Pensacola Beach and resulting in a huge reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint. 

    The solar power provided by the rooftop setup will offset nearly half of the Surf & Sand’s annual energy usage and provide substantial savings on utility bills.. By reducing the hotel’s carbon footprint by 50%, the solar project is reducing emissions equivalent to: 

    • 37 gas-powered vehicles driven for one year
    • 18,740 gallons of gasoline
    • 186,551 pounds of coal burned
    • 21 homes’ energy use for one year
    • 20,258,413 smartphones charged

    The Surf & Sand solar project represents a significant milestone in creating a clean energy future on the Gulf Coast and a major step toward accomplishing Innisfree Hotels’ sustainability goals. The use of solar energy increases the Surf & Sand’s rating for the Green Key Global sustainable hospitality program in which all 27 of Innisfree’s properties participate. 

    In addition, the partnership between Innisfree and SunFarm Energy extends beyond the Surf & Sand project. The companies are collaborating on the launch of an Employee Solar Program to further Innisfree’s ESG initiatives, and SunFarm Energy has made a donation to The Hive, Innisfree’s philanthropic arm in Pensacola and other local communities. 

    “By transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, this project is reducing carbon emissions, contributing to improved air quality, and demonstrating that Innisfree is a leader in sustainability,” said Bethanne Edwards, Director of Sustainability at Innisfree Hotels. “What’s more, the solar project helps us deliver on our Triple Bottom Line commitment where success is determined by how well we protect the planet while serving people and communities.”

  • 2/13/2024

    National Hotel Miami Beach Embracing Flexible Financial Management Tools to Streamline Back-Office Operations

    National Hotel Miami Beach exterior

    With 101 newly designed city and direct ocean view guest rooms in its historic tower and 36 luxurious cabanas and suites, The National Hotel Miami Beach is impressing guests with stunning views, luxury accommodations, personalized experiences, and unparalleled service. Invisible to guests at this AAA 4 Diamond oceanfront property is how efficiently the hotel’s finance team is operating thanks to the addition of two software solutions from Aptech: PVNG Enterprise Accounting and Targetvue Budgeting & Forecasting.

    “The Aptech software development team is amazing,” said Sarah Fisch, chief financial officer at The National Hotel. “Ever since joining the company I have been very demanding, always asking for new enhancements to meet our specific and strategic needs. Not once have I heard the word ‘no’ from anyone. Aptech always provides a solution. Before migrating to these cloud solutions, my team spent a lot of time creating journal entries and manually plugging data into legacy systems. Today, workflow is far more efficient, and tedious manual data-entry processes have been eliminated.”

    PVNG – named among the “Best Finance & Accounting Software” of 2024 by Hotel Tech Report – features Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger, Statistics, Financials, Bank Reconciliation, automated invoice processing, a myriad of payment options, and drill-down capabilities in financial statements and reports. It is the first hotel accounting solution to connect to the Plaid Data Network. It can handle single or multi-property accounting and can be deployed as a hosted service.

    Targetvue provides accounting teams with “one version of the truth.” It consolidates reports, identifies trends, and eliminates the maintenance and distribution of Excel spreadsheets throughout the organization. Automated forecast snapshots offers users ad-hoc capabilities to previous and future performance projections. 

    “These solutions are extremely user friendly,” Fisch said. “I was surprised by the simplicity. Rather than giving us a lot of options or features that we will never use or cannot understand, PVNG and Targetvue have just what we need, like reports that can be updated instantly. The flexibility of the software and the support team makes us feel like both solutions were tailored just for The National Hotel. If I had to describe these tools in one word it would be ‘functional’ and/or ‘convenient.’”

    Exemplary Customer Care

    Impressive to Fisch and her associates is Aptech’s customer care department. Fisch said each member of the team values human relationships and applies technology to solve business problems for people through technical support, operational support, software support, on-site user training, report creation, software installation, customized programming, web-based user training, data transformation, data conversion, problem resolution and product updates. The team’s work with clients often extends well beyond the initial installation project to keep customers aware of industry changes affecting systems, business practices, enterprise resource planning and emerging options that may be available to enhance their operation.

    “Aptech support is wonderful,” Fisch said. “When I send an email request or question, I always get a response the same day, oftentimes within minutes. If my customer care agent is unavailable, someone else is always willing to fill in. It’s a great team.”

    Sam Costa, Aptech Director of Client Success, said hoteliers are Aptech’s best salespeople. Every time he reads a customer review on Hotel Tech Report, he said he is humbled by the words people use to describe his team and their proficiency, such as ‘amazing,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘efficient,’ ‘timely,’ ‘effective,’ ‘the best,’ ‘responsive,’ ‘always available,’ ‘fast,’ ‘understandable,’ ‘reliable,’ and ‘strong-knit team.’

    “We are delighted that The National Hotel is finding PVNG and Targetvue to be so flexible, functional, and user friendly,” Costa said. “Being able to streamline their financial processes is enabling management to deliver reports on the fly to those who need them. We look forward to supporting this legendary art deco hotel for years to come and introducing new solutions when the time is right. At Aptech, we are devoted to keeping our customers aware of industry changes in technology and developing innovative options to enhance their organization.”

    Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus Partner and Premier Solution Provider as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner, and proud members of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

  • 2/12/2024

    El Pollo Loco's New CEO

    El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc.  has appointed Elizabeth (“Liz”) Williams as the new Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors, effective March 11.

    Williams will succeed Maria Hollandsworth, who has served as the company’s interim Chief Executive Officer since November 3. Hollandsworth has been appointed as President of El Pollo Loco and will also continue to serve as  Chief Operating Officer.

    Most recently, Williams served as the CEO of Outfox Hospitality, parent company of Foxtrot, a high-growth modern café and convenience store, and Dom’s Kitchen and Market. Prior to Foxtrot, she led innovative brands like Drybar and Hart House, a vegan quick-service chain.

    Williams has extensive restaurant experience working closely with franchise partners to accelerate growth. She spent ten years with Yum! Brands and Taco Bell between 2010 and 2020, holding various leadership positions including CFO and President of Taco Bell International. During her tenure, she was responsible for the brand strategy, growth, and performance of the international business across 30 countries, and drove notable operational improvements along with sales and profit growth.

    “We are excited to welcome Liz Williams as our new Chief Executive Officer,” said William Floyd, Chairman of the El Pollo Loco Board. “Throughout her career, Liz has demonstrated her ability to accelerate growth in food and beverage brands while simultaneously improving financial performance. We believe she has the skills and experience necessary to lead El Pollo Loco as we capitalize on the significant opportunity ahead of us.”

    Floyd continued, “We would also like to express our deep appreciation to Maria for her leadership as Interim Chief Executive Officer over the past three months. We are excited to benefit from her continued leadership as she helps craft and execute on our strategic vision as President and Chief Operating Officer of El Pollo Loco.”

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