GUEST SERVICES HANDBOOK

Given the significant boost in room rates, hotels had better be providing oodles of facilities, amenities and other goodies to keep guests happy. While a lot of the latest in guest services revolves around technology (things like check-in kiosks, premium TV programming and high-speed Internet access), many hotels are also focusing on the softer side of the guest experience by upgrading bathrooms, bedding and personal care amenities.

Our annual Guest Services Handbook is an easy-to-use guide to those vendors that provide the latest in guest-oriented amenities. Use the reader service card in the back of the magazine to get more information from any of these suppliers.

The other side of guest service, of course, is more personal. It's the small and large acts of kindness that hotel employees and management do every day to make their customers feel more at home.

Each year, the American Hotel & Lodging Association sponsors its Stars of the Industry Awards Program to honor lodging GMs, managers and employees for their hard work and dedication. Here are a few prime examples of extraordinary guest service from some of this year's Stars nominees:

Hugh Chambers, banquet server, Westin O'Hare, Rosemont, IL. Banquet servers are accustomed to fulfilling guest culinary requests but the one Hugh Chambers received from a just-married couple at their dinner reception required Hugh to make a late-night run to a local fast-food joint.

Hugh, who has served as a banquet server for 21 years, has distinguished himself by going out of his way to accommodate any guest's need. Recently, a just- married couple mentioned in passing to Hugh, their head-table waiter, that they had arranged a separate meeting room for guests to go to after the wedding and that they would like to have White Castle hamburgers for guests to enjoy. Always customer service-oriented, Hugh jumped in his car at 12:30 a.m., drove to the nearest White Castle restaurant, picked up 200 sliders and brought them back to the hotel. But Hugh knows that presentation is everything so instead of just plating up the food, he put the burgers on silver platters and waltzed into the room where the guests were gathered and served them.

Shujaat Khan, head concierge, The Capital Hilton, Washington, DC. Concierges are known for securing concert or other event tickets, arranging tours and making restaurant reservations, but this concierge's ability and willingness to go above and beyond his daily responsibilities has made him a reliable and trusted source for hotel guests and his fellow employees.

Shujaat has been honored twice in the past few years with Hilton Hotels' Spirit of Pride award for his outstanding customer service. For example, when a guest mistakenly left $13,000 in cash on Khan's desk, he found the guest and returned the money. When another guest left essential court documents related to a major lawsuit in the back of a taxi, Khan investigated until he was able to track down the correct cab. The panicked guest didn't remember much about his cab ride, including the name of the cab company, the color of the taxi or a description of the driver but he did remember that the cabbie was listening to a sports talk radio show. Khan called the local sports radio station, got himself on the air and made a plea to the driver to return to the hotel immediately. Ten minutes later, the cab returned and the guest had his box of documents back.

Arifa Hodzic, style manager, W Lakeshore, Chicago. Imagine being a presenter at an early-morning meeting and your luggage from the night before never arrives? A guest at the W Lakeshore hotel was recently in this predicament when he didn't have any appropriate clothing to wear to the meeting. Style Manager Arifa Hodzic came to the rescue. A talented seamstress, Arifa fitted the customer with one of the hotel's staff uniforms. She hemmed the pants and even created a slit on the bottom so the pants appeared tailored to fit. She steamed the jacket and pants, polished his shoes and delivered the goods to him within 25 minutes so the guest was able to attend his presentation on time and in style.

Fongying “Polly” Hallen, concierge, Chicago Marriott Downtown, Chicago. Concierges generally aren't called upon to go to traffic court or to provide medical and legal aid, but those are only two of the more unusual guest service assists Polly Hallen recently provided to two guests.

When a guest received a parking ticket for parking in a no parking zone in front of the hotel, he insisted to Polly that the hotel pay for it. Without hesitation, Polly apologized, took the ticket and promised she would personally take care of it. Polly requested two separate days off and spent them in Traffic Court, pleading the case. She was able to get the ticket dismissed.

On another occasion, a Chinese doctor who spoke no English was staying at the hotel and was struck by a piece of concrete that fell from a nearby building. Polly, who is fluent in Chinese and Japanese, spent three days with the guest at Northwestern Hospital serving as a translator. She arranged for his prescriptions and helped him find an attorney.

Sandra Madison, van driver, Aspen Hotel, Fairbanks, AK. Sandra Madison is more than just the van driver at the Aspen Hotel. While her main responsibilities include driving guests to and from the airport and rail station, she also sets up and replenishes breakfast offerings, cleans public areas as well as the kitchen, sets up meeting rooms and handles guest requests, including a very unusual one well-suited for Sandra. She is of Native origin so when a recent older guest told Sandra that his last wish was to visit Alaska one last time, Sandra ensured that the guest's wishes to gain a better understanding of Native culture came true. Sandra, who regularly competes in the World Eskimo Indian Olympics, knew the guest didn't have time for the lengthy visit to the Olympics site so she gave him a personal demonstration of the various events in the hotel lobby. When the guest returned from the town of Barrow disappointed that he didn't purchase Eskimo boots, Sandra put out an all-points bulletin to friends and relatives and arranged for a pair designed specifically to his expectations.

