The worst welcome Girlahead ever had was at ESSEX HOUSE in New York. Shown up to an admittedly-modest suite, she was amazed to find it full of flowers. There was no card immediately visible. Later a miniscule card was discovered under a mammoth bloom. It was in someone else’s name. A telephone call to the duty manager resulted in speedy arrival of two bellmen with big trolleys. They took everything away, every tiny floret. All that was left was the room’s furniture. Style would have been to have left the flowers and brought up an appropriate card.
Oh well, it illustrates yet again how hotel customers can become mega-aggrieved over something that started small. Good memories about welcomes last forever. Take the bottle of ginger ale at FOUR SEASONS MIAMI BEACH with a full-colour label showing a named photograph of the new arrival.
It used to be that a bottle of good-label Champagne was appreciated but now water is just as good, as long as it is easy to open. Fruit always goes down well but do homework to find out what fruits are favourites, and do give a knife (yes, in the USA top-drawer young ladies are schooled at eating bananas with knives and forks). Homework and research can also reveal what an arrival’s extracurricular hobbies are. When he was at LEELA PALACE in Delhi, then-GM
Louis Sailer was a whizz at having a single, brand-new hardback on the desk of a just-checked in. It is a dead-cert that he is deploying the same perception at Delhi’s THE IMPERIAL, which he is determined to make one of the best hotels in the whole wide world.
Even an ounce of sense of humour also adds to the reception of a welcome. Girlahead was not staying there but she called in at THE PENINSULA CHICAGO to see some new suites. One had a card waiting. See it above. And hear The Peninsula’s highly-admired leader, here: