One of Forbes 25 Most Influential Women in Travel, Checking In…

At first my goal for Checking In was to share some amazing lodgings that I come across as a senior travel editor/travel editor for GoNOMAD.com and the Lincoln Eagle. It later occurred to me that the people I meet in my position also give me access to some of the most informed and traveled experts out there. Everyone has a different take on just what luxury or a bargain is. Though some hotel brands spend a fortune trying to first get a fit on property and then getting the word out, I thought getting different opinions would benefit the actual traveler. I recently managed to reach and old friend and a woman who knows hotels and the business far beyond even most experts, Vivian Deuschl.

Vivian spent 25 years with the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, rising to the top and winning Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010. Forbes Executive Women also named her one of the Most Influential Women in Travel, a huge feat. She recently opened Deuschl Hospitality Public Relations in Nov. 2011 using her vast knowledge of the Hotel Industry. vdeuschl@gmail.com ; 0-703-941-6225 ; c- 571-419-6060 Vivian’s take on hotels is most interesting and informed and Checking In thanks her for her time and knowledge.

“As a travel and tourism public relations executive for more than 30 years, I am often asked my favorite hotels of all the places I have stayed from Beijing to Barcelona. They are surprised to learn my choices are not always five star, over- the- top hotels or resorts. My former Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company boss, and service visionary, Horst Schulze shared his wise philosophy early in my career when he told me “elegance without warmth is arrogance.” That is my mantra when I check in to a hotel, whether an historic bed and breakfast or trendy property, whose technology has me summoning room service when all I wanted was to turn on the bedside light at 2 am.

The genuine warmth and caring of the staff, their attentive but not obsequious service, and timely response to requests is what I want most from a hotel stay, especially when on vacation with my family. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and grew up staying in motels with tiny soaps, the smell of lingering stale cigarette smoke, and bath towels the size of washcloths. By the time my career was flourishing, and stays in luxury hotels were commonplace, I realized the “trappings” were not nearly as important to me as friendly smile, cheerful greeting, and being recognized by name. When the stay is memorable, the memories last a lifetime, and that is what great hospitality is all about. That is the true meaning of luxury to me!”

–Vivian Deuschl.