Tag: John Stocki

During a recent 8-day filming trip for the new luxury hotel TV show, Great Escapes, I was able to stay and film some of the best hotels in all of San Diego, California. When planning the trip I knew that I wanted to stay at a variety of hotels to make sure I was able to experience all that San Diego had to offer. Thankfully, I was able to find four unique hotels that were a perfect fit for the new TV show and diverse enough to reflect all of San Diego. For anyone who can’t decide on where to take their next vacation, don’t overlook San Diego as a destination. Here is my hotel review of our stay at The Lodge at Torrey Pines! (more…)

During a recent filming trip for the new luxury hotel TV show, Great Escapes, I was lucky enough to stay at one of the windy city’s best hotel, the Thompson Chicago. The hotel offers beautiful views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, all while being just steps from the famous Magnificent Mile. Keep reading for my in-depth review of the Thompson Chicago hotel and why it should be on the top of anyone’s list who is looking for a downtown hotel while visiting Chicago! (more…)

While filming for the new luxury hotel TV show, Great Escapes, I spent 8 days exploring San Diego, CA visiting some of the best hotels the city has to offer! Anyone looking for a family friendly beach resort close to downtown San Diego, the Kona Kai Resort & Marina should be at the top of your list! (more…)

During a recent filming expedition to Alaska to film for the new travel TV show, Great Escapes, Patagonia was kind enough to provide me and my film crew with some amazing wet weather gear. Even though we were traveling to Alaska in the summer months, it was still very wet and rainy the majority of the time we were there.

I wanted to give a big shout out and thank you to Patagonia for the waterproof jackets they provided that kept both me and my crew dry during the whole trip!

Check out the gear we wore and reviewed! Patagonia provided us waterproof jackets for our trip but did not pay me or my crew any money for this review. I was really impressed with how the gear performed and would recommend any of these three jackets to anyone looking for new wet weather gear.


Patagonia Triolet Jacket_Stocki Exchange

Patagonia Men’s Triolet Jacket

Patagonia Piolet Jacket_Stocki Exchange

Patagonia Men’s Piolet Jacket

Patagonia M10 Jacket_Stocki Exchange

Patagonia Men’s M10 Jacket

During a recent filming expedition to Alaska for the new travel TV show, Great Escapes, Under Armour was kind enough to hook me and my film crew up with some awesome outdoor gear! We spent 10 days traveling throughout the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska while filming three different segments for the TV show. Each day, we were on our feet 12-15 hours either hiking, kayaking, canoeing, boating, or exploring the endless untouched nature of Alaska.

>>> Related: Photo Story: Alaska – Undisturbed Nature

Under Armour sponsored our expedition by providing us with some of their UA Newell Ridge Mid GORE-TEX® waterproof hiking boots which we wore almost non-stop throughout the entire trip. These boots are crazy lightweight (only 16oz) but sturdy enough to tackle the rugged outdoors and hiking trail in Alaska. They are 100% waterproof and we really tested them as it was raining the majority of the time we were there.

We visited Alaska during the summer season which means that it’s light almost the entire day. WIth 21+ hours of sunlight, having proper sunglasses is super important. Under Armour provided us with a few pair of their UA Assist and UA Assist Multiflection™ Sunglasses. These glasses were polarized, which was perfect as we spent a lot of time on the water either kayaking, rafting, or fishing. They were super comfortable to wear and the lenses provided a comfortable level of tint as well as UV protection.

Check out the gear we wore and reviewed! Under Armourprovided us boots and sunglasses for our trip but did not pay me or my crew any money for this review.