Raul Berrios, guest services supervisor, Hyatt Regency Bethesda, MD. Raul Berrios knows his way around cars, but he didn't think his mechanical skills would be needed at his job until a recent event changed all that.

Recently, a guest arrived at the hotel on a Sunday morning to attend a wedding and realized that the underside of his car had been damaged. He discussed the problem with Raul who told the guest he would work on a resolution so the guest could attend the wedding without worrying about the condition of his car. In order to fully assess the problem, Raul climbed under the car and found that the car's oil pan had come completely off and was unable to hold any oil. Being a Sunday, all auto repair shops were closed and when Raul contacted them on Monday morning, none of them would even look at the car before Tuesday and the parts that were needed to repair the problem would have to be ordered from a dealer. Raul alerted the front desk and asked them to extend the guest's stay at the weekend rate.

On Monday, his day off, Raul called the nearest dealer to see if they had the necessary parts in stock. The guest gave Raul his credit card and Raul purchased the parts and spent two hours replacing the oil pan and refilling the oil. He suggested that the guest have a professional review his work as soon as possible, but the repair allowed the guest to return to his home in Dulles, VA. Later, Raul learned that the appreciative guest was the general manager of a hotel in Virginia and in his thank-you note to Raul, he said he was so impressed with Raul's customer service that he was going to use his actions as an example of outstanding guest service to his own employees.

Jim Brych, head bartender, Holiday Inn Inner Harbor, Baltimore. Visitors to this Eastern shore city often like to dine on seafood and Jim Brych made sure that some recent guests didn't miss this experience at his hotel.

Recently, a group of guests arrived at the hotel's lounge on a Sunday night and were disappointed to find that calamari wasn't on the menu. Jim overheard them making plans to dine at seafood restaurant the following night. Jim told them that if they came back to the hotel's lounge the next night that the chef would prepare for them some of the best calamari they had ever eaten. To ensure that the guests had an outstanding dining experience, Jim stopped by the city's famous Lexington Market on his way to work on Monday and purchased fresh calarami for the chef. Mission accomplished.


Visit www.LHonline.com for more information and related articles.

ADVERTISERS ARE PRINTED IN BLUE

Use the reader service card following page 48 to get information on these companies

GUEST SERVICES PRODUCTS
ATM machines Check-in, check-out kiosks Online check-in, check-out Onsite business centers Public space high-speed Internet access (wired) Public space high-speed Internet access (wireless) Other
AAA — Circle 62
ATM Systems — Circle 66
ATM USA — Circle 67
Baggage Airline Guests Services — Circle 70
Boink Systems — Circle 75
Brother International — Circle 77
Business Express by USA Technologies — Circle 166
CardLogix — Circle 78
Comcast HospitalityONE — Circle 82
Connex Services — Circle 83
Cybex International — Circle 85
DaBryan Coach Builders — Circle 87
Fire2Wire — Circle 97
Galaxy Hotel Systems — Circle 101
Global Business Center, GBCblue — Circle 102
Guest Direct — Circle 105
Guest-Tek — Circle 107
Hospitality Safe Corp. — Circle 112
Hotel Information Systems — Circle 114
iBAHN — Circle 116
Life Fitness — Circle 125
LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. — Circle 127
nSTREAMS Technologies — Circle 133
NXTV — Circle 134
Road Runner Business Class — Circle 143
Scitec — Circle 150
Teledex — Circle 160
Telkonet — Circle 162
USA Technologies — Circle 166
ADVERTISERS ARE PRINTED IN BLUE

