5 questions with John V Washko of Auberge Resorts

Hotel Management: As the hotel industry shifts into 2015, in regard to the overall operations of hotels, what do you perceive to be your biggest opportunity? 
JW: Social media opportunities and how we improve technology at our hotels and resorts, as well as in-room technology, utility savings and reaching out to newer demographics and younger clientele.

HM: In regard to the operations of hotels, what do you perceive to be your biggest challenge?
JW: Cost savings while producing a luxury experience, cutting costs across the board and rising utility costs. Changing demographics and newer service offerings, as well as training staff is always a problem.

HM: As it relates to technology in 2015, what hotel service or amenity do you believe will most surprise and wow hotel guests?
JW: In-room technology and allowing guests the ability to check-in prior to arrival on mobile devices, pads, etc. Additionally, activities and experiences that are created to attract newer and younger guests in the changing demographics.

HM: What goals has your hotel company set forth in 2015 to make sure it is improving the overall guest experience? 
JW: Remain up to date on the latest trends regarding the shifting demographics and clientele, improve on technology, improve on social media, improve on social outreach and train staff in social media outreach and services.

HM: As it relates to technology and hotel operations, where will the majority of your attention be placed in 2015 and what will be your biggest cost? 
JW: Guestroom utilities savings and reducing electric and water use. Also on-room services, i.e. room service and spa ordering mobility, smart room technology and improved ways to service guests related to room service.