When traveling, whether it’s for business or pleasure, you never quite feel like you are “at home” because, well, you are not at home. But it’s the hospitality team’s job to make you feel like you are “at home” and as comfortable as possible. Granted, they’re probably not going to greet you at the end of each day at your hotel with a bow and/or a foot rub, but I suppose that certainly would be a welcome treat.
Over the course of my travels, I’ve been lucky to have experienced a lot of really great hospitality across many cities, states, countries, and continents. These are some recent examples that have really stood out:
At check-in at our Osaka hotel, the staff knew that we were traveling with a young child, so they presented us with a gift bag just for her, which had a cute Japanese character on it, with a similar theme on a toddler tooth brush and matching slippers.
On New Year’s Eve (and in light of New Year’s Day, which is Japan’s biggest holiday of the year), the Osaka hotel left us a small boxed gift on our desk of a painted gold dragon with a little bell inside. It’s meant to be a New Year’s gift; as with Lunar New Year, it’s a common time that the Japanese give gifts.
One night, I returned to our Tokyo hotel to realize that the water kettle, which I had used to make tea the previous night, was topped up with water. I remember I had emptied the remaining water the morning before, so clearly, housekeeping recognized that I had used the kettle and wanted to save me of this tiny chore when I returned from our day out. They also left me extra bags of hojicha (roasted green tea), which they had checked I had used. This seems like such a small thing to do, but I was so surprised and touched by this!
Our Tokyo hotel also knew we were traveling with a toddler, so they made sure to leave Pookster a cute baby toothbrush with baby toothpaste a few nights of our stay.
The Tokyo hotel also gave us a diaper pail to store soiled diapers and keep the odors at bay. Alas, the pail wasn’t strong enough, so we still had to discard of the poop diapers separately, but it was still a very thoughtful gesture!
A few times after we have checked into hotels, including in Europe, the front desk staff have called us to ask if everything is where it should be and if the room is to our liking, plus if we have needed anything else that would make our stay more pleasurable.
I work in a different type of customer service, and as anyone in this type of role knows, customer service is NOT an easy job. But in hospitality, it’s the seemingly little gestures that can make a hotel stay so memorable and amazing.