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The Orange Tree Golf Resort wins the Green by Design Award!

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Green by Design Awards Celebrates Eco-Friendly Business Practices
Local companies acknowledged by the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for their dedication to green practices

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 3, 2009) – The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau revealed the winners of the Green by Design Awards at its Quarterly Update Meeting on Nov. 3 as part of its sustainability initiatives. Orange Tree Golf Resort, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Desert Botanical Garden and O’Neil Printing were recognized for exhibiting outstanding sustainability practices.

The Scottsdale bureau acknowledged participants in three categories: Green, Greener and Greenest. The Green category recognizes businesses that created green projects, programs or campaigns; while the Greener designation is awarded for improvements on pre-existing efforts. The Greenest category is for companies that practice both green initiatives and offer green products or services.

Orange Tree Golf Resort won in the Green category for installing a solar water heating system, which dramatically reduces natural gas emissions, for use in their on-site laundry and housekeeping area as well as for 20 guest rooms. It is estimated that the resort will decrease their associated natural gas bill by 50 percent and eliminate approximately 100 tons of carbon emissions annually. In six months, the company hopes to expand this green practice to all guest rooms.

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Hawaii Packages, From $125 to $729

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
A mix of hotel specials and air/hotel packages for a warm getaway on the Big Island, Kauai, Maui, or Oahu.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kauai, from $125 per night
Renting a condo or apartment is one way to keep the cost of Hawaii down. The Princeville Vacation Condo Rental, on Kauai’s north shore, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen. The condo is in Princeville Resort on Hanalei Beach. Rates start at $125 per night, a savings of about 17 percent. When Apr. 1–Oct. 31, 2009. Details All taxes included; the maximum occupancy is six people. Requires a three-night stay. Contact

Big Island, from $131 per room per night
Shell Hospitality, a network of 22 resorts, is offering spring specials. One includes 30 percent off at the Kona Coast Resort when you book three nights. The resort has 267 villas with private patios, kitchens, and ocean or garden views. Rates start at $131 per room per night, or $393 for the required three-night stay. When Ongoing. Details Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Requires a three-night stay. Contact 866/729-7182,

Big Island, from $179 per room per night
The advance purchase rate at the Hilton Waikoloa Village will save you about $100 a night if you pay in full at the time of booking. The hotel offers three pools, a private beach, and a saltwater lagoon. Rates start at $179 per room per night. When Through Dec. 20, 2009. Details Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Requires 14-day advance booking. Contact 800/445-8667,

Maui, from $185 per room per night
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, which has more than 20 properties in Hawaii, is offering a Free Night and Free Groceries package. It includes accommodations, a gift card at a local grocery store, and an ecofriendly tote bag. The lowest rate is valid at Outrigger Aina Nalu, close to Lahaina on the waterfront. You’ll receive a $50 gift card for groceries and a free night. Rates start at $185 per room per night, or $740 for the required five-night stay (with the fifth night free). When Through Dec. 21, 2009. Details Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Requires a five-night stay. Contact 800-688-7444,

Oahu, air/5 nights, from $586 per adult, $199 per child
Tour operator Pleasant Holidays has inexpensive packages for Hawaii right now; we like the Kids Fly to Oahu for $199 promotion. The package includes round-trip airfare from L.A. or San Francisco to Honolulu, five nights’ accommodations, hotel taxes, and fuel surcharges. For adults the package is $586, but it’s just $199 for kids. The hotel accommodations depend on when you book; see the website for more details. Book By Apr. 30, 2009. When June 1–Aug. 23, 2009. Details Taxes are additional. Based on double occupancy; child rate valid for ages 2 to 17. Other gateways available for a supplement. Contact 800/742-9244,

Oahu, air/6 nights, from $729 per person
Round-trip airfare, six nights at the Wyland Waikiki Hotel, transfers, breakfast daily, and a fresh-flower-lei greeting are included in this package. Booked independently, the hotel accommodations alone would cost $567 per person—for $162 more, the package throws in the flight and the transfers, all in one booking. When Apr. 1–Dec. 15, 2009. Gateways L.A., Phoenix; add $70 for Houston, $110 for New York City; additional gateways available. Details Does not include airport taxes and fees of $59. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $309. Based midweek travel; weekend rates will be slightly higher. Contact Travel Themes and Dreams, 877/870-7447,

Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Shell Vacations Hospitality Selects Market Metrix For Customer and Employee Feedback Solutions

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Vacation Ownership Developer Uses Intelligence to Yield Continuously Improving Satisfaction

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Aug. 6, 2008 — Market Metrix, LLC, the leading provider of feedback and performance tools for the hospitality industry, announced today that Shell Vacations Hospitality, one of the nation’s most respected resort management companies, has chosen the company’s real-time satisfaction survey system to optimize the guest experience and improve employee engagement.

“Since initiating the Market Metrix program in February of this year, we’ve seen a consistent month-to-month increase in our satisfaction scores,” said Hedy D. Aguilera, Hospitality Project Manager with Shell Vacations Hospitality. “With the Market Metrix tools, we’ve obtained deeper insights into the resort experiences of our members, owners, exchangers and renters, by asking more specific questions that capture their needs and wants; we’re also able to act on the information in a timely manner.”

In fact, in addition to seeing customer satisfaction scores rise, Shell Vacations Hospitality also has experienced a decrease in complaints and quicker resolution of guest problems. “The Service Manager feature of Customer Metrix™ has become an indispensible management tool. With instant electronic alerts, problems are being quickly resolved, often while the owner or guest is still on-site,” said Aguilera.

“We credit our recent rise in customer satisfaction scores, at least in part, to this new ability to recover service errors in real-time.”

“In this difficult economic climate, cultivating a sustainable and profitable customer base is the most cost-effective way to grow a hospitality business,” said Robert Honeycutt, CEO of Market Metrix. “We look forward to helping Shell Vacations Hospitality create loyal customers and an engaged workforce, strategies that will position the company well through the current downturn and poise them for increased market share when spending resumes.”

Also, because of the downturn, many hospitality companies are making cuts without understanding the impact on the guest. By analyzing both guest and employee satisfaction, Shell Vacations Hospitality will have a complete picture for resource allocation and operational decisions that will have the greatest impact on guest loyalty.  For example, Shell Vacations Hospitality has used the results to implement several employee training programs to target low-scoring service areas, resulting in visible and rapid improvements.


Shell Vacations Hospitality also selected Market Metrix for the company’s benchmarking database, known as the Market Metrix Hospitality Index™ (MMHI), the largest, most in-depth performance comparison of hospitality brands, including vacation-ownership segmentation.  The MMHI enables Shell Vacations Hospitality to see how it scores in more than 80 categories relative to competitors.  The MMHI has been tracking the vacation-ownership industry for nearly ten years.  According to MMHI results for 2007, the vacation-ownership segment outperformed all other industry segments in overall customer satisfaction. This is remarkable, considering the database includes the high-priced brands in the luxury and upscale casino segments.

About Shell Vacations Hospitality

Shell Vacations Hospitality manages a collection of 23 resorts, hotels and lodges ideal for family vacations, romantic getaways, retreats, reunions and business trips.  Visitors may stay at hotels and resorts in popular destinations in the U.S. and Canada and enjoy San Francisco’s arts district, lodge living in Whistler, Southwest-style casitas along the fairways of Arizona’s top-rated golf courses, lanais overlooking Hawaii’s pounding surf, and more. Shell Vacations Hospitality is a subsidiary of Shell Vacations LLC, a premier developer of upscale vacation ownership resorts.  Visit

About Market Metrix

Market Metrix helps hospitality companies around the world foster loyal customers and engaged employees. Based on award-winning research and breakthrough concepts, our products deliver instant survey results, analysis and management tools for increasing revenue and reducing staff turnover.  Our benchmarking database, MMHI, is the most comprehensive, independent comparison of consumer brand satisfaction in the industry. Our annual MMHI Awards are coveted by lodging and travel enterprises around the world. With clients that include more than 120 brands across 70 countries, Market Metrix has been helping leading hospitality companies turn feedback into performance since 1996.  For more information, visit