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.