Blogging, Blogs, Customer Loyalty, Embassy Suites, Executive Management, Free Internet, Free WiFi, Hospitality, hotels, HR, Internet, Kathleen Lyons, Management Practices, Motels, New Business World, Public Image, Public Relations, Publicity, Re-Imagine!, Richmond, Richmond VA, Rotary, Starbucks, teamwork, Value-added, Virginia
by Paul Kiser
USA PDT [Twitter: ] [Facebook] [LinkedIn] [Skype:kiserrotary or 775.624.5679]
In August I stayed in hotels in seven different cities (Dallas, TX; Bloomington, IL; Chicago,IL; Minneapolis, MN; Norfolk, VA; Richmond, VA; and Virginia Beach, VA..) In a previous post I expressed my displeasure with pay-for-Internet at the Millennium Hotel* in Minneapolis, which was slightly unfair as the hotel was a pleasant, although completely expected, experience. As a people warehouse the Millennium Hotel fits the mold that is typical of most business traveler-type hotels. However, out of the seven hotels of which I was a guest, there was one that made a big impression on me, the Embassy Suites in Richmond, Virginia.
The Embassy Suites hotel in Richmond, Virginia is not a flashy, Vegas-type hotel. From the outside it is a modern, yet modest building tucked back from busy streets; however, access to the Interstate is nearby. Like many hotels it is surrounded by a massive asphalt parking lot; however, the entrance is behind a landscaped island of trees. The great thing about the foliage is that it creates the sense from the outside that this hotel is not just a people warehouse like so many others.
After entering the hotel one doesn’t have to hunt for the Registration Desk as it is positioned in such a way that it oversees the entrance area, but it doesn’t intrude into the path of a guest walking to their room from the parking lot.
The striking feature of the hotel is the inner courtyard. I have seen this design before, but it was a refreshing change from institutional interior designs of most people warehouses. The open interior gives a community feel to the hotel rather than the impression that you just walked into a U-Store-It facility, as is the feel of most hotels. The interior landscaping and flowing water features create a tropical environment. This hotel was number six for me during my August travels and it was a refreshing change from the five previous corporate institutions of I had visited.
My room was also vastly different from my previous guest experiences. This was a true ‘suite’ and not just a room with a bed. There was a clearly defined living space with a television, desk, couch, and bar area. The bedroom was in the rear of the suite with a door that would allow privacy if two people were in the room and one wanted to watch television or work while the other one slept. The bedroom had a counter with running water and its own television. The bathroom was in the transition area between the living room and the bedroom offering easy access from both rooms. The entire suite is a brilliant design.
Of course the Internet was free (my minimum requirement) and I had no problems making a connection. If needed, I could have easily made the suite my home base. It is a comfortable living and working environment. I would have had no concerns about hosting small meetings in my room. I had everything I needed except for my Starbucks Chai Tea.
One of my issues with most hotels is the assumption that people don’t want to interact with other people when they stay in a hotel. I’m as reclusive as most, but to visit a city and never come out of my hotel room is what creates that ‘warehouse feeling’.
At the Richmond Embassy Suites the open feel of the courtyard was put to good use by encouraging guests to congregate twice a day for a free manager’s reception each evening and free breakfast each morning. The reception offered adult and non-alcoholic beverages along with a variety of choices of snack items (hors devours.) The breakfast was as good or better than the breakfasts I’ve eaten at eaten at most Sunrise Rotary Clubs. Those who have eaten a breakfast at a Rotary Club may think that may not be saying much, but I typically pay $14 to $15 to eat a Rotary breakfast and this was free. The free gatherings were the most ‘value-added’ service I have experienced in a hotel.
From the few interactions I had with the hotel staff it was obvious that the Chief Executive of this property, Kathleen Lyons, and her staff understood the meaning of the word ‘guest’. I was always treated with respect and a smile. It was apparent that they were pleased that I choose their hotel over the other options in Richmond.
Giving great customer service is not that mysterious, but it requires that everyone from the bottom (no offense intended, Ms. Lyons, but in my world that means you) up to the top (the maintenance and housekeeping staff) must enjoy what they do and enjoy working with people. It was clear that the Embassy Suites in Richmond is not run by ‘management’, but managed through leadership. Bravo to Ms. Lyons and her team!
Business: Public Relations, Management, and Social Media Related
- Dear Business Person: It’s 2010, please update your brain.
- Selling watered-down beer: The best spin campaign in advertising
- Communication: Repetition of message does not increase awareness
- Is it time to fire yourself?
- Millennium Hotel: Go away, spend your money elsewhere
- Rogue Flight Attendant shows his arrogance, Airlines dislike for the customer
- 2Q 2010 Social Media Tools: Facebook/Twitter sail on, LinkedIn/MySpace don’t
- War Declared on Social Media: Desperate Acts of Traditional Media
- Pay It Middle: The Balance between Too Much and Too Little Compensation
- Mega Executive Pay Leads to Poor Performance
- Relationships and Thin-Slicing: Why the other person knows what you’re really thinking
- Browser Wars: Internet Explorer losing, Google Chrome gaining ground
- WiFi on Southwest Airlines: Is it ‘Shovel Ready’?
- Starbucks makes a smart move: Free WiFi
- Foul Play: FIFA shows what less regulation offers to business
- The Shock of the McChrystal Story: The story is over before the article is published
- Tony Hayward: The very model of a modern Major General
- Epic Fail: PR ‘Experts’ don’t get Twitter
- King of Anything: Social Media vs Traditional Media
- Twitter is the Thunderstorm of World Thought
- Signs of the Times
- How Social Interactive Media Could Transform Higher Education
- How to Become a Zen Master of Social Media
- Death of All Salesmen!
- Aristotle’s General Rules on Social Media
- Social Media: What is it and Why Should You Care?
- Social Media 2020: Keep it Personal
- Social Media 2020: Who Shouldn’t Be Teaching Social Media
- Social Media 2020: Public Relations 2001 vs Social Media Relations 2010
- Social Media 2020: Who Moved My Public Relations?
- Publishing Industry to End 2012
- Who uses Facebook, Twitter, MySpace & LinkedIn?
- Fear of Public Relations
- Dissatisfiers: Why John Quit
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…Oh My!
- Does Anybody Really Understand PR?
- What most non-Rotarians don’t know about Rotary
- Rotary@105: Making Rotary Sexy
- Rotary@105: Grieving change
- How Rotary can..must..will plug into Social Media
- Rotary PR: Disrespecting the Club President is a PR/Membership issue
- Rotary Membership/Public Image Challenge
- Rotary New Year: Retread or Renaissance?
- Rotary@105: A young professionals networking club?
- One Rotary Center: A home for 1.2 million members
- Rotary@105: What BP Could Learn from the 1914 Rotary Code of Ethics
- Rotary Magazine Dilemma Reveals the Impact of Social Media
- Rotary@105: April 24th – Donald M. Carter Day
- Rotary@105: What kind of animal is Rotary International?
- Rotary: The Man in the Yellow Hat as the Ideal Club President?
- Rotary@105: Our 1st Rotary Club Dropout
- Rotary Public Relations and Membership: Eight Steps to a Team Win
- Rotary: All Public Relations is Local
- Best Practices: Become a Target!
Personal Experience Related
- Things I didn’t know about being a Father to a four-year-old boy
- Riding Reno: The Ladies of Reno
- Up in the air down in Texas
- I mow my lawn because…
- Nevada I-580: An Interstate by any other name
- Nevada’s oldest brewery opens a Reno location
- Two Barbecues and a Wedding
- Car Dealership Re-Imagines Customer Service
Pingback: Sandoval/Reid campaign money not a stimulus for Nevada « Paul Kiser's Blog