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How to Customize the Guest Experience featuring Chans Rock of the Carte Hotel (DH 004)

Chans Rock and Shawn Walchef at the Carte Hotel in San Diego

How do you set yourself apart as a brand in a crowded market? Everyone is fighting for dollars. How do you get people to spend it with you? One way is by customizing the guest experience.

In this episode of Digital Hospitality, find out how a large brand like Hilton is differentiating its properties by planting roots in the community and giving guests a customizable experience they remember.

Host Shawn Walchef visited Hilton’s new Carté Hotel in the heart of Little Italy San Diego to meet with Chans Rock, director of food and beverage.

Chans Rock has had a tremendous career in the hotel industry, in all sorts of locations, and has won a bunch of hospitality industry awards thanks to his continual focus on the guest. He’s a fellow believer in Digital Hospitality.

On the episode, Shawn and Chans toured the San Diego property before sitting down to explore the inner workings of the Hilton Curio Collection hotel.

In the Carté Hotel there are three distinct food and beverage operations:

* There’s Watercolors, a sea-to-table restaurant inspired by San Diego fishing culture with a Baja flair and amazing cocktails. They partner with San Diego fishermen and farmers to serve fresh food with local flavor.

* On the top floor there’s the Above Ash Social lounge, which has an indoor and outdoor space. The view from the rooftop venue overlooks the San Diego Bay and the Point Loma Mountains. The entrees are light, with a seafood focus.

* The third location, Fonte De Vino, is was where this episode was recorded. It’s a beautiful full-service wine bar and specialty spirit tasting room.

Hilton and its Carté Hotel are engineering memorable moments online and in person with their guests.

Chan Rock’s focus is the individual guest experience. “How do we customize what the guest is looking for.”

Chans Rock and Shawn Walchef on the roof of the Carte Hotel in San DiegoThe Carté Hotel embraces Digital Hospitality from the moment the guest books with them online to when they walk in the door to when they check out.

Digital technology has changed many aspects of the guest experience, like customizable booking options, on-demand services, and myriad ways to connect with the property.

“The digital technology revolution has really been able to allow us to reach the guests in a way that we haven’t before without having a person call them on the phone and ask them all these questions,” Chans Rock said.

All you need to do is go online and get the Hilton app, pick your preferences, and you have a unique experience available thanks to the power of cell phone technology.


This week’s episode is brought to you by Hot Sauces N’ More. Visit them in Chula Vista California where you can pick up a new grill and taste from hundreds of hot sauce samples. Find them online at

If you’d like to sponsor the show email


Fast Facts:

* The Carté Hotel is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton.
* The Carté opened in Summer 2019.
* The property has 3 onsite venues: Watercolors, Above Ash Social, and Fonte di Vino.
* Chans Rock has over 25 years of food and beverage experience and has won various awards, including four gold medals from Hilton and Manager of the Year at Marriott.


Carté Hotel

Check out the Carté hotel at

The Carté Hotel San Diego Downtown is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel is located at 401 W Ash Street in San Diego, California.

Thanks to Crowe PR for setting up this amazing interview. rarely do you get to see behind the curtains of a food and beverage operation with three distinct properties.

It’s our job to bring you compelling guests like Chans Rock who will add value to your business. Our job is to give you a seat at the table. Thank you for taking time to listen and watch Digital Hospitality. Please consider subscribing and sharing the show to help us grow!

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