Those magic hotel moments to remember.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Thursday, 17th January 2008
Our writer looks back on the year that was and comes up with her list of great hospitality moments to remember.

I am convinced that one of the reasons why we humans have managed to survive as a species for as long as we have is because of our selective memory.

That is, we tend to remember really only the good moments and forget the bad stuff that's happened.

This is why we keep talking about the "good old days" or we begin sentences with "do you remember when …" and then we have a good group chuckle even though it is likely that each of us remember it in different ways.

So if you were to ask me what kind of year I had in 2007, I'd say, I had a great year overall – ie I am still alive – and that the best thing that happened to me was my leg injury because it taught me that two legs are better than one.

I have also been thinking of my "travelling" year – the places I've been, the beds I've slept in, and the experiences I've had.

And because I suspect I have a family audience, I'll restrict my selective memory to recalling the great hospitality moments I've had the past year.

So here's the SHY Hotel Moments Awards for 2007.

1. Fly Me to Cloud Nine

– Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap, for going beyond the call of duty on every occasion to deliver personal, memorable service that even jaded, hardened journalists and cynical, demanding travellers rave and write home about. That cocktail party under the stars on the rooftop was definitive Cloud Nine material.

2. Thanks For the Memories

– Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, for retrieving my precious, dog-eared journal from a Singapore Airlines aircraft and delivering it to my room, and then for sending back to me, by courier, a cashmere sweater I left behind.

3. The Butler Did It

– Sila Evason Hideaway, Samui, for having butlers trained to know all about you even before you arrive – "I googled you" will become the new service slogan for all butlers, I predict.

4. Pay and Ye Shall Receive

– Conrad Singapore for making check-out a moment to remember by giving you a small gift with a wish, "Have a safe journey home." A small gesture but makes such a difference to a process most hotels, even those luxury brands who pride themselves on personal service, still can't get right.

5. Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go

– Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi, for its breakfast-on-the-go that comes with their airport transfers for those unearthly morning departures from Indira Ghandi Airport. That cuppa and bite is a sure pick-me-up to prepare you for whatever ordeal lies ahead.

6. Breakfast with strangers, sausages included

– Matarangi Manor, Matarangi Beach, for ensuring sausages was on the menu after I had asked for them the first day of my stay. A little thought that goes a long way, when you are a long way from home.

Here's to more great hotel moments in the new year.

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com . Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.
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