Sandman Remembers the Best of 2012!

Urgent assignment2012 was a year filled with an unbelievable amount of activity at Sandman Hotel Group. Whether it was awards and accolades for our flagship hotel in Newcastle, UK, the launch of our mobile app for the iPad and Android, amazing press and coverage for our hotels across Canada, or the expansion of our online social media presence, there was no shortage of excitement for everyone here at the Sandman family.

Kicking off our New Year, here is a list of our favourite stories from the past year!

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Sandman Signature Makes a Name for Itself

Over the past year, Sandman Signature Hotels & Resorts have been making waves across the nation and overseas. For instance our Langley location picked up the 2012 Commercial Building Award of Excellence in Hospitality from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board for being able to fulfill the following requirements:

• Does the development complement or add to the surrounding properties and neighbourhood?
• Is it esthetically pleasing?
• What construction materials were used in the overall design?
• Was it built in an environmentally sensitive manner?
• Does it incorporate any unique architectural features?
• How does this project compare to others in the same category?

An excellent list of categories to live up to, we couldn’t be more proud of their achievement!

Inn Focus

There was also great press for our other locations too! From our Sandman Signature Hotel & Suites Prince George getting front page coverage in ‘In Focus’ magazine, to our Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle, UK getting coverage for … everything! From their décor, history, and ambiance to their highly coveted RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) North East Renaissance Award for commercial property of the year, the good news hasn’t stopped coming. In addition, the reviews keep pouring in for our Edmonton South, Toronto and Vancouver Airport locations too. Quite simply, Signature is making its presence felt in the hotel world, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for each special location!

i Love the Sandman App!

2013 also ushered in some technological treats for all our guests too. Where last year we launched our brand new mobile booking app for the iPhone and BlackBerry, this year we wanted to make sure we topped ourselves with our apps for Android and the iPad (not to mention the improved version 2 for iPhone and Blackberry).

iPad App

Many months in the making, our experts worked day and night to ensure that we offered guests the easiest, breeziest and most rewarding booking experience…and we were not disappointed. With a whopping number of users already, there is no doubt that our new technology makes booking with us fast, efficient, easy, and full of perks. Not sure what you’re missing? Here are just a few of the benefits you can get from our mobile app.

  • The ability to reserve at over 40 locations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to promotions and limited-time offers
  • GPS and interactive map
  • The ability to earn and redeem StatusPlus points towards free stays
  • The ability to view StatusPlus points balance and profile status

A Clean Sweep for Sandman Hotels in Alberta

If there is one thing our hotels are proud of, it’s our standards and service. That’s why we were elated to learn that once again, that several of our hotels in Alberta have received prestigious recognition from the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association for Excellence in Housekeeping.

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Our Sandman Hotel Red Deer, Sandman Hotel Calgary South and Sandman Hotel Calgary Airport all were recipients of this AHLA award which states:

‘As a recipient of the Housekeeping Award, you are among a select group of properties that participate in the Approved Accommodation Program [and] have achieved excellence in cleanliness, comfort, and maintenance. The Housekeeping Award is a reflection of your staff and your property’s commitment to providing visitors with clean and comfortable accommodation.’

Now that’s spotless news.

Social Media Expansion

This year also saw the rise of our social media expansion across several channels. From Pinterest to Google +, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, and the ever increasing growth of our Facebook and Twitter pages, there were so many new ways to interact with our guests, fans, and friends. We met so many new people that we decided to get to know them all even better with our ‘Share Your Sandman Story Photo Contest.’

Share Your Sandman Story

Asking our friends to share their Sandman stories with us was one of our most successful social media campaigns of the year, and we received entries from all over the world. Whether it was a story about a memorable family stay, wonderful weekend getaway, the perfect wedding or friendly service during frequent business trips, we got to see the real people who make our company a success with pictures too!

Throughout the summer months we also gave away tons of prizes to everyone ranging from restaurant gift cards, hotel gift certificates, and two brand new iPads.

Double the Luck with Lucky 13

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Though it’s 2013 already, the number 13 played a huge role for Sandman in 2012. With our Lucky 13 Rewards Program, we decided to have a bit of fun and launch a campaign on Friday the 13th, called ‘Lucky 13 on Friday the 13th.’ Since there were two Friday the 13ths in 2012, we decided to make two fun videos for our friends detailing the special promotion which allowed guests to get DOUBLE the Lucky 13 stamps for every night they booked on the superstitious day. We were even lucky enough to get all-star backup quarterback for the BC Lions, Mike Reilly, to help us out.