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BATHROOM AMENITIES PRODUCTS
Bathrobes Curved shower rods Hairdryer (mounted) Hairdryer (standalone) Nightlights Personal bathroom mirrors Personal care products Premium bath linens Premium showerheads Scales Slippers TVs Other
Andis Co. — Circle 65
Baci by Remcraft — Circle 69
Bath Unlimited — Circle 73
BIC Graphic USA — Circle 74
Celeste Industries — Circle 79
Classic Coffee Concepts — Circle 80
Colgate-Palmolive Co. — Circle 81
Courtesy Products — Circle 84
Cypress — Circle 86
The Dial Corp. — Circle 88
Dorothy Prentice Aromatherapy — Circle 91
Erwyn Products — Circle 92
Essential Amenities — Circle 94
ETL — Circle 95
The French Reflection, Inc. — Circle 99
Green Suites International — Circle 104
Guest Supply, Inc. — Circle 106
Hamilton Beach — Circle 108
Harbor Linen — Circle 109
Hospitality Safe Corp. — Circle 112
Hotel Amenities Resource — Circle 113
Hotel Technologies — Circle 115
Jarden Consumer Solutios — Circle 119
Jerdon Products — Circle 120
Kimball & Young — Circle 121
Lather, Inc. — Circle 123
Lissadel by Aquarelle Towels — Circle 126
Lodging Technology Corp. — Circle 128
Mill Distributing, Inc. — Circle 131
Pineapple Hospitality — Circle 139
Pure Solutions — Circle 141
The RobeWorks — Circle 144
Room ConX — Circle 145
Sharper Image Professional Group — Circle 152
Springs Industries — Circle 155
STA Elements — Circle 156
Sunbeam Hospitality — Circle 158
Symmons Industries — Circle 159
Wessco International — Circle 168
Westpoint Home — Circle 169
ADVERTISERS ARE PRINTED IN BLUE

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IN-ROOM AMENITY PRODUCTS
CD players Clock radios Coffeemaker/coffee systems Cordless/corded telephones Daily newspaper Electronic locks Fax machines High-end sound systems Ice buckets/glasses/trays In-room computer systems In-room fitness equipment Irons/ironing boards/systems Pens/pencils/writing supplies Premium bed linens Refreshment centers (minibar) Refrigerators Safes Turndown amenities Other
AMX — Circle 64
Andis Co. — Circle 65
Bar-Maid Corp. — Circle 71
Bartech Systems — Circle 72
BIC Graphic USA — Circle 74
Boyd Coffee Co. — Circle 76
Brother International — Circle 77
Classic Coffee Concepts — Circle 80
Connex Services — Circle 83
Courtesy Products — Circle 84
Cypress — Circle 86
Dometic Corp. — Circle 90
Dorothy Prentice Aromatherapy — Circle 91
Erwyn Products — Circle 92
Extenway — Circle 96
FSR, Inc. — Circle 100
Global Business Center, GBCblue — Circle 102
Godiva Chocolatier — Circle 103
Green Suites International — Circle 104
Guest Supply, Inc. — Circle 106
Hamilton Beach — Circle 108
Harbor Linen — Circle 109
Hoshizaki America, Inc. — Circle 111
Hospitality Safe Corp. — Circle 112
Hotel Technologies — Circle 115
Jarden Consumer Solutions — Circle 119
Jerdon Products — Circle 120
Lancaster Colony Commercial — Circle 122
Melitta USA — Circle 129
MicroFridge — Circle 130
Mill Distributors, Inc. — Circle 131 #8226;
MiniBar Systems — Circle 132
Onity — Circle 135
Pineapple Hospitality — Circle 139
Pure Solutions — Circle 141
RoomConX — Circle 145
Safemark Systems — Circle 146
Saflok — Circle 147
Sanyo Home Appliances — Circle 148
Scitec — Circle 150
Scheibe — Circle 149
S&D Coffee, Inc. — Circle 151
Sharper Image Professional Group — Circle 152
Simmons Mattress Co. — Circle 154
Springs Industries — Circle 155
STA Elements — Circle 156
Starbucks Coffee Co. — Circle 157
Sunbeam Hospitality — Circle 158
TeleMatrix — Circle 161 ��
True Fitness — Circle 164
USA Today — Circle 165
VingCard Elsafe — Circle 167
Westpoint Home — Circle 169
ADVERTISERS ARE PRINTED IN BLUE

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IN-ROOM ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTS
Basic TV programming Folio review High-speed Internet access (wired) High-speed Internet access (wireless) On-demand movies and programming On-screen checkout Premium TV programming Televisions Video games Other
AMX — Circle 64
ComCast HospitalityONE — Circle 82
Connex Services — Circle 83
DirecTV — Circle 89
ESPN, Inc. — Circle 93
Extenway — Circle 96
Fire2Wire — Circle 97
Fox Cable Networks — Circle 98
Guest-Tek — Circle 107
Home Box Office — Circle 110
Hospitality Safe Corp. — Circle 112
Hotel Technologies — Circle 115
iBAHN — Circle 116
LG Electronics — Circle 124
LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. — Circle 127
Mill Distributors, Inc. — Circle 131
nSTREAMS Technologies — Circle 133
NXTV, Inc. — Circle 134
Panasonic's Broadcast & Television Systems — Circle 136
Petters Hospitality & Entertainment Group — Circle 137
Philips Business Display Solutions — Circle 138
RCA — Circle 142
Road Runner Business Class — Circle 143
RoomConX — Circle 145
Scitec — Circle 150
Sharper Image Professional Group — Circle 152
Showtime Networks — Circle 153
Teledex — Circle 160
Telkonet — Circle 162
USA Today — Circle 165

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