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Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. But if start a screaming match with the front desk, or any other hotel employee, you can be assured they will "make a note of this." Here's what really goes on behind the front desk.
Most hotels have a system where information about each guests’ needs are documented and further highlighted upon check-in, so that all staff are aware of the profile of the guest and anticipate all their needs. These comments are further enforced during a typical 15-minute "stand-up" (a pre-shift run through of the day’s status, events, information and VIPs). A proper handling of these comments ensures that all staff has the same information and relays a consistent level of information and service to the guest.
However, some of the comments placed on a guest account go far beyond the rudimentary drink and pillow preferences, and instead highlight details pertaining to a specific incident during their previous stay or an extreme requirement that must be attended to when a guest checks in, or an alert about unorthodox behavior or a previous complaint placed by the guest.
Below is a glimpse of some comments that have graced guests' accounts over my years as part of the front desk team, and how we handled them.
You've all copped to doing at least a few of these scandalous things in your hotel room but staying in a hotel room is only one part of your stay. Your shenanigans also extend downstairs into the hotel lobby. So here are 5 Things People Do in a Hotel Lobby But Won't Admit.
1. Flirt With Escorts: You may not have known they were working women/men (or maybe you did) but if your story starts with something like this, "I couldn't believe it but the hottest girl/guy came up to me at the hotel bar and started flirting with me!" then you've just been seduced by a professional.
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Menu items at the Renaissance Denver Downtown.
Last week, while having a drink in the lobby of the Renaissance Denver Downtown - we opened the bar menu to take a peek at the fare. Amongst the typical city-priced items, we noticed that one option stood out from the rest.
It looked strange and out of place, that last item with the peculiar price tag: 99 cent homeamde chips and dip. Was this a mistake? If soft pretzels are $8, and almonds $6... were the chips stale or something? We immediately put our hand in the air for the bartender to come over. We pointed at the menu. Are you serious with these chips?
Well, wouldn't you know that we just so happened to stumble upon one of the industry's best kept secrets. Turns out, all 157 Renaissance Hotels around the world have featured 99 cent chips on their bar menus since 2010. We've always been told to never question a good thing, but that simply doesn't work for a writer. Why, in a world where, quite frankly, hotel guests have become complacent and accepting of overpaying for food and beverage, would a hotel do such a thing?
So far in our new Hotel Commandments series, we've had a top hotel butler hand down his secrets for pleasing picky luxury hotel guests, a hotelier dole out his hotel etiquette for hosting royal family members and a general manager advise on how to treat celebrities on location.
Today, we've got a special holiday-themed Hotel Commandments edition from Robin D. Carson, the general manager of the Kingsmill Resort, in historic (and utmost picturesque holiday setting) Williamsburg, Virginia.
If you're a hotel looking for ways to get in the holiday mood, look no further. If you're a family looking for a fun holiday getaway, check out what the Kingsmill is doing to make their place "look a lot like Christmas" this year.
Recently, we've had hotel share their secrets for keeping royal families happy as well as their 10 commandments for keeping luxury hotel guests happy. Today, we've got a new set of tips from a hotel--The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. But their list deals with a different kind of VIP--the film industry. And yes, that includes celebrities.
The Windsor Court has hosted pretty much every major film and music star from Brad and Angie to Beyonce (who stayed there for her Super Bowl performance last year) to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, annual attendees of the Jazz Fest. And they typically stay in the hotel's best suite--The Presidential Suite on the 22nd floor.
With 2,700-sq.ft. of space, the suite has two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a full kitchen and dining room, two living rooms, a butler's pantry, a full entertainment center, original artwork, two private landscaped terraces and a baby grand piano that's been tinkered on by Billy Joel. Penthouse guests get to enjoy the perks of the hotel's Club Lounge which has dedicated concierge service and daily food offerings. Rates typically start at $4,500 a night which, let's be real, is chump change for these A-List folks .
But putting up celebs in the best digs is only part of the job. The rest is coordinating with the production companies, the assistants and the entourages.
Here, The Windsor Court Hotel's general manager, David Teich, dishes out his 10 Commandments for Hosting Film Stars:
1. First commandment to hosting celebrities, film industry and VIPs is that privacy is key. Treat all guests with respect – absolutely no photos, autographs, social media, etc.
2. Prior to arrival, it is important to have one key point of contact, i.e. a guest relations manager or customer experience manager, to ensure that all details/pre-needs are known.
3. Keep communication open with local production teams so the hotel knows of schedule changes as well as comings and goings of the guest.
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Let's just get it all out there in the open today. Here are 10 Things Everyone Does in a Hotel Room But Won’t Admit. Confessing our sins to one another will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, right? Eh, whatever. You paid for the room, go wild!
1. Steals the toiletries, even the no-name ones: Because what if you run out of shampoo or conditioner at home and can't get to the drugstore before your next shower? Also, because deep down you're a hoarder.
2. Pays $4 for a candy bar: Especially after long flights. Damn you, Snickers. And Kit Kat, too.
3. Walks around naked: Why not? So long as we're not doing sex acts in front of the High Line, it's more than ok to walk around naked in our room. And so long as the curtains are closed.
Behind shut doors and "Do Not Disturb" signs, hotel rooms hold stories to tell, and maybe a few secrets that shouldn't be repeated. Illicit liaisons, romantic fairy tales, or just plain goofball mishaps take place on any given day and can serve as cinematic fodder.
"One hotel. Thousands of stories." reads the tag line to a recent contest sponsored by Massify, Killer, and Ace. They called on members to submit creative takes on hotel stories, as they launched a search for material to be turned into "very short, very funny vignettes":
Set at Ace Hotel's New York outpost, we'll develop a collection of original, concise narratives that clock in at under five minutes in length. Avoid relying heavily on sketch comedy and take advantage of this unique location to create character driven pieces that are intelligent, artful and comedic.
A guest room at the Se San Diego.
Last week we wondered whether or not The Delano and Fontainebleau Hotels in Miami Beach had secret tunnels for which George Clooney could escape with his latest waitress/girlfriend/beard from the prying paparazzi photo lenses. We discovered that US Weekly must have used the word "tunnels" when they really meant, "backdoor exits."
Nevertheless, we were tipped off about the Se San Diego which has a secret subterranean passageway leading to the House of Blues next door. So performers at the concert venue can go back and forth between the hotel without any drama. We're thinking this hotel is perfect for pop mega-stars like Britney Spears and the Jonas Brothers and more serious musicians. And possibly a hip-hop star like Eminem.
Lady GaGa, who prides herself on her public appearances and futuristic fashion choices, should probably stick to using the hotel's front door.
Know of any hotels with secret passageways? Let us know where they are!