In case you missed it all, check out some of our favourite videos, and moments below!

With so many events and activities, it’s pretty safe to say that 2012 was among one of our best years ever. However, we’re also willing to wager a bet that 2013 will be even better!

 

 

Sandman Signature Hotel & Suites Langley: The Perfect Weekend Retreat

Home may be where the heart is, but even the homiest of homebodies needs a weekend getaway occasionally.  Considering most weekends span 48-hours, and considering most leisure trips require:

  • driving time
  •  packing time
  • unpacking time
  •  repacking time
  • ‘where are my keys?’ time
  •  the inevitable ‘I’m missing my (insert obligatory object of constant neglect)’ time

That doesn’t leave that much time for … ‘let’s enjoy the weekend’ time.

So, perhaps a ten-hour road trip isn’t the best choice for your two-day excursion.

Enter Sandman Signature Hotel & Suites Langley. This four-star retreat is just far enough away from the city to offer you a quiet reprieve, but is also close enough to save you hours of gas, cramped leg space and sketchy mountain radio reception.

Located in a city called ‘the best kept secret in the Lower Mainland’, Langley is a unique hub brimming with culture, history and things to do. Whether it’s a wine tour at the famed Domaine de Chaberton Winery, Township 7, or award-winning golf at the Redwoods or Morgan Creek golf courses, you can have your rest and relaxation and barrage of interesting things to do – all while knowing that you’re just an hour away from home (or most major Lower Mainland cities).

On our most recent visit to this stunning property, we were pleasantly surprised by how easily accessible it was. A short and sweet drive from Vancouver, our trip to one of the newest Sandman developments was filled with sun, scenery and amazing hotel footage.

Conveniently located at the 200th Street interchange of the Trans-Canada Highway, this property is just minutes away from major Langley attractions and leisure pursuits, including fantastic boutique shopping (trust us, the staff rave about it!), the Colossus Cineplex/IMAX and lush nature parks.

Yet, as amazing as the surrounding area is, it’s what’s inside the hotel that is most compelling. Even as you stand in the entrance way, the attention to detail is hard to miss. Grand vases with smart angles, simple clean lines, ornate yet sleek velvet cushions, and an open-concept look give the lobby a contemporary and warm feel that really balances that fine line between opulence and cosy comfort.

In homage to our excursion, we’ve compiled a list of must see features at this local gem.

The Lobby

Where traditional hotel lobbies can feel like waiting rooms, the Signature Langley lobby has a social feel, inviting you to relax, unwind, and take in a paper or two while you admire accents like their custom fireplace with crystal bedding. Spend a few minutes walking around and you’ll also notice delicate and modern lighting fixtures – each with their own special charm that completes the overall ambiance. Great furniture choices add to the comfortable and casual feel, while also maintaining that hint of elegance that makes the level of finesse just a little more spectacular. Always customary, is the bowl of green apples at the front desk, a nice touch for anyone looking for a quick bite on their way in or out. We were particularly intrigued with the complimentary coffee machine which had an impressive array or gourmet choices including cappuccinos, mochas, macchiato and more. Top that off with the selectively placed seating and art work around different hallways, and you’ve got a top tier lounging experience.

The Team

In keeping with the warm elements of the lobby was our gracious host, Sylvia Jung, General Manager of the property. A seasoned member of the hotel industry she gave us a thorough introduction to everything that this Signature really represents. Among the most important elements she expressed were: elegant, relaxed comfort – which is, of course, the Sandman Signature tagline.  “We’re really proud of the product we have here,” says Sylvia “it’s just of such a high quality and standard.” When asked about her staff, her sentiments were the same: “Our staff works extremely hard to ensure that each guest has an experience that is special to them. Whether it’s a weekend away or a business trip, we go the extra mile to ensure that they have everything they need to feel relaxed and happy. We’re really proud to provide stays that make memories.”

The Rooms

Largely focused on ensuring that guests can experience everything from couples romance packages, family getaways to excellent corporate retreats, this hotel boasts a wide range of rooms and amenities that provide everything from peace and quiet to loads of fun (and everything else in between). We toured around and were particularly in awe of the spacious Loft Suites, the entreating Jacuzzi Suites and the Family-Friendly suites.

