The Power of Travel: Wendi Yip on Hospitality, Connection & Intentionality

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    Wendi Yip in a white jacket carrying her adorable dog

    Images courtesy of Wendi Yip and 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

    Details matter, especially when it comes to travel. Why? Because minding the details shows you care, and helps foster the connections that make travel so special.

    It was this personable, intimate side of the industry that got Wendi Yip, Area Director of Leisure Sales for 1 Hotel West Hollywood and 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, initially interested in hospitality.

    "I feel like I was kind of born into the hospitality world," Wendi said.

    In fact, Wendi's first job after high school was as a lei greeter in Hawaiʻi.

    "When people got off of the plane, we would greet them with a lei and take a photo with them," she said. "That was my introduction to the hospitality world and travel."

    From there, she briefly worked in hotels, and later become a flight attendant. After 15 years in the airline industry, she was ready for a new challenge.

    "If I'm not saving lives, I was really just helping people with coffee, tea or pillows," she said of her flight attendant career. "So I thought, What can I do in my life that's a little more challenging, but yet still hospitality? So that's where hotels came in."

    Read on to learn why Wendi is so passionate about her work in hospitality, how she views travel and why 1 Hotels, for her, check all the boxes.

    Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to start planning your eco-conscious, ultra-stylish 1 Hotel getaway today.

    A little kindness goes a long way

    Image courtesy of 1 Hotel West Hollywood

    Wendi subsequently ventured back into the hotel world, and loved it. The common theme? Human connection.

    "When you go to all these other destinations, affecting people on a human level is really important," she said. "Having people have that, whether it's an escape or that special moment of kindness, is really important to me."

    Wendi shared a poignant example of such kindness from her own life. Poor weather has a tendency to throw any itinerary off track. In Wendi's case, Mother Nature caused her to spend an additional five (!) days in a Hong Kong hotel.

    "Luckily I was able to be safe," she said. "But, you know, you want to get home, and I just was touched by the housekeepers or by the front desk — people acknowledging that they knew I was a little homesick."

    The housekeepers wrote her a kind note, and left it on her bed with a flower when they had finished cleaning her room. That seemingly small gesture stuck with her. In that moment, it meant the world.

    "It's really the little things that matter," she said.

    Travel goes beyond just booking a room

    Image courtesy of 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

    "My favorite part about being in hotels is hearing the feedback of clients having such a memorable time, and within multiple generations. That's so important, and that's why we do what we do: to appreciate what we have around us," Wendi said. "It really opens your mind, culturally and spiritually."

    1 Hotels know a thing or two about appreciating our surroundings. If any hotel brand walks the walk when it comes to sustainability, it's 1 Hotels. All of its buildings are LEED certified, or in the process of receiving the certification. The LEED stamp of approval is globally recognized, and covers everything from energy efficiency to carbon emissions to waste disposal. In other words, it's the real deal.

    Non-toxic, sustainably sourced bed linens? A strong stance against single-use plastics? Innovative water filtration systems that help reduce wasteful use? All are no-brainers at 1 Hotels, which we love. When the brand eventually approached Wendi, everything seemed to align.

    "Their first core value is love. It's about really creating that atmosphere and changing the world with love, sustainability and the awareness of global warming," she said. "I truly love the fact that it's not only little things, but they're really wanting to make a large impact. It's a mission-based hotel brand."

    Wendi Yip in a tan sweater sipping a red drink

    Images courtesy of Wendi Yip and 1 Hotel West Hollywood

    Indeed, everything at 1 Hotels is intentional, from the locally sourced food to the reclaimed (and very chic) decor to electric house cars and EV charging stations. Even its name has a story. The brand's founder was inspired by the song "One" by U2.

    "If you listen to that song, the words are about one love, one world and giving back, so this is what our brand culture is about — and sustainability," said Wendi Yip.

    1 Hotels are all about bringing nature inward, both literally and figuratively. At 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, the majority of the (many) plants throughout the tranquil Kauai retreat are either native to the region or were brought over from Polynesia more than 1,000 years ago. At the West Hollywood location, wood from fallen trees have been recovered to supply much of the decor. Everything comes back to respecting the environment, and each other.

    Wendi values the community of guests, travel advisors and hotel staff that make a stay with 1 Hotels so nourishing and memorable. She still minds the details (of course) and keeps that irreplaceable human element top of mind.

    "With our world of hotels and travel advisors, our human connection is empowering each other," she said.

    Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to start planning your eco-conscious, ultra-stylish 1 Hotel getaway today.

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