The Lanesborough Hotel in London Assigns Each Guest a 24-Hour Butler
We go to a hotel to be pampered.
A hotel, a great one anyway, is supposed to feel like a home away from home. We want to feel secure and extremely comfortable after a traveling a long distance to get there.
But we also want to be personally, intimately looked after and have our wants and requests manifested in a timely, professionally servile fashion.
We want to see how far a hotel will go to show their appreciation for business on each trip, as if such an act were collectible, tangible, esteem-building swag.
Who doesn’t love the concept of room service? After a long trip we just pick up the phone and a meal is delivered to us. Don’t you feel special when you dig into a continental breakfast special or daily meal buffet?
However, in the 21st century, the modern traveler demands a lot more than the usual amenities. Especially when it comes to staying in a 4 or 5-star hotel.
What would be the hotel amenity selling hook for you?
Spa treatment? The hotel pool? Complimentary tickets to museums or nightlife events offered with reservation? Meals produced with rare, locally sourced ingredients?
Some hotels have full time sommeliers, multiple Michelin star chefs or spirituality advisors on-site. Or they allow guests use of a luxury vehicle while they stay.
In fact, for a lot of hotels offering the most luxurious or outrageous amenities to visiting guests can be a major selling and marketing point.
Well, how does an on-site, 24-7, on-call personal butler assigned to you for the duration of your visit sound to you? A professionally trained personal butler who will pamper you and attend to your every whim, no matter how slight?
The Lanesborough Hotel in London, England is the only 5-star luxury boutique hotel in the city that offers around-the-clock and personalized butler service for each of its guests.
The hotel started life as a hospital in 1822 and only became a 5-star caliber, extreme luxury boutique hotel in 1991.
The mission statement for the staff at the Lanesborough is to pleasantly startle the world-weary traveler who thinks that they have experienced everything that there is to offer when it comes to hotel amenities.
The butler staff at the Lanesborough Hotel are committed to perfecting the psychology of service just as much as they are to performing housekeeping duties. The 25-member staff of the hotel are encouraged to take educational courses in body gesture reading, understanding non-verbal cues and suggestive body language so they perfect the art of meeting a guest’s needs without being asked to do so.
Each assigned butler is tasked with learning something about an incoming guest so as to design a custom hospitality practices to make the guest as comfortable as possible.
Before you even arrive at the Lanesborough Hotel, your pre-assigned butler will check your social media activity, like your Facebook or Linkedin profile, to find out if your trip is for leisure or business purposes.
If you book through a travel agency, your pre-assigned butler will even call the travel agency to learn more about you and your expectations for vacations.
If you are a regular guest at the hotel, then the staff will keep constantly updated records about your preferences and patterns of interest in preparation for a return visit.
If you like to have coffee or a particular snack or meal at a particular time, then your butler will do their best to learn to read your moods and to read your non-verbal cues. Your butler will learn to present you with coffee or a snack, at times when you are used to having such, without you requesting it or exerting effort to get it.
The butler staff at the Lanesborough regards butlery and hospitality training as an art form on the verge of obsolescence that must be constantly sharpened.
The staff views themselves as, “extreme personal assistants,” who will do everything possible to make their guests comfortable. Your butler, along with ironing your clothes or presenting you with a mid-day snack, could cut your hair, run errands or see to it that your meals are custom designed to your wants and needs,
The staff at the hotel speak six languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian.
Each and every butler are encouraged to adapt their skills to the prospective cultural norms of each guest. In fact, the Lanesborough Hotel will do their best to pair you with a butler who speaks your native language if English is your second tongue.
At the Lanesborough Hotel, it is all about maintaining the human connection between staff and guests that sets its service apart from others.
It’s the little things in life, and in hotel amenities, that can make or break a hotel stay for a traveler. It’s the light touches and intimate personal treatment by a hotel staff that shows a guest how much they are appreciated.
Some travelers are overjoyed just to find a towel in the shape of swan or a chocolate on their pillow when they check into a room.
However, the staff at the Lanesborough Hotel believe that as a far-travelled and paying guest that you should demand more from a hotel experience.
Hotel rates for some rooms at the Lanesborough Hotel start at $14,600-a-night, so you should definitely start saving up for the experience if you haven’t already.
Check out the Lanesborough Hotel website to inquire about service, room rates and availability.
A. A. Francis