Category Archives: Hotel

London Hotels – Staff Training Secrets

Here’s a review of findings from a set of personal interviews conducted with leading London hoteliers:

Rocco Forte Collection (including Brown’s in London). Sir Rocco Forte’s hotels have high staff retention rates but there is “no magic answer” to achieving this. The emphasis is on training and providing clear and direct communication to people about what is expected of them. Rocco Forte Hotels also invest a lot of time and effort in creating an attractive working environment.

Intercontinental Hotels Group. This company has a creative approach to training its staff. For example they use “Learning Maps” to help staff empathise with customers by walking through the hotel from the customer’s perspective. Because staff need to follow the tone and style of each brand, training is brand-driven – it is quite different for Holiday Inn as compared to Intercontinental for example. The company also runs an “Employee Room Benefit Programme” to let staff use any of their hotels worldwide at cheap rates.

Claridge’s (Maybourne Hotel Group). At this company’s ultra-deluxe hotels, they pride themselves on their ability to recognise you when you return to stay there and to offer you extremely personalised service. There is plenty of hard work behind this and the training is usually driven by mystery shopping feedback. They use their most experienced team members as “role models” to act as mentors for new hires.

The Lanesborough. This is an exclusive, ultra-luxurious hotel near Hyde Park with a managing director who is one of the most respected hoteliers in London. He passionately believes in leading by example and has a pragmatic approach to staff training: learning on the job is reinforced by regular meetings in which new ideas are encouraged.

Red Carnation Hotel Collection. All of this group’s hotels are currently at or near the very pinnacle of the London hotel rankings on TripAdvisor. Comments from previous guests highlight the friendly staff and the service philosophy based on “tiny noticeable touches”. The Group’s CEO believes in recruiting people who have lovely personalities who are then given continuous professional training.The management team is stable and this also helps to provide a very solid example to staff.

Malmaison (a 4 star chain of boutique hotels). At Malmaison they like to emphasise a sense of fun in everything they do. As the CEO himself puts it: “If it’s not fun we’ll make it fun!” This results in a company culture where staff are given ways to find enjoyment and fun in their day to day jobs. The company also puts an emphasis on product-based training by partnering with its suppliers: this is quite an unusual approach but reflected in the service that guests receive in Malmaison’s London hotel.

One Aldwych (iconic 5 star hotel). The legendary founder of One Aldwych, Mr Campbell-Gray, told London Hotels Insight that his core belief in managing hotels is: “love your staff”. He wants all One Aldwych staff to provide great service in a natural way “from the heart” and they ban the use of “service scripts” which are sometimes used at other hotels. The hotel has a down-to-earth service style which leads to it being “a snob-free zone” as the management put it.

Hilton. Hilton is famous for being consistent wherever you are in the world and a large part of this is down to its online “Hilton University”. This is the company’s global training resource centre and it emphasises the shared Hilton values, wherever in the world you happen to be working. Do check out the review of the best Hiltons in London at London Hotels Insight.

You’re bound to enjoy staying in one of the above top London hotels even more, now that you know a bit more about the staff who work in them.

Las Vegas Family Friendly Hotels – Top 10 Of The Best Vegas Resorts For Your Family

Planning a trip to Las Vegas with the little ones? Where should your family stay? It’s a lot to consider and can be stressful enough to pull out your hair! But have no fear, I’ve done the research for you and listed some great hotel and resort choices below. Just pack your bags!

Here’s a list of family friendly hotels that can help make your Vegas stay comfortable and fun:

1. Mandalay Bay
3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
(877) 632-7800

Mandalay Bay wows everyone with their three swimming pools, a quarter mile Lazy River, and wave pool. Steps from the wave pool stands an air-conditioned, three-story Beachside Casino for beachside gaming. This is the place to be if your teenagers are too cool to hang out with you but can still be monitored in the pool area through the Casino’s sliding glass panels. There are beach cabanas throughout the pool area, posh day beds, and bungalows that can be reserved in advance. Kids of all ages will love the Shark Reef Aquarium which features an array of sharks, sea turtles, piranha, giant rays, and more.

2. Desert Rose Resort
5051 Duke Ellington Way, Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702)739-7000

This is an all-suite resort located behind Tropicana, 1.5 blocks from The Strip, and is a great place to stay with young children. They have one and two-bedroom condo suites featuring well-equipped kitchens, living and dining areas. Families will love their FREE high-speed internet, their complimentary continental breakfast buffet, as well as their complimentary afternoon “manager’s reception” with refreshments and beverages.

3. Tahiti Village Resort and Spa
7200 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Las Vegas, NV 89119
1-800-775-8463

Located two miles from The Strip, Tahiti Village is an island themed condo resort which offers a complimentary shuttle to The Strip. They have three multi-unit residential towers that surround a lush landscaped courtyard. Palm trees surround a swimming pool that unlike other hotel pools offer various areas of shade. There is a hot tub, and a children’s sandy beach side entry to the pool. Inner tubes are offered at $5 each for non-owners to rent and ride on their lazy river offering ultimate relaxation for the entire family. This is a non-casino resort offering spacious one and two-bedroom suites equipped with kitchenette or full kitchens, and a full-service spa located on the ninth floor of tower five. There’s also a fitness center available as well as barbecue grills next to the pool if you want to grill up food yourself. A Whole Foods Market is conveniently located nearby at the Town Square shopping center.

