Daniel Edward Craig (@DCraig) hardly needs an introduction. Online he is a well known hotelier who became a writer and a hotel consultant. Happy to have him here.
1) Who Are you?
I’m Daniel Edward Craig and I’m an author, consultant and astronaut. I specialize in online reputation management, storytelling and social media strategy for hotels and the travel industry. The astronaut bit is an example of storytelling.
In 2008, after almost 20 years in hotels and tourism, I left my position as a hotel general manager to focus on writing. In my first book, Murder at the Universe, the owner of a hotel gets murdered. That premise alone sold a lot of books to hospitality employees.
These days I work on projects, conduct seminars, administer my blog and seem to waste a great deal of time. I’m also supposed to be working on my next book, a non-fictional insider’s look at the hotel business.
2) What do you like about what you do?
I love connecting with people around the world via social media and learning about innovation. As an independent consultant I work from home, which gives me flexibility—in theory at least. I’m passionate about hotels and travel, and I’m lucky to be able to combine my profession with my personal interests. But I miss my expense account as a hotel manager.
3) What don’t you like about what you do?
A lot of my work involves writing. Having written books I find blog posts and 140-character tweets a challenge. Writers are always happy to find excuses not to write, and social media might just be my downfall. I can’t resist clicking links, and suddenly it’s three days later. So I try to stay involved in a variety of consulting projects. I miss working as part of a team—and especially delegating.
4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.
My blog started out as the General Manager’s Blog while I was managing Opus way back in the swinging sixties of internet years: 2006. After I left Opus it morphed into my author blog. Today it focuses on my consulting business and is intended as a resource for hoteliers and travel marketers. Lately I can’t seem to stop writing about online reputation management. It’s a hot topic. My goal is to make my business mobile so I can run it from anywhere in the world—or even better, so it can run itself.
5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
I’m a city boy. I get sweaty palms if I’m in the country for more than a few days. Paris is my favorite city. I spent four months there two summers ago and it was like residing in a living, breathing museum with a bakery every twenty steps. Next it’s Barcelona, and then Rome. These cities haven’t seen the last of me.
6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
My impressions of a hotel depend on the nature of travel. Here are three that were the right place at the right time.
Fun: The Gansevoort. I took my executive staff to New York a few years ago to experience the latest and greatest. In 72 hours we stayed in three hotels and checked out 50 more hotels, bars and restaurants and had at least as many cocktails. Saturday night we stayed at the Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District. It was the ideal base for a night on the town.
Business: The St. Regis San Francisco. I stayed here in April for a TripAdvisor event. The hotel strikes the perfect blend of five-star luxury with a modern feel and warm, unpretentious service. Plus I liked the in-room technology, or at least the idea of it—I never figured out how to turn on the TV.
Romance: Hotel le Seven Paris. I stayed here in February and was blown away by the bold, imaginative design of rooms and suites. It’s ambitious but somehow it works. The hotel is small and a bit off the beaten track—the perfect hideaway for a tryst with your Parisian paramour.
7) Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?
My perfect meal hasn’t changed since my days as a backpacker in Europe: great cheese, a baguette and a bottle of good red wine, consumed on a warm summer day on a patch of grass in the presence of a historic monument.
When someone else was paying I used to go to the Four Seasons Georges V in Paris for a drink in the lounge. It’s the height of Parisian opulence, with drinks starting at about $30 each, but the people-watching is fascinating and so far I haven’t been asked to leave.
On Vancouver Island last year friends and I stumbled upon a restaurant called Norwoods and we still rave about the meal. Later I discovered it’s the #1-rated restaurant in BC on TripAdvisor.
8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?
I love Miami, but the local practice of adding an automatic 18 to 20% tip while simultaneously providing appalling service is a bit irritating.
When I was in Copenhagen over twenty years ago a bomb exploded about twenty feet away from me. I know it wasn’t personal, but it’s hard to look past something like that.
At 29 I accepted a job as a director of sales and marketing at a resort on a remote island in the South Pacific. It was paradise, but island fever set in the moment I arrived. I lasted a month. As I mentioned, I’m a city boy.
9) Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accomodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?
Vancouver is best experienced from the seawall, and ideally on a bike, rollerblades, a kayak or the back of a grizzly bear. The backdrop of mountains, ocean and forest is stunning. Take a ride on an Aquabus and watch the City of Glass sparkle from the water. The fresh, cheap, succulent sushi will convert even the most militant raw-fish skeptic. Then rent a car and drive to Whistler. Please don’t feed the bears or shoot squirrels on your way.
10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer
Thank you Daniel for being my guest. Actually I have tons of questions, but I’ll come back to them later due to a wobbly computer or connection.