UA Newell Ridge Mid GORE-TEX® ($180): http://undrarmr.co/2uSwRgY

UA Newell Ridge Mid GORE-TEX® ($180): http://undrarmr.co/2uSwRgY

UA Assist Multiflection™ Sunglasses ($90): http://undrarmr.co/2hl99VX

UA Assist Sunglasses ($75): http://undrarmr.co/2uSAGCH

During a non-typical Monday-night trip in March, I headed off to film a new hotel feature segment for my new TV show, Great Escapes, where I visited a city within a city. A residential and resort community located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Bay Harbor is the epitome of Northern Michigan lakeside-side luxury retreat. The development stretches along five miles of shoreline and includes an equestrian, yacht, and golf club as well as being scattered with retail shops, restaurants, private condos and homes, and my destination, the Inn at Bay Harbor(more…)

Video Review of American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges in Phoenix, AZ

It’s taken me almost 15 years to fly another domestic airline other than Delta. Being from Michigan and flying mainly to east coast destinations, I started flying Northwest Airlines, which was acquired by Delta in 2008. When I moved overseas in 2007, Delta was already was my preferred airline as I had already racked up frequent flyer miles and they were almost a winner in the ticket price battle. With Delta’s announcement in February 2011 that SkyMiles never expire I had already accrued a few hundred thousand miles with most of my travel being long-haul international routes.

I recently booked a last-minute trip to Long Beach, CA and my options flying out my home airport of Traverse City, MI (TVC) were American, Delta, or United. This time American won the price battle and came in around $200 USD less than the competition. My total round-trip flight from TVC – SNA was $571.70 USD. Instead of flying in LAX, I found a much cheaper rate flying into John Wayne Intl. Airport (SNA), which was closer to my hotel too. I didn’t need any other reason to avoid the LAX craziness.

During my return flight, I had a 4-hour layover in Phoenix, AZ (PHX) and I thought that I would see how the American Airlines Admirals Club® (AC) airport lounge compared to the Delta Sky Club®, which I regularly visit during my travels.

Here’s what I experienced while visiting two of the Admirals Club (AC) locations inside PHX airport on Monday, March 20 from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm MST.

POSITIVES

  • Warm and friendly greeting from both lounge entrance staff.
  • Larger meals available for purchase ranging from $8-13 USD. (See menu below)
  • Cleanliness and presentation of snack and drink area.

NEGATIVES

  • AC between A19 – A21
    • Small lounge and was overcrowded when I entered at 11:30am MST.
    • Very slow WiFi speed (~8/mbps ↓ download)
    • Soft drinks must come from the bar.
  • Both AC Lounges
    • No self-service bar. All alcoholic drinks, both complimentary and paid, must come from the staffed bar.
    • Complimentary alcohol includes house spirits ONLY, domestic beers from Anheuser-Busch/Miller Coors, and one Chardonnay/Merlot wine from Flat Rock. Additional options available for purchase. Smirnoff $8/Absolut $10/Grey Goose $12, Premium Domestic/Craft Beer $7 and Imports $8, and Specialty Cocktails range from $10-12. (See menu below)
    • Food lacked seasoning.

Comparison to Delta Sky Lounge

Airline American Delta
Day Pass Cost $59* $59**
Yearly Membership $450-550 $495-745
Global Clubs & Partner Lounges 90 139
  • Delta offers complimentary premium spirits (e.g. Stoli, Bombay, Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Cutty Sark, Bailey’s), local craft beers, and many have self-service bars.
    • Premium Domestic & Import Beers are only $3 and Specialty and Seasonal Cocktails are $8.
  • In my personal opinion, the Delta Sky Club offers a larger variety of hot & cold snacks.
  • * Free and/or discounted ($29) daily lounge access with one of the Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards
  • ** Free lounge access for cardholders and guests with the AAdvantage Executive World Elite Credit Card

While day pass prices for both lounges are the same, their yearly passes range with Delta’s biggest factor increasing the price being the ability to bring additional guests into the lounge and American’s price ranges based on what status you are in their AAdvantage® loyalty program.

According to the American Airlines website, they’re currently renovating many Admirals Club lounges and are launching in the spring of 2017 their new larger Flagship® Lounges for qualifying First and Business Class customers.

CONCLUSION – 

While the experience wasn’t negative or bad, in comparison to the competition, the AC in PHX falls behind in a few areas. Both Delta & American have the same rate for day passes and are very similar in price vs. benefits for yearly memberships. The Admirals Club in PHX between gate A19 and A21 is small and can easily get overcrowded. Their WiFi speed was also much slower than expected for such a small lounge. When compared to Delta Sky Club that offers a self-serve bar with premium alcohol selections and a larger variety of snacks, the AC in PHX can’t compete.

Would I buy another day pass if traveling through PHX on American? No. The airport offers free WiFi through Boingo Wireless and plenty of restaurants to grab a quick meal. If you’re a cocktail enthusiast and have graduated from drinking house booze, you’re going to be paying the same price at the Admirals Club as you would at an airport bar. Just passing through and considering treating yourself to a day pass to the lounge? Skip it and belly up to one of the airport bars to save some money. If you’re already an Admirals Club member traveling through PHX, make sure you head to the lounge above Gate A7 and 9 and skip the smaller one.

Did you have a different experience or something else to share about airport lounges? Leave a comment below and I promise I will respond!


[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”1″ gal_title=”VIDEO REVIEW: American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge in Phoenix, AZ”]


During my travels, I’ve had many amazing hotel experiences and I’ve had some that are a complete disaster. From impossible to connect to WiFi to getting asked to pay for a room upgrade because they didn’t have any more regular rooms available, I’ve heard it all. Watch this video where I reenact some of the things that hotels do that really annoy their guests.

 (more…)

It’s no secret that content marketing has been all the rage the past few years. A quick search in Google Trends shows us just how popular it has become.

Google Trends Content Marketing

The core concept is to publish valuable content that showcases your expertise – building brand awareness and potentially driving in leads. Everything from infographics and blog posts to animated videos and whitepapers are fair game. And, as you would imagine, as content marketing has become a go-to marketing practice, the amount of content consumers are bombarded with everyday has increased exponentially. Which brings us to today’s lesson – content vs. context.

Content vs. Context in Marketing

In a sea of marketing, consumers have become numb. Advertisements and offers have become background noise. Unless, they’re presented in the right context. This means delivering the right content in the right place at the right time. Something that flies in the face of conventional media spending where “more was more.” Let me illustrate.

Billboard with Poor Context

Here’s a billboard I snapped a photo of recently. Aesthetically I’ve seen much worse. But let’s discuss the context with which it’s being presented – on the highway. Think about that, an ad pushing their digital prowess presented on an analog medium.

Here’s another example of something we see time and time again happening on social media platforms.

Tweet with Instagram Link

Here a fairly prominent influencer (60k+ followers) shared an image directly from Instagram to his Twitter channel. But…Twitter shut off the functionality that actually populates Instagram images in the feed years ago. He lost the opportunity to grab someone’s attention because he didn’t think about the context with which his content was going to be presented. You’ve probably seen something like this happen when a Facebook status is shared directly to Twitter as well. The status is cutoff and the tweet reads poorly because of it.

Tweet with Facebook Link

The point is, to be effective we must spend time thinking about how we’re presenting something, not just what we’re presenting. Otherwise, our content marketing efforts are bound to fail.

Here’s an example of someone who realized the issue with sharing a direct link from Instagram to Twitter.

Tweet with Instagram Link done Correctly

By uploading the image in the native Twitter app, their tweet stands out in the feed. And they’ve still included the link to their Instagram page to drive people who are interested there. But effective content marketing isn’t just about understanding the nuances of social platforms. It matters offline as well!

What does “Doing it Right” Look Like?

Arby’s is a major brand that has absolutely nailed content marketing context! They’ve done a fantastic job of keeping the consumer in mind in their television spots over the past few years. Here’s a recent ad.

They’ve kept it simple – a white background and the one of their sandwiches. Many cable and satellite subscribers have a DVR so they can pause/ rewind live TV and record their favorite programs. Unsurprisingly, many people also use the technology to fast forward through commercials. Arbys, and/or their ad agency, kept that in mind when designing their recent ads. They took a minimalist approach, using white background and focused solely on their sandwich for the duration of the commercial. 

If I’ve got the television muted because I’m talking to someone in the room, I still know what’s going on based on the visuals alone. Flip that, and if I’m doing dishes with the TV on the in background, I’ve got that iconic voice helping me visualize what’s going on. They’ve nailed the way they present the ad because they’ve considered all of the things consumers could be doing when it is presented. Regardless of whether someone is actually paying attention to the TV, an impression is still being made. That is putting context on an even playing field with content!

