How does a hotel reinvent its culture and customer service around a #hashtag?

Well, last week, I asked hotelier Rob Cartwright about that for my latest article that ran today on the industry publication Hotel News Now’s website.

Cartwright, CEO of Northern Hospitality, is the reason why the Sheraton hotel sign that for years had been situated at the city’s entrance was taken down and replaced with a sign that simply states “#WarmWelcome.” It’s one indication of how seriously the hotel has embraced the hashtag – and all that it represents.

“It permeates throughout the whole experience,” Cartwright said, referring to the #WarmWelcome phrase. “When people answer the phone they say, ‘Warm welcome to the Sheraton Portsmouth…When you walk up to check-in, the sign behind the front desk says ‘Warm Welcome’ instead of ‘Registration.’ The marketing piece has been pulled through and become more of a cultural differentiator.”

I encourage you to read the piece on Hotel News Now for the big picture, but here’s one of my favorite quotes from Cartwright:

“You might as well be social with people. That’s how most people interact now,” he told me.

Other hotels featured in the series so far are the Distrikt Hotel in New York, the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco and the Amsterdam-based citizenM brand, which last month opened its first hotel in the USA in New York.