|Waldorf Astoria Hotels Roll Out The Red Carpet With New Personal Concierge Services.|
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive Column
Wednesday, 25th July 2012
As Luxury travelers are looking for one thing: the ultimate experience, a well-positioned guest room with sweeping views and Italian thread-count linens make an impression, but it's the extra effort from the hotel that keeps a guest coming back.
In an effort to offer a bit of the extraordinary, Hilton Hotels-owned Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is introducing a new service: a person concierge.
The catch: this concierge isn't just for the hotel's elite travelers. It's for everyone. Every guest at the Waldorf Astoria hotels will have their own, pre-assinged "perusal concierge" to assist in not just the hotel specifics, but in all aspects of the guest's travel.
This certainly isn't the first time we've seen a personal concierge assist luxury travelers. From The Plaza's butlers in New York City to the Ritz-Carlton's personal assistants at the hotel's reserve property in Phulay Bay, the concept of a personalized concierge isn't unheard of.
However, these services are generally reserved for the elite travelers - those with Presidential Suite bookings or private villas. The Waldorf's attempt to provide each guest with a personal concierge is a fete in and of itself, thanks in most part to the size of the hotels in the brand portfolio. And, if everyone gets a concierge, how is this really different from a traditional hotel concierge, who is available to help every guest of the hotel?
By definition, it's not. It's simply making the concierge as we know it more accessible to the guest, building the gap between a typical stay and a personal experience.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the overall Waldorf Hotels & Resorts experience and understand that guests have a choice when it comes to luxury accommodations,” John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton Worldwide, told LuxuryDaily.com. “This program has been in development for the past two and a half years and is based on extensive research at the property level to deliver flawless experience for every Waldorf guest. True Waldorf Service furthers our longstanding commitment to legendary service by focusing on the totality of the guest experience by assigning a personal concierge for every guest.
Waldorf Astoria trained employees on this new service, which takes place in three parts.
The first part is the "welcome stage", which begins with an email before the guest arrives at the hotel. The welcome email includes information on booking transfers and details on how to make special requests, like dietary restrictions, theater tickets, restaurant reservations, etc., ahead of time.
Guests are greeted by their concierge at arrival, which makes stage two of the process. The personal concierge brings guests to their room, bypassing the traditional check-in for an in-room check-in process. The concierge is the guest's point-of-contact during their entire stay -from room device to packing to transportation and reservation assistance.
The third phase of the service is the follow--up, which happens as the guest is leaving. A personal departure gift will be presented to each guest as they depart the hotel, and their personal concierge will follow-up with a thank-you note after their trip.
The personal concierge service, called True Waldof Service, will roll-out at more than 20 properties this month, according to LuxuryDaily.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com