4. Mirage Hotel & Casino
3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nevada
1-866-304-2865

The Mirage is home to to the erupting volcano and pyrotechnic show, the Dolphin Habitat, as well as the lions at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden. Families can enjoy kid-friendly shows here that include Cirque du Soleil and Terry Fator. The pool is made up of connecting shallow lagoons and waterfalls surrounded by tropical foliage.

5. Golden Nugget Hotel
129 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada
1-800-634-3454

Families staying at the Golden Nugget will have fun with their three-story water slide which surrounds a 20,000 gallon live shark tank. Kids will love the illusion of swimming with the sharks! They have eight restaurants onsite and the nearby Fremont Street Light Experience is sure to entertain.

5. New York – New York Hotel and Casino
3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada
1-866-815-4365

Who doesn’t love a really nice hotel with a roller coaster around it? Families will have fun with the coaster, pool and the food court built to resemble New York.

6. Stratosphere Las Vegas Casino
2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89104-2597
800-99-TOWER or (702) 380-7777

Stratosphere’s location is at the end of the strip, away from the partying action which may be your priority for your family. Hotel stay includes free trips to the top of the tower for scenic views which is a very good value. Families with teens will especially love their theme park rides.

7. Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
2000 Fashion Show Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada
1-702-982-0000

Trump Hotel in Las Vegas is an off-The-Strip, non-casino hotel, mellow, and family friendly. This luxury hotel has a kids program that provides everything to make your family’s stay memorable. Parents of infants can request cribs equipped with plush linens, bottle warmers, bibs, diapers, etc. Trump Kids’ program includes books, board games, and toys, and a helpful kid-friendly map of Las Vegas. All rooms come with queen-size sleeper sofas and kitchenettes.

8. Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel
3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada

This upscale casino hotel has the best mix of dining and shopping. Their central location on The Strip makes it ideal for first time Vegas travelers that want to walk it. Families will enjoy their four posh swimming pools, the live show at The Colosseum, eating options at the Food Court, and shopping at the Forum Shops.

9. MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada
1-877-880-0880

The lure to MGM Grand Hotel is its convenient location on The Strip. This is a large casino hotel boasting over five thousand rooms! Families will have fun with their enormous five pool complex with whirlpools surrounded by bungalows and cabanas. This hotel also has a lazy river that can be ventured with inner tubes. Visit their Lion Habitat, it’s a see-through glass encased facility where you can safely watch the majestic lions on display.

10. Excalibur Hotel & Casino
3850 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada
877-750-5464

Excalibur is conveniently located on The Strip and is a great place to stay if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. If your plan is to not really spend much time in your room, this may be the place to stay. Families have fun with their multi-level pool, cabanas, fire pits, and poolside dining options. Excalibur is home to a carnival-themed arcade called the Fun Dungeon as well as the very popular, Tournament of Kings, a fun jousting-dinner show that encourages the use of your hands instead of utensils to eat.

Additional notes and tips:

Pay attention to lodging options that actually charge for children. Some hotels, (none listed above), impose additional per person fees ranging between $10-$12.

Upgrading to hotel guest suites, staying in time-shares for rent, or condo-style resort options may fare better for the family with kids instead of sharing a small hotel room.

Valued amenities such as cable or DVD players are important for entertaining kids. However, suites with kitchens or small kitchenettes consisting of a mini fridge and microwave are helpful to parents who may want to store or reheat children’s leftover food. Eating out less won’t put too big a dent in your wallet. In-suite amenities are convenient in helping parents with infants since refrigerators can store bottled milk or formula. won’t put too big a dent in your wallet

Depending on your plans you may want to take advantage of the hotels that have in-house child activity centers. The only caveat is that you must stay in the hotel for the duration of your children’s stay at these centers. Adults can take a couple hours off for gambling or nightclubbing while your child is safely looked after while on the premises. Be sure to check the requirements for these types of child care facilities that ask for proof of immunizations, whether your child is potty trained, etc.

Whenever possible, I try to stay in a non-casino hotel, off the strip and out of downtown. Anyone with children will know the hassles of toting kids through busy casino areas from room to your destination. Casino rooms can be smoky, loud, and filled with drunk party goers or serious gamblers. Thankfully, there are strict rules in place that prevent any parent accompanied by a child to stop at a casino table and place a bet, even if it is just for a minute! Let’s face it, the casino gaming environment isn’t exactly a good place for young children to hang around in.

Staying off-The-Strip and at a non-casino hotel has its advantages. Not staying at or near a “happening place” could make avoiding a loud party crowd that much easier. You’ll find quieter hallways and neighbors who won’t bother you or your children as they party through the night.