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While Westin Hotels are trying to cater for the lonely solo traveler by creating their Unwind social events, the Novotel group seem to be facing reality: solo travelers often just want to sit down, eat their dinner in peace, not speak to a soul but at the same time, not look like they have no pals. Having worked this out, Novotel also figured out a solution:
We know that guests travelling alone frequently avoid restaurants because they stand out from other diners. With TV Dining, they have an experience that's designed for them, with in-built entertainment that doesn't intrude on other guests.
It works like this: Novotel solo guests can ask for a "TV Dinner", sitting in the restaurant but at a table especially designed for one, with a personal TV screen (and headphones) for company.
Which is pretty similar to what one hotel in Chicago has been doing.
Initial trials of TV Dining in Heathrow and Birmingham airport hotels worked out so well that Novotel is planning to extend it to at least another dozen British hotels, and later into the continental European market as well. It's all very nice that we don't want to talk to anyone and that hotels are recognizing this, but in a way, it's also a little bit sad, isn't it?
We are sorry to inform that there was left some of your personal effects in room 304....Fortunately, due to the professional and personal characteristics of Novotel, the lost item was found. And we are happy to return it.
The hotel even used a special VIP route to get the missing "items" back to its rightful owner.
See the full letter after the jump.