To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world. - Dr Seuss

There are many different philosophies on how to create the right environment for excellent guest service within a hotel. I do wish to share with you a philosophy that I have instilled in my Concierge Department for many years, which I have found to be exciting, engaging and rewarding.

Hotels can be many things to many different people. Exciting, Mysterious, Extravagant, Mundane or even Routine. How, as an hotelier, can I ensure I am creating an environment within the lobby to ensure the success of my department? The Concierge deals deeply with the arrival and departure process and for the most part begins the long line of services that one will encounter during their stay.

Hotels are romantic, no matter what your reason for being a guest. Of course there is the obvious, Husband and Wife taking a special night away, a partner who is on the cusp of proposing to their significant other. Guests who are beginning an evening of celebration for any of a multitude of reasons. Partners celebrating anniversaries, partners who are at the earliest stages of their relationships. These are the guests that we immediately think of when we talk about romance.
Then there are the corporate guests who are romancing a new business deal or existing business partnership, old friends who meet within the walls of a hotel to catch up on old memories, the multitude of family celebrations that are hosted at our restaurants, friends who share high tea together, the guest who has saved their entire working life to take their one trip of a lifetime. Hotels are far from mundane or routine, they may be operated with military like precision, however they are and should be warm inviting places to visit, to be romanced. Once in this mind set it is very easy to begin romancing our guests, it starts with the simple things that you may do on a first date.

Opening a car door, standing back while others walk through a door before you. Being polite and using manors to present yourself in a positive light. Being thoughtful to someone else’s needs does seem simple but essential. Being “old fashioned” and chivalrous in your interactions.

Being romantic takes great care and thoughtfulness, it is selfless and caring. It ensures that you are putting someone else’s needs and happiness above your own. It may sound a lot like a one way street but the rewards for treating people in such a way are timeless.

Often it creates strong bonds, builds trusting rapport, engages staff, surprises and excites all that are involved. Romance does not have to be about two people joining in a physical relationship.

Romance is about two people thinking selflessly in exciting and unexpected ways. Romance breaks down barriers and creates a sense that you do genuinely care. Romance is not brash or aggressive, it is soft and affectionate.

Nick Steele, President Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand