Great hotel service comes from the heart
Really great hotel service – you know it when you find it. At Hidden Lake Hotel, service excellence is something we are passionate about. But where does great hotel service come from?
In my years of hotel experience I can honestly say that the best hotel service comes from people whose passion is for 2 things – the hotel’s guests and a love for the region it is operating in. These people make a terrific addition to any hospitality family and, as our hotel’s opening day draws nearer, our little team at front and back of house is growing. Knowing how to care for guests is essential however the rules for providing great hotel service are actually quite simple.
A wise man by the name of Dean Wharekura once told me…
Dean Wharekura was a manager and mentor of mine early in my career. Guests absolutely loved Dean. A smile from Dean would light up their faces. He taught me that aside from the 4 key things to caring for guests, which we will come to, the best way to add to the guest experience was through the geography and history of the local area. To illustrate this, Dean took all the staff members outside and showed us the Southern Cross. He taught us the Maori importance behind the Blue and Green Lakes (Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi) and many other landmarks in Rotorua, where the hotel was.
What I learnt from Dean Wharekura about service excellence has never left me and I have passed it on to many of my own students in my 8 years as a hospitality trainer, always starting with “A wise man by the name of Dean Wharekura once told me…”
The 4 key things to caring for guests
Of all the key pathways to hotel service excellence these 4 things, if done right, mean you will always excel when it comes to caring for guests.
As a vital component of great hotel service, courtesy is paramount. Manners, politeness and small gestures like holding the lift door have a remarkable ripple effect. Extending this same courtesy to other staff helps maintain a calm and focussed vibe.
Consistency is key
Great hotel service is great every day and any time of the day it is needed. Consistency is of the utmost importance. I find a healthy working environment built on common purpose, responsibility and reliability contributes to the quality of a hotel’s service.
A smile shows confidence. A simple smile can put a guest at ease and make them feel welcome. Service carried out with confidence is done in a professional manner.
Tables, reception, windows, glassware, every surface maintained to the highest cleanliness standards – it’s no small feat but absolutely essential to great hotel service.
Something else in this era of global travel is important to the delivery of great hotel service and that is the need for cultural understanding and empathy, as well as listening skills.
Glenda Hamilton is a co-owner and operator of Hidden Lake Hotel Cambridge, New Zealand. Look for the Hidden Lake Hotel exhibition at EXplore and TRENZ Rotorua 13-16 May.
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