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Today’s hoteliers, myself included, are constantly in search of the next big “wow” to dazzle guests. From new technology-driven gadgets to private butlers, it appears we are all seeking the latest tool to enhance the guest experience and, most importantly, create distance between us and the competition. Technology has proven that the possibilities are endless as well as exciting. While I fancy myself an innovator, I do find my best wow technique began long before wireless gadgets, hotel school and even grade school. It’s the simple act of etiquette. Being thoughtful and having good manners is not taught by a professor or an executive. It begins at an early age and translates to everything you do — especially at work. 

I’ve worked with some brilliant colleagues over the years, but at times you run into people who lack that etiquette. This lack of common courteousness really hinders their careers. We are, after all, in the hospitality industry — we play host on a daily basis. On the flip side, colleagues who exude genuine warmth and thoughtfulness have excelled in their departments.  They are team players, well respected and, most importantly, gracious. 

With gracious behavior comes the wows we strive for. It’s thoughtful, caring gestures that leave guests with lasting impressions. Big or small, guests notice when staff go above and beyond. From remembering a returning guest’s allergy notes to offering a special toy for a child, sincerity and attention to detail go a long way.

A recent bride-to-be arrived to the Island the day before her wedding. Upon arrival, she realized that she had left her marriage license in the rental car on a different island, Maui. One of our assistant managers immediately made the decision to board the 45-minute ferry to Maui in order to retrieve the marriage license from her car. Once on Maui, the manager identified the car in the parking lot, retrieved the license and made it back to Lanai before the last ferry of the day. 

Without hesitation the manager went above and beyond to ensure the guest was not inconvenienced. The couple relaxed by the beach the day before their wedding instead of traveling back to Maui to gather the materials they left behind. Thanks to the manager’s genuine efforts, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm to go above and beyond, the couple was married without any dramatic pre-wedding stories. This story is just one of many that I hear on a daily basis that reflect my staff’s passion for hospitality and etiquette. 

Achieving those wow moments is within reach.

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