Winning

The brands that realize that they need to deliver the right content, to the right people at the right point in time are the ones succeeding now. They’re crafting their content around the context they plan to present it in, not shoehorning it in. The more you keep this in mind the more successful you will be. I can guarantee that!

If you have any examples of marketing that was presented poorly or extremely well, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at John@StockiExchange.com or connect with me on my website here.


Entrepreneur and Hospitality Consultant, John Stocki, has been hired as a Travel Expert and Segment Producer for a new luxury hotel TV show, Great Escapes. Stocki will be traveling the globe visiting unique and luxurious hotels to be featured on the internationally distributed show scheduled to begin airing in Fall of 2017.

Great Escapes Show Brief

Great Escapes is a 30-minute 39-episode television series created and produced by Bellum Entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Bellum Entertainment is known for producing other award-winning shows that include Corrupt Crimes, Animals Unleashed, Justice Served: Murderous Affairs, Fix It & Finish It, and many others. Together with Bellum Entertainment’s Co-Executive Producer Chris Loud and Producer Morgan Burke-Beyers, who are both Michigan natives, John will be filming and producing the remaining episodes from remote locations around the world with final editing and production being completed in Los Angeles, CA.

Great Escapes has been acquired by Sky Vision, the international distribution division of SKY, and is being distributed domestically by Bellum’s dedicated sales team. The show will be broadcast to ~75% of major city markets throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States on multiple platforms. Agreements have already been accepted for the show to broadcast on Video On Demand services including Hulu, Amazon Video, and Roku starting in 2019. A conservative estimate of global viewership is at 2 million+ and the show will be broadcast internationally for over 10 years.

Great Escapes baumaniere les baux-de-provence france

Watch Sizzle Reel – Password: Bellum

Great Escapes Sky Lodge Adventure Suites

Watch the Pilot Episode #1 – Password: Bellum

John is ready to travel and expose some hotels and destinations throughout the world that are truly Great Escapes. Follow the development of the show and John’s travels via the Great Escapes Facebook PageYouTube Channel, and Website.

Hotels Features, Sponsorships, & Product Placement Opportunities

John’s company, Stocki Exchange, a hospitality consulting firm, has also been hired to lead and manage all Sponsorship and Product Placement opportunities for the show. Companies and/or products we’re interested in featuring include luxury or unique hotels/resorts, casinos, international airlines, luxury travel products (luggage, headphones, watches, etc…), online travel agents, tour companies, Country or State Tourism Organizations, Destination Management Companies (DMC), hospitality suppliers, and alcohol producers.

Are you or do you know someone who would be interested in receiving additional information regarding sponsorship/product placement opportunities? Send an email to john@stockiexchange.com and download a PDF show brief(Updated June 2, 2017)

About John

Born and educated in the United States, John Stocki launched his career on a global scale working in Australia, United Arab Emirates, China, and the US, as well as traveling and training in over 30 countries and 29 states throughout the US. His passion was developed in the hospitality industry where he worked with international luxury hotel brands in marketing, public relations, and eCommerce roles. He brings a straightforward approach, laced with direct personal experience, to his special and unique style which makes his company – Stocki Exchange – so distinctive.

In 2012, after returning to the US, John started the Stocki Exchange – A hospitality consulting firm for hotels & resorts, restaurants, breweries, and bars. He now acts as the company’s CEO and is also a successful Keynote Speaker for topics including travel, and hospitality sales & marketing. John is also a Consulting Partner with Mocinno International, a global hospitality management company with offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Palma, Dubai, London, Amsterdam, and Michigan.

He is a Contributor for The Huffington Post, Startup Grind, and Hostfully. During his travels for the filming of Great Escapes, John will be writing destination travel features, posting reviews of his experiences at hotels, as well as sharing his travels on all his social media accounts. Interested in having your brand or product included in a destination feature? Email John.

Be sure to Follow John’s travels via Social Media
Facebook: http://facebook.com/johnstocki
Twitter: http://twitter.com/j_stocki
Instagram: http://instagram.com/johnstocki
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnstocki13
Medium: http://medium.com/@johnstocki

Follow the Stocki Exchange:
Facebook: http://facebook.com/stockiexchange
Twitter: http://twitter.com/stockiexchange
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stockiexchange
Website: http://stockiexchange.com


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