Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Enjoying the hospitality of others

Chris and I are in our last carefree vacation days before we drive home to Southampton (A Butler's Manor reopens for the season on Friday, March 16). As many of you know, we drove to California to enjoy family, friends, and lots of sunshine (!!) in balmy Southern California. As with any trip we take, it is an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality and to garner new ideas at other establishments, both bed and breakfast and hotel. Two experiences during our sojourn stand out: Casa Laguna, a boutique inn in Laguna Beach, and the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
"Casa," where every square inch in the terraced gardens was planted in a riot of color, made Chris drool with envy. We loved, loved, loved their big lush beds, soft as a dream, and our couples massage on premises was divine. But our favorite feature was their outdoor soaking tub, a Jacuzzi for two, under its own little pergola on a terrace above the pool. You must reserve the tub, available for 45-minute sessions, as it is carefully cleaned and filled for each booking. We reserved it for late afternoon and enjoyed a bottle of champagne overlooking the Pacific as the sun set! The experience was truly a vacation within a vacation. We'll be back--and will recommend!

And...service at the Bellagio? Worth every one of those five diamonds that AAA has awarded it. In a time where accountability, responsibility, and pride taken in a job seems sadly lacking, the Bellagio renews my faith in customer service. This is an employer who has TRAINED their staff, every one of them, from the housekeepers to the front desk, to concierge-worthy service. To use a term I used to champion in Corporate America back in the 1980's, they are obviously empowered to do what it takes to create a superior experience for their clientele. Even the housekeeper on duty on the floor we stayed greeted us when we passed in the hall, asking each time she saw us how we were doing and if everything was satisfactory in our room. Needless to say, it was--more than satisfactory. It was fabulous!

(And hey, who would have guessed that you can play penny slot machines at the Bellagio...?)

Exemplary service is, of course, a passion of ours...it is such a pleasure to find it alive and well!

Okay--back to Southampton to create our own brand of exemplary service! The 2012 season begins!

Quote of the day: Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. -- Walt Disney

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