The Audit

The assessment has started from the moment the client was revealed. Since then I became a guest. Someone with a purpose, someone who perhaps is looking forward to a getaway stay or even a business trip. Undeniably, located in the beautiful south of Portugal, Vila Vita Park is the perfect destination for a luxurious leisure trip. There is simply no room for a business trip in this magical destination; except for me. The chic sea-inspired rooms, the utterly appealing Sisley spa and the ten restaurants including the grandiose fine-dining Michelin experience at Ocean have captured my senses and my anticipation is building. I flip open my laptop and I begin. What would the guest be looking for? Will the concierge appease my concerns about finding the perfect restaurant to suit my fictitious dairy-free diet? Will the spa receptionist be able to answer my every question and recommend the perfect treatment to sooth my sore neck? How will my last-minute request to book an airport transfer be handled? In a nutshell, will the team rise to the challenge and provide a personalized experience prior to my arrival? Like most guests, my first contact with the property will be making the reservation and so it begins, after two rings, my recorder is activated, Carla offers me assistance in a cheerful tone and I instantly feel welcome.
When I arrive at the hotel, the dance continues. I meet doormen, receptionists, luggage porters, housekeeping attendants, food and beverage employees and each contribute in their individual way to the quality of the experience. I love observing the employees’ passion for service as they outdo themselves in wonderful ways to ensure their guests’ comfort. Alexandre was a natural and he intuitively connected with me to ensure I felt looked after and special. He could not have been more helpful; I will nominate him as an Outstanding Employee.
The stay is coming to an end and I have prepared for the final interaction; the luggage collection. I have carefully packed and my luggage is ready for Miguel to collect. He promptly arrives and swiftly collects the bags. As he quietly closes the door behind him, I allow myself to relax for a moment. The assessment is complete and my favourite part of the trip is fast approaching; meeting the General Manager and his team to discuss the stay. However, I have an odd feeling that I forgot something… I push the thought away.
I gather my things to leave the room but when I reach for the door handle my heart skips a beat. All the training in the world could not prepare me for the lesson I was about to learn. I suddenly realize I have allowed Miguel to leave with my shoes packed in my case. I dread to think of the General Manager’s expression if I turn up barefoot. So once more, a wonderful employee comes to my rescue as I press the speed dial button for assistance and my concerns are instantly washed away. Let’s just say… I will never forget my shoes again. Lesson learnt!

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