Is giving the A+ treatment to transients worth it? Will they even ever come back?
Amazing guest service is made possible by combining rigorous standards and human compassion. Standards make the hotel work, so that hotel service can focus their energies in bringing the hotel’s brand promise to life. Be consistent, yet energetic, and go beyond guest satisfaction into guest delight.
Here are some guest accounts that Michelle and I have collected where consistency and energy made the hotels in the Philippines experience as feel-good as toasty sheets in an air-conditioned room.
A Wedding to Remember: “The Philippines has so much to boast, but unfortunately, these things can be hard to find unless you know people. Here’s where hotels can really lend local industries a hand.
“I had my wedding at a resort in the south, and even though my fiancee was coordinating the wedding from Manila, the food and beverage manager was really helpful by way of suggesting really nice local handicrafts that weren’t too pricey. The hotel had so many nice local touches, aside from the themed motif that my bride and I chose, and everyone in the guest list received scarves and capiz lamps that everyone enjoyed! – Anthony G., Taguig City”
Accommodating Accommodations: “My best hotel experience wasn’t such a big deal. I tend to travel smart, and look for great deals. So little things do surprise me, like when I stayed at a large hotel chain in Manila that didn’t have a single room available.
“I was ready to take the double when, to my surprise, the receptionist said that they would give me the regular single room rate for the double. It was such a simple accommodation of my needs, that didn’t even involve the manager, that I decided that this hotel was run with real people who understood REAL PEOPLE. I was sold! – Christian M., Cebu City”
The Doctor was In: “I’m a regular traveler, since I’m in sales, and cover a lot of southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas. I’ve had to stay at hotels and resorts every day for months, so I had my favorites, but one time, I lunched at a resort that I had never been before, and paid the price of adventurousness.
“Luckily, one of my regular stops was just 5km away. I managed to drive there without passing out, checked in, and stayed in my room for two and a half days. Despite the hotel being pretty busy, the staff paid close attention to me (maybe to ensure a hygienic room!), and got the doctor to visit me about 5 times in 48 hours.
“When I got back on the road, they sent me off with a couple of bottles of mineral water and even mentioned some roadside eateries, both to avoid, and one must-try. (I passed on it, and just ate biscuits and buko juice, but when I pass through there again, I’m heeding their recommendations!) – Carlos S., Pasig City”
On the Road: “Travelling in the real Philippines means you take all sorts of public transport. Sometimes, when the road is long, dark, and out of the way, you can feel pretty vulnerable. So when we had to hire a jeepney to go from the bus terminal to the mountain hotel at near midnight, I was so relieved when the driver was able to text the hotel and tell them that someone was coming in the wee hours. The hotel management was so close with the local community that we felt safe for the next three days that we stayed there. Props not just to the hotel, but to the local tourism board for bringing great service to the province! – Mark H., Auburn, Michigan”
Traveling with Best Friends: “Touring with ‘man’s best friend’ is a challenge for both owner and host. Finding an establishment that makes everyone feel welcome is such a delight.
“The beach resort didn’t have a pet policy, but after showing the manager all the tricks that my Labrador Retriever knew, it all of a sudden had a very accommodating and captive audience.
“They put me and Stan in a beachfront room so that I wouldn’t have to bother guests that could be phobic. I kept Stan leashed for the first day, and seeing that most everyone loved him (guests and staff), Stan spent the rest of the week roaming the place, getting petted by all and even had a water bowl outside of our room after the first night. Apparently, everyone is welcome at this pet-friendly hotel! – Isa A., Puerto Princesa City”
What are your feel-good hotel experiences? As we gear up for global visitors in the next years, we should expect world-class stories from our local hotels. Why not? It’s more fun in the Philippines, right?