The Portola Hotel & Spa

The Portola Hotel & Spa used Cvent Passkey to improve the efficiency of group reservations, increase block revenue, and protect room rates.

Increase in open events, with 275 events open in 2018


Increase in online reservations, from 7% to 68%, by updating attendee website templates


extended stay revenue— a 135% YOY increase gained through leveraging ARI to sell inventory beyond the contracted block


Monterey Bay Lifestyle

Start with an ocean breeze and that familiar nautical sensation. Then add a little of that warm hometown feeling -- the kind that comes with a sense of familiarity brought about by the friendliness of the community. Life is better here -- even it’s only for a week. It’s that kind of character experience that makes Monterey among the most sought after conference locations in the world, and the reason why Portola Hotel & Spa is among the best at creating the right experience. Simply put, if you want Monterey, you work and play at the Portola. That includes 60,000 square feet of meeting space (with the adjacent Monterey Conference Center), on-site restaurants, a day spa and more. It’s part of the total Portola experience, one that blends the attractions of Monterey with a cutting-edge and interactive meeting experience. After the sunsets, aquarium visits and whale watching, the Portola creates an environment for serious meeting business, with ample space and a comprehensive technology offering that includes highly-skilled on-site technicians. After the meetings are over, the Portola offers interactive dining experiences and tastings that are sure to create the very best Monterey memories.

The Challenge

Even Paradise has Challenges

As popular as the Portola Hotel & Spa is, there’s always ample room to grow and improve. For Revenue Manager Colette Barss, that has meant filling room blocks completely and efficiently, and creating a better online booking experience -- one optimized to fill shoulder dates and extend stays. Barss turned to Cvent Passkey to help her overcome the challenge. “It’s simple -- we want to fill out blocks,” said Barss. “We saw holes where we’d have one night available in a block, but quests would want multiple nights. So we asked: how can Cvent Passkey help us work better and smarter?”

The Solution

The Value of Incremental Revenue and a Streamlined Process

The hotel implemented Cvent Passkey Primary Inventory and ARI as a strategy to increase above block revenue, sell pre/post nights, and rooms past cut-off. Utilizing both features reduced phone calls by keeping guests online and protected the hotel’s rates when the group rate was no longer available. Partnering with Cvent made it possible to enable Primary Inventory for groups, troubleshoot challenges and import rates, then update attendee websites with new content and branding. “There have been many benefits with Passkey, and we see even more opportunities,” said Barss. “But at the core, Cvent Passkey helps us see who is booking in the group. It gives us visibility and efficiency, and that helps us build incremental revenue and improve our effectiveness.” For Barss, the reporting functionality and transparency benefit is a key to increasing revenue. Cvent Passkey has made it easier to organize room blocks and optimize incremental revenue. If a group is peaking on a certain night, it’s easier to get extra revenue.

The Results

Passkey helped increase open events, online reservations, and extended stay revenue. Now the team is preparing to tackle new upselling and interface strategies in 2019.