The Loft Suites housed an incredible amount of space and had a New York style feel, with a little West Coast edge.

The Jacuzzi Suites featured the ideal set up for couples, maintaining an open concept where the Jacuzzi and TV could be used at the same time.

The Family Suites had cute and cozy bunk beds in a separate cloister – ideal for little munchkins who whisper away into the night.

In addition, each of the pillow top beds had a mixture of soft and satiny fabrics – not only to make them exceptionally comfortable, but to also appeal to the eyes and senses while providing that good night’s sleep that we’re so proud of.

The business facilities were also flush with exceptional accents as well. Whether it was the 1500 square-foot, open-space banquet room with seating for up to 100, or the fast and efficient business centre with high-speed Internet, printers, fax machines and more – everything was in place for work to get done in style.

The Food

With a sleek and stylish Moxie’s Grill & Bar attached just at the north end of the lobby, guests can walk into a buzzing establishment with a cozy-cool lounge, bold and lively bar and gorgeous roof-top patio. A local favourite for lunch, dinner and brunch, there is always an eclectic mix of diners, making it a sure-fire pick for a good time. Wine lovers can also rejoice in their extensive list of ‘40 wines under 40 dollars.’

With everything you need, including a fabulous pool and fitness centre, we think now is the perfect time for you to lose yourself in Langley luxury.

For more information about Sandman Signature Hotel & Suites Langley, go to: www.sandmansignature.ca/hotels/langley.

To see deals and packages, click here:  http://ht.ly/b89lc  .

If you’re looking to win a free $50 gift certificate to Sandman Hotels, simply post a comment on our blog or facebook telling us which item is customarily displayed on our Sandman Signature front desks! We’ll announce a winner on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.  Happy May Long!

Sandman Scores with the WHL

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If the first round of the NHL Playoffs has left you bereft and teary-eyed this year, then don’t worry, there is another league that’s waiting to lift your spirits. Since 1966, the Western Hockey League, or the WHL, has been providing countless cities across Canada and the US with solid prime time junior hockey, and … Continue reading

Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Sandman Hotels!A quick tour through the histories and legends surrounding Valentine’s Day will lead you to a disjointed tale starting with persecution and executions in ancient times. Not very romantic, eh?  There appears to be no one, definitive origin but the general consensus is that Valentine’s Day as we know it, was inspired at least, by several Christian martyrs named ‘St. Valentine’ who lived around 1800 years ago.  

We’d challenge anyone to find a link (beyond a name and a date) between these histories and modern Valentine’s Day… which is perhaps why a number of legends have been created to fill in the romantic blanks.

The romantic in us wants to believe in the legend of St. Valentine, a cleric who defied a Roman Emperor’s law that forbade young men from marrying, believing it distracted them from their military duties. So the story goes, St. Valentine continued to conduct secret wedding ceremonies until he was found out and thrown in jail. A modern day embellishment on this tale – created by American Greetings – concludes that once in jail and on the eve of his execution, St. Valentine himself sent the first ‘Valentines’ card to his beloved – ‘from your Valentine’.

Fast forward a lot of centuries (past a few vague references in the middle ages) and you find that modern Valentine’s Day practices have their roots in the late 1700s when an English publisher decided to give the romantically challenged a helping hand in expressing their feelings – in the form of sentimental versus. Soon these versus were produced on cards and with the postal system becoming more accessible, so started the popularity of sending cards. The first mass produced factory cards actually date back to the late 19th century – a little earlier than you were expecting perhaps?

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day 2012 is just around the corner! How will you be celebrating? If you’re pro-Valentine’s day, perhaps a romantic getaway to a Sandman or Sandman Signature Hotel is in order? We have hotels in many of the destinations that Amazon.ca has just named Canada’s most romantic destinations – including Victoria, Toronto, Kelowna, Langley and Regina.

Hate it? Then perhaps you should check out your nearest Anti-Valentine’s Day events! Gather up your friends and check out the Sutton Place Hotel’s “Be My Anti-Valentine” package   in Vancouver. Build your own Sundaes in your room, get unlimited in-room movies, a voodoo doll, cocktails in the Gerard lounge, breakfast and a late check out!

However you choose to celebrate (or ignore) Valentine’s Day – here’s hoping you have a fabulous February 14th!