I'm in Los Angeles for work, staying at this "new" hotel called Andaz. New to me anyway, it's a Hyatt property although you would never know it. It's a hotel experience beyond compare.
First of all, there's no front desk. You walk into the lobby which is really just a bunch of seating areas and tall wide tables where people are connected to laptops, having glasses of wine, chit chatting. As we glanced around, we were greeted by a receptionist who welcomed us and invited us to sit down. Offered us a glass of wine and began to check us in. No standing in line, no standing at a desk, nothing.
His name was Dean (very LA) and he proceeded to tell us that the mini-bar is complimentary and drinks in the lobby are complimentary too. Just sit here and relax and make yourself comfortable. It was the smoothest and most welcoming check-in that I have ever had. Even when I've been on vacation in Hawaii.
The room keys? No awkward magnetic strip that freaks out on you. Just tap it on the door panel and in you go. I know, it's the little things. We went downstairs to grab a bite to eat and were warmly greeted by the host who asked our names. When the server came to our table, he greeted us by name. Awesome. Picked out wine for us to go with our entrees, we were set.
Rooms are beautiful. Cappuccinos in the am were fabulous. Even the gym had bottles of water and iPod stations. I needed some hair gel and they gave it to me. I needed something faxed and they did it for free. At a time when most brands are charging for everything, here's a brand that truly understands customer experience. I'm coming back every time I'm in LA. Quite the Experience Effect.
When you're traveling, especially for work, you just want to be comfortable and have a little bit of glamour. Just a little bit to make the trip at least a little bit of fun. Andaz nailed it.
What's your experience? Jim.
PS - evidently there are two in NYC too which I am going to check out for visitors.