Conversation with… an international guest

Conversation with… an international guest

An international guest, Thomas, has stayed with us for at least a dozen years. He is a bespoke clothier who has worked with prestigious clients, including the Windsors, and comes to New York periodically to service his U.S. clientele. He sets up shop at The Benjamin to introduce new fabrics and styles and take measurements to have the clothing handmade back in the UK. 

His visits are typically problem-free. So, my front office manager was a bit alarmed when he got an urgent call from Thomas during his last stay.

Apparently, he was having fraud problems and could not have a replacement credit card sent to him in the U.S. He sounded frazzled and a bit embarrassed, but the front office manager reassured him and put him at ease, telling him, “You are family here. Take this problem off your mind so you can conduct your business here, and when you get it all straightened out let me know. Even if it’s after you return home, you can mail us a check, and we will settle it that way.”

We trusted Thomas, and sure enough, got his check promptly upon his return to London. And while it’s quite a leap from buying a pizza or pancake mix for a guest, this roughly $10,000 gesture solidified an already strong relationship. Thomas is one of our best advocates and has referred so much business to the hotel. I don’t necessarily condone every FOM taking a risk like this too often, but when you trust your staff — and your guests — the payoff is immeasurable.