If luxury is all about paying attention to every detail, then all too many luxurious hotels are failing miserably. There’s no problem when it comes to bringing in Michelin star chefs, professional front office managers and the latest in-room technology, but what about that vital first point of contact with guests – the doormen, drivers, and security? What about paying attention to details?
I am not worried about big hotel chains because they seem to have done a good job already. However, the stand-alone luxury hotels are the ones that need a lot of work.
I’ve recently experienced several crazy hotel drivers. I’m wondering if the hotels assign these types of drivers for me on purpose just to get rid of me. One of them admitted that he was very sleepy – at 10 am – but still drove like a lunatic, changing lane without signaling, while struggling to keep his eyes open. It doesn’t give you a ‘luxurious’ or ‘sit back and relax’ feeling at all.
The worst one I’ve come across recently was a driver who almost crashed into other cars two times in one journey. When I politely suggested he might like to slow down and look at the road in front of him, he just ignored me. After he continued driving like a mad man, I decided to get out and walk!
“We are so sorry about that,” is the standard hotel response – but I want hotels to start taking the issue of drivers, doormen, bellboys, and security guards seriously. They are a part of your hotel, and they represent you just as much as anyone else on the payroll. Therefore they need the same training and grooming standards as every other member of the hotel staff.
My mom always seems to know stuff that I don’t whenever we go on vacation, and I’m always curious about how exactly she gets her information. It turns out that she finds out more from the doorman and the bellboy when she steps outside for a cigarette than I do when I interview the GM. She loves nothing more than having someone to talk to, so her new friends are usually happy to tell her all about the hotel and the surrounding area, where to go and what to do. Sometimes she even knows the GM’s wife’s name! I swear…
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