Sunday, 2 September 2018

Hotel life: Habits and loyalty

On loyalty and benefits
I would be the first to tell you that loyalty schemes and customer loyalty matter. This especially when you are a frequent traveller for business and for leisure.
Now on holiday in Gran Canaria, as is my custom when I have the time and the means, which I did more frequently before my encounter with cancer, I see that benefit even more.
On a broader note, it is only in exceptional circumstances that I fly on airlines outside the SkyTeam alliance, usually when there are no connections or I really want to save time on travel, as travelling out of Manchester always included a stopover in either Paris or Amsterdam. Being a SkyTeam elite member by reason of frequency of travel or the class one chooses to travel grants privileges of access and service that takes the humdrum out of the travel experience.
When it comes to accommodation, most of my bookings are through Hotels.com, with them, for every 10 nights spent in hotels, I get the average cost of the 10 nights as an award to use for another stay.
A hotel to show and tell
However, back to Gran Canaria, I cannot stay anywhere else but the Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas, which sits as a white colonial-style edifice backing onto the dunes of Maspalomas. I first came here in September 2007 and I have probably spent over 200 nights at this hotel altogether, which a number of stays were up to 3 weeks at a time.
Too many things set this establishment out as unique, exquisite, exclusive and one of the top hotels to stay at in Playa del Ingles. On service, on location, on comfort, on friendliness, I feel so much at home here. I walk into the hotel and there is always someone that recognises me at the reception and I am known by name. I have never had to introduce myself after my first visit.
In all, I am welcomed, like family, well beyond just a returning guest. Firm handshakes, the banter, the laughter, and much else, signals to the new recruits at the reception or the restaurant, that this is a guest that is also family. The refrain is almost always, “Welcome Mr Akintayo, to your second home.”
Just what service is about
On the quality of service, I will just leave this here, I was last here in time, November/December 2016 with my best friend. Once we had dispensed with greetings, the Chef de reception went into the inner office and brought out an envelope containing a USB key that had been forgotten by my friend.
There are many observations to follow this, that they kept a seemingly insignificant thing that even my friend had no idea had been lost at this hotel, that they believed sometime in the future, I will return and that they immediately had the presence of mind to present the lost item even before I was checked-in.
Then, upon being given a room, I was not satisfied because it was on the first floor and the view obscured by palm trees. Without insisting, I just asked if it was possible to change my floor. One of the newer receptionists recognised I was a returning customer and had a chat to her manager. The next day we were moved to a top floor room with stunning views.
Whilst, I may have noticed some changes to the service I have been accustomed to, the quality remains high and the number of returning guests still maintains a high percentage. People might say hotels usually have a high attrition rate of staff, that is rarely the case with this hotel. I know staff that have been at this hotel since I first came in 2007. That is life at this hotel and a little homage to loyalty.

No comments: