On Vacation Part 1: The Hotel

Jim Luff
Posted on June 29, 2010
SPECIAL SERIES: The Hyatt conjures up thoughts of luxury. Do they deliver? Four days gave me plenty to observe.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Over the next few LCT Blog columns, I will discuss various service levels I experienced while on vacation and how they relate to delivering excellent customer service in our industry. Building on my vacation series last year, this “second season” will cover hotels, limousine service, restaurants, and a golf club.
The Hyatt Huntington Beach is a world-class hotel sitting on the doorstep of the Pacific Ocean along the famed Orange County coast. The massive property has more pools that I can keep track of. There is an outdoor shopping mall and multiple dining choices, ranging from the Beachside Grill for casual dining to the fancy and formal California Restaurant. Options were plentiful.
In my opinion, the people who regularly stay at these types of hotels are our clients. For me, it was a vacation. For many of our clients, this is part of their normal life. As operators, we offer an extension of luxury hotel service since hotels are part of our client mix. Best Transportation of Huntington Beach has the contract at this hotel. You can bet the hotel expects the service delivered by Best to be on par with the service the guest is experiencing at the hotel.
The arrival process is usually a stage-setting moment for the overall experience to come. I was motioned by a valet captain on where to park. There were people swarming around us getting the passenger door, driver door, and tailgate open all at the same time. We received a claim check for our luggage and our car and then were escorted to the front counter. No waiting at all.
I told the desk clerk that we had friends staying at the hotel and would like to be close to them. We were placed just down the hall from each other. The clerk asked for my luggage tag and said she would see to it that our luggage was delivered promptly. I would say five minutes was prompt.
We went to explore the property and found the spa. My wife was in Heaven as they offered us a full tour. All of it was ours to use. There is a steam room, waterfall shower, sea-salt whirl pool, relaxation room, and other rooms all with fresh fruit and bottled water everywhere. It made me think about what we provide in our vehicles, and more importantly, what things we lack that could improve the experience.
The delicious lobster I ate at the California Restaurant was reasonably priced at $22. They had an excellent wine list, priced reasonably with a bottle of Silver Oak going for $90. I could go on and on about this hotel but you get the idea that it was over-the-top good. My only complaint would be that after midnight, you better be in bed because there is no place to get food or beverage or do anything else.
If the purpose of vacations is to reinvigorate ourselves, both personally and professionally, then I am clearly learning from our service experience so I can make sure we deliver every one of our clients into the lap of luxury.
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor

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Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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