Have You Stayed at a Kimpton Hotel?

I’m standing in the lobby waiting on some friends when a guy walks into the beautiful marble foyer with his pet Pug.  The bellman walks over, leans down, and asks the Pug how his stay was.   The pooch responds with a smile and a tail wag.  The bellman gives him a scratch behind his ears and walks back to his post.

There’s a difference between saying your hotel is "pet friendly" and actually being pet friendly.  Kimpton Hotels understands that difference.   We are surrounded by so much marketing hype it is truly refreshing to see a company who believes in "showing" rather than "telling."

It isn’t one big thing that Kimpton Hotels does that impresses me – it is the dozens of little things.  And it’s the consistency.  The total experience from pulling into the front door to check out is seamless – as is their follow up communication.

This should be especially good news for Kimpton since they make an active effort to market and cater to women.

So what specifically is Kimpton doing that has converted me into one of their biggest fans?   Here’s a list……

First and foremost…….leopardskin bathrobes.   love love love them.    At a recent stay in the new Washington DC Palomar hotel, I was even greeted with a zebra stripe bathrobe.    Forget boring white -anyone, even someone like me, can look and feel sexy in a leopardskin or zebra stripe bathrobe.

The staff.    Yes, I have been greeted by polite staff at hotels all over the world.  But what impressed me about the Kimpton staff was their knowledge.    At the Hotel Vintage Park in Seattle, my travel mate had a nicotine fit at 2:30 am.   The doorman knew of a small gift shop in a hotel not too far that was open after hours and gave such precise directions we found it despite it’s near hidden location. 

Also at the Hotel Vintage Park – I set up a massage in my room.   The concierge set everything up and even had specific written instructions on exactly how the massage would work – what to wear (or not wear), where the masseuse would go while you got on the table (they go into the bathroom so you have complete privacy).  As a woman, I especially loved that they were so specific.  I am well versed in massage etiquette, but many people aren’t and would be slightly apprehensive.  This concierge did her best to make sure it would be a completely comfortable experience.

I was also impressed that the Hotel Vintage Park General Manager, Sandy Burkett was circling at the complimentary wine hour and greeting the guests.  She was lovely to talk to.   Can you imagine the General Manager from a Hyatt or a Marriott circling the lobby and personally greeting guests?

The in room snacks – What a great variety of snacks, CD’s to listen to, and – get this – an intimacy kit.   I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.   As a woman – that was probably the thing that impressed me the most.  I was so appreciative that they cared about me and my health.   (now for those more conservative folks – don’t fly off the handle here – it was so very subtle and tastefully done you would not even know what it was.  It looked like a small silver mint container with a discreet typed label)

The only thing missing from the snack and mini bar was a doggie treat.  Perhaps in the "pet friendly" rooms there are dog treats.  But that would be a lovely touch.

Special programs for women travelers – Kelly Koon at the Hotel Vintage Park in Seattle has set up some wonderful programs – my favorite is the Women and Wine package that includes tickets to Menopause – The Musical.  (Don’t laugh, or, actually, do laugh – this musical is opening to rave reviews all over the country)   

Yes, Kimpton does a lot of other wonderful things – complimentary wine hours, room upgrades, fabulous restaurants on their property, beautiful rooms with most lights on dimmers (way cool for adjustable mood lighting), fabulous bath products, they actually read and respond to you if you fill out a survey, etc.   

But it is these small touches – these little details, the small kindness, asking the Pug how his stay was.   You can damn sure bet he’s going to go home and tell all his doggie friends about the superior service he got.   

I’ve been doing the same thing. 

P.S.  If anyone from Kimpton Hotels should read this – I do have one suggestion for your website.  I like to reserve my room through the main Kimpton website or the individual hotel website.   But here’s my problem – if I go through the normal website reservation process, at no point can I enter my Kimpton In Touch membership number.   

As it turns out – you have to go to the member section, THEN make your reservation.  This is not intuitive.   I would really suggest you find a way to ask for the In Touch number during the regular reservation process as I suspect that is the pathway most site visitors will take.


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15 Responses to Have You Stayed at a Kimpton Hotel?

  1. Great post, although I would NEVER pay money to see a musical called “Menopause”! Also, Starwood hotels (including Westin and W) say they have Heavenly Dog Beds with a special “turn down treat”: http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=hot&script=410&layout=6&item_id=441656

  2. Lynda K. says:

    I’ve just stayed at the Kimpton in San Francisco, Hotel Palomar, which specializes in Art. The staff had their favorie artist on their lapel pin, the in-room channel featured “art” films, there were lots of art, design and local mags (which as a magazine obsessed gal I so appreciated) extra pillows, a sleepmask (genius!) and preset radio stations for NPR.
    I’ll be back.

  3. Laura Posey says:

    I hear you about Kimpton. My most recent visit was an absolute delight. I stayed at the DC Palomar which was newly opened. Being new there were a few things that got missed in the final run through before opening – like our mini bar. The hotel was very quick to remedy the situation and by the time I got back from the liquor store a half block away a mini-fridge was humming away in my room. They also brought up extra martini glasses when I mentioned I was having friends over to the room for drinks before dinner.
    In the realm of “go beyond” they really did me right with their concern and care. I experienced a mind-blowing migraine on that visit and my travel mate called the front desk at 6:30am requesting directions to a nearby emergency room. The desk clerk called a cab right away, gave the driver directions and, upon my return, they not only called the room to make sure I was feeling better, they extended my checkout so I could sleep off some of the aftereffects of the meds the hospital gave me. All of this on New Year’s Eve day, one of the busiest of their year. I’m sure it put their maids in a bind with a full hotel on their hands, but the Kimpton staff was not only accomodating to me, they were nice about it!
    I’ll stay at a Kimpton every chance I get, that’s for sure.

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  7. Elizabeth says:

    I travel quite a bit for work and always stay at Kimpton Hotels if I can. When practical I also bring along my three year old Chocolate Lab, Nixon (you can see about his travels at http://www.weltraveleddog.com) and the Kimpton Hotels are amazing with pets. I wish more places would follow their lead.

  8. I have never stayed there but after reading this post I immediately began making reservations just to experience what others experienced in this hotel.

  9. need cash says:

    I have never been there but I have been hearing stories about it from my friends who have been there and have personally experienced their pet friendly attitude. It is nice if all hotels will be like this one.

  10. I like to bring my pet dog every time I travel. It is nice for them to demonstrate rather than talk about it because it just shows how compassionate they are to pets.

  11. Dive Boracay says:

    I think that they succeed because they demonstrate what they say and they give their guests they kind of service that they truly deserve.

  12. I have stayed there once and it was probably the best experience I have ever experienced staying at a hotel.

  13. Never been there but have heard good things from people who have been there. I hope I can be one of those who can experience the lifestyle and service that they bring.

  14. brain tumor says:

    Haven’t been there but I look forward to staying there in one of my business trips.

  15. I have read some times ago about Kimpton Hotel and during that vacation I planned to stay here.

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