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“Once upon a time in a hotel...”: Two Memorable Luxury Hotel Stories

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Ritz-Carlton and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are some of the companies that went that extra mile, constituting examples that showcase that the incorporation of experiential marketing stories in organizations is a key determinant in delivering corporate benefits.

A Ritz-Carlton “wow story”
Every day at each Ritz-Carlton property around the globe a “line up” takes place, namely a meeting the duration a quarter of an hour, in which the staff from every department for the resolution of the problems that have emerged, for the exploration of approaches for service enhancement as well as for the review of guest experiences. These meetings, dissimilar to most business assemblies, present a striking particularity. Having sorted out fundamental housekeeping issues, the bulk of the “line up” time is devoted on revisiting each time a different constituent part of the twelvefold customer service culture. The way to do so is storytelling, the most effective communication tool. In this Ritz Carlton special daily meeting, the “wow story” of the day is read. This “wow story” is universally shared in 21 countries, across 61 hotels and among 35,000 employees. In this way, “a waiter in Boston will hear the same story as a concierge in Bali; a housekeeper in Shanghai will hear the same story as a doorman in Hong Kong.”  The “wow story” of each day highlights one employee who performed excellence and employed Ritz Carlton’s “mystique” in transforming a luxury traveler into a repeater guest. 

Such a “wow story” is the following:


The Cliff Villa, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

 

A family, vacationers at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali, was consistently carrying with it the particular milk and eggs, prescribed for its son’s food allergies. Nevertheless, during that particular holiday, the food was destroyed on the way; the milk had soured and the eggs had cracked. What is more, the Ritz-Carlton management tried to find these special commodities in the urban shops without any effort. Then, the executive chef recollected a store in Singapore that sold such products, immediately called his mother-in-law, who lived there, asked her to purchase the food stuff and fly afterwards 2, 5 hours to Bali to deliver it.

A Vivaldi’s opera and the Mayor of a city of Austria, a story orchestrated in Costa Navarino

Royal Villa “Koroni”, The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort

 

During the summer of 2015, in my job position as Concierge at The Romanos, A Luxury Collection Resort I created such a story harmonized with the practice and philosophy of the experiential marketing of tourism destinations: 

I had some guests, a Viennese couple of which the husband was mayor of a city of Austria. Searching for a dramaturgy with personal meanings and revelance and relying on the narrative canvas of Messinia, I sent him a message to his room in which I recounted the following story: In "L'Oracolo in Messinia" ("The Oracle of Messinia") Vivaldi narrates the myth of Queen Merope, who is forced to marry the usurper of the throne Polyfontis who had murdered her husband Cresphontes and the six of their seven children. Forgotten for 270 years, the opera was "reconstructed" from the composer Fabio Biondi and staged in Vienna in 2012. In this way, I managed to find for this man with the particular interest in history and art, a personal connection between the cultural cues of Messinia, Vienna and the very special profile of my guest.

This is a story of how we can manage the hotel landscape with the basic construct of "experience", which offers us the possibility of differentiating and adding value to the tourism product. Besides, the arena of tourism is summarized in the narrative management.

Learning outcome 
Ritz-Carlton and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are some of the companies that went that extra mile, constituting examples that showcase that the incorporation of experiential marketing stories in organizations is a key determinant in delivering corporate benefits. The cited stories evaluate the scope, leading to the learning outcome that extraordinary personally scripted stories based on the experiential marketing methodology establish a link between the brands and their consumers, scale sustainably the goodwill of the organizations and, consequently, irreversibly instill positive emotions in the minds of customers in a way that transform them to brand ambassadors and lifelong users.

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