I just returned from a trip to Mallorca, Spain and it was interesting to note the differences in service and style at different luxury hotels, and how the personal touches made our experience more special.
Although both hotels were excellent – the rooms were well-appointed and the surroundings were breathtaking, what made the difference in my experience was the personal connection with staff and attention to detail, which, during my trip, happened a bit more at the Park Hyatt.
The St. Regis had a slightly more formal air to the staff. The suited manager went from table to table during breakfast to say that if there’s anything we need, please ask. While that was nice, what really surprised us was that when we went to play tennis each day at the off-site tennis club, the gate operator smiled and gave us bottles of water and fresh towels without asking.
At the Park Hyatt, the staff was more personable and friendly, and would often engage in conversations about themselves, Mallorca, things in common with the guests, etc. But what was a nice surprise was how they anticipated our needs. For example, when we were checking out, we didn’t have to ask them to get our car – they had already driven it to the front entrance, and loaded it up with our luggage while we were checking out. Also, they had made a lunch reservation for us, and made sure we had enough coins to pay for the street parking near the restaurant.
In short, the beautiful rooms and/or surroundings are only part of the luxury travel experience. What puts it over the top are the personal touches and anticipating the guests’ needs.