Hotel insider: Behind the scenes at a luxury hotel
When spending your hard-earned money at a luxury hotel, a certain level of service is expected. Everything should be seamless for the guest with no request too big and no detail overlooked. But what really goes on behind the scenes at a five-star property to make your stay the best you’ve ever had? A whole heck of a lot.
What comes to mind when you think back on your most memorable hotel stay? Was it the welcoming staff who anticipated your needs and made you feel like family? Maybe with all the comforts of home and then some? To ensure a standout experience for each guest, a hotel's staff works tirelessly behind the scenes. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into making your stay the best you've ever had.
The right staff is everything
A staff of service "rock stars" is a must for any luxury hotel. Without a staff that takes pride in what they do, service will be sub-par and no amount of training or coaching can change that. The best hotel employees truly love what they do and that’s reflected in every guest interaction. Ryan Steele, Director of Rooms and Operations at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, explains, "Each and every team member from the most senior of management to our newest team member are all forged from the same hospitality DNA. We are determined and steadfast in offering genuine comfort, care and with genuine respect, but not formality. We engage and speak their language, one that says we are at their service at all times."
The mark of luxury
Luxury hotels boast upscale furnishings, to-die-for locations, award-winning restaurants, and maybe most importantly, service that goes so above and beyond what's expected that guests wouldn't think of staying anywhere else. Steele tells us that "unparalleled, anticipatory service, where guests don’t have to lift a finger" is part of what makes the service at a luxury hotel what it is. "Complete escape from the day to day nuisances — so our guests can relax, explore and flourish" is the norm.
Plan, plan and plan some more
Hotel employees are pros at planning and making their jobs look easy to those on the outside looking in, but in reality, wow experiences don't "just happen." Steele sheds some light on that and says there’s a "coordinated chaos behind the scenes — and the more time you allot us to make it perfect, the more time you will have to enjoy the simple pleasures of the things you thought you didn't need but now cannot live without during your stay."
What kinds of things do hotel employees regularly handle? "From coordinating flight times, to managing transportation, ordering particular floral arrangements, customizing well thought-out amenities, purchasing desired beverages, monogramming robes and booking reservations at all the hot spots. You name it, we plan for it," explains Steele. "We are here to facilitate all aspects of our guests' stays to help them make the most of their time with us. We plan so they explore, relax and flourish when they are with us."
That takes how many people?
When traveling for business and pleasure, do you ever wonder about how much time and preparation go into preparing your room? "Most guests have no idea how many team members it takes to properly prepare rooms prior to arrival — their jobs are to ensure all aspects of their guest rooms are ready and set to go to perfection. It is a tall order to fill but one that is a labor of love, care and professionalism," notes Steele. So next time your stay comes to an end, don’t forget to leave a tip for housekeeping, OK?
And finally, what should you do to ensure you get top-notch service? Steele says, " We are real people, helping real people, top-notch service is what we strive for — booking a reservation ensures that." And don't forget that a smile never hurts!