Hotel Online  Special Report

Napa Valley’s Carneros Inn Runs Rustic Elegance Securely
and Efficiently with The Concierge Assistant Software
November 16, 20058 - If you are coming to the wine-country and you want to stay in the Napa Valley, surrounded by vineyards and in the midst of an apple orchard, there is only one property to choose from. The Carneros Inn’s 83 elegant cottages and suites are nestled among 27 acres of endless rows of grape vines in the most coveted wine growing appellation in the United States between Napa and Sonoma.  The personal attention provided by The Inn’s concierge staff for guests in this sublime environment decidedly enhances this regional experience.

California’s Napa-Sonoma area values its small town atmosphere.  The Carneros Inn founder, Keith Rogal innately recognized the need to blend in with one’s surroundings while bringing in some of the best and the brightest managers from