Diamond, Leverages The Concierge Assistant
to anticipate individual tastes, delights visitors
June 13, 2005 - If you are flying to Southern Florida in your Gulfstream V executive jet and need a luxury 4-Diamond resort with an award winning chef and, by the way, a nearby airfield big enough to accommodate your plane, the Marco Beach Ocean Resort will probably be where you spend the night.
Marco Beach Ocean Resort is a 100-suite independent destination on Florida’s Marco Island built by the Gulf Bay Group of Companies to 5-Star, 5-Diamond standards. The property --with its own private Fiddler’s Creek golf club and deep-draft marina -- opened only eight months ago and already has one of the highest ratings Triple A grants and aims higher. Phillip Starling, Marco Beach Ocean Resort’s managing director, said, "We offer one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. With our entire management team experienced in operating luxury properties, our goal is to earn the AAA 5-Diamond designation soon as possible. At the top of the luxury market the differentiator is guest service; that is our focus. We stock guests’ rooms with their favorite foods and beverages, contact them before and after their stay, and track each person’s interests and activities in the property’s Concierge Assistant software system."
"What attracted us to The Concierge Assistant was that it gives us power over our guest history information and puts that data to work in ways no property management system could," said Starling. "The guest profiles we build in our concierge system contain all past stay information, as well as their off-property transportation requests, favorite restaurants, and travel details. We could even include a digital photo of the guest in their file to boost guest recognition. This is a tool that lets us know what guests will want before they ask, and is a key tool as we work toward earning our fifth diamond."
Guest data is secured
The property’s guest service team contacts guests prior to their arrival to help plan their visit and ensure their itinerary of events is known by the resort. "We log each guest’s activities in The Concierge Assistant software; already knowing what they enjoy lets us offer suggestions that are tailored to their unique preferences. The system runs on the property’s networked server so all appropriate staff members can access a guest’s data at anytime; this guarantees we can answer questions from any touch point in the resort. Also, since The Concierge Assistant is property-based we do not have to worry about hackers or identity theft over the Internet."
To provide the utmost in convenience the Marco Beach Ocean Resort contracts with a luggage transport company that picks up guests’ luggage at their homes and ships it directly to the property, relieving visitors of delays associated with airport security. "Our goal is to provide guests with a stress-free travel experience," said Starling. "Our managers personally call each guest during their stay to judge the service they are receiving. Visitors tell us they relish being here more than at a larger flagged hotel because we make them feel important." The resort also uses a ‘cartless’ housekeeping service and staff that operates from centralized closets to eliminate clutter in hallways, just as their guest services software eliminates clutter at the concierge desk.
One item at the top of most guest interest lists at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort is the property’s signature restaurant, Sale e Pepe. Featuring Northern Italian cuisine, its master chef, Alberto Varetto, who was featured at the James Beard Foundation, flies in ingredients directly from Italy to create a stunning dining experience. "Guests love Sale e Pepe and its 3,000-bottle wine cellar; which we just learned will be given an award in the August issue of Wine Spectator," explained Starling. The property also offers relaxed dining at the Gator Grill at its Fiddler’s Creek golf club, as well as waterfront dining at Backwater Nick’s at the private Isle of Capri Marina. "When guests first reserve with us we create a personal profile for them in The Concierge Assistant system that tracks their dining preferences, on property and off, as well as, favorite tee times, and individual spa treatments," Starling said. "We focus on customized service, name recognition and surpassing guest expectations. In addition to vacationing guests, we host many executive groups who value our high-tech meeting facilities and the wide variety of venues and activities we offer."
Marco Beach Ocean Resort provides meeting space for professional and social groups of up to 100 attendees and prides itself in delivering the highest quality working environment for visiting business people. To host large parties in style for special occasions the resort features its beautiful Gulf Ballroom on the beach facing the ocean. "Many groups prefer to fly directly in to Marco Island’s large private airfield, attend meetings, and play golf, take cruises, or fish after their business is wrapped up," said managing director Phillip Starling. "Some companies buy out one of our restaurants one evening, and then have other events offsite at Fiddler’s Creek or the marina on subsequent days. We provide limo service from our own company to maintain the highest service level and flexibility. Some luxury properties offer a ‘Club Level’ with special consideration for their highest-rated guests; we provide that level of service for all our guests."
In a surprise move the property intentionally hired 60 percent of its line staff without previous hotel experience so the management team could train them to its own high standards for refined service and create an atmosphere of friendliness. The Concierge Assistant reinforces that care by automating most guest service activities and reporting, thus creating orderliness and accuracy throughout the concierge process, and greatly reducing report generation activity for management oversight. "We are using technology to standardize the highest quality of guest service," concluded Starling.
At HITEC 2005 in Los Angeles be sure to visit
About The Marco Beach Ocean Resort
Perfectly situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Beach Ocean Resort opened in 2001 bringing world class service and exquisite dining to Southwest Florida. Rated 4-Diamonds by AAA, it is one of Florida’s most luxurious beach resorts and a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. The all-suite independent hotel offers 84 luxurious one-bedroom and 15 elegant two-bedroom suites on the beach. All units are equipped with high thread-count European feather bedding, rich wood furnishings, kitchens, luxurious marble showers with separate bathtubs, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Spacious balconies from many suites command sweeping panoramic views of the blue green water of the Gulf of Mexico. A concierge is on duty 24 hours a day, and maid service is provided twice daily with turn down service. Guests are invited to enjoy the fitness facilities, personal fitness training, sauna and steam rooms, as well as an array of massages, body therapies and facials. Formal dining at the resort is truly a transporting experience. The recently opened Sale e Pepe restaurant transports guests to the ancient hills of Tuscany and the savory regions of the Southern Italy. The enchanting Toulouse Lounge enables guests to relax with cocktails and to dream about turn-of-the century Paris, while admiring the reproductions of this great French artist. Beachside and poolside bars are never far away dispensing cool refreshments.
About Gold Key Solutions
Gold Key Solutions’ The Concierge Assistant improves guest services and staff communication by creating orderliness and accuracy throughout the entire Concierge process for hotels of all types. The Windows-based software application increases staff efficiency and reduces expenses by automating all guest services activities and reporting, allowing managers to put in place a standard of excellence that may be continually refined. The Concierge Assistant is used by over 170 full-service Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood, St. Regis, and other high-end properties. The Concierge Assistant is also employed by many residential living properties and by personal assistant and professional concierge companies to optimize services to each client.
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|The Five-Star Landmark London Applies Automated Concierge Technology to Put Polish on Personal Service / January 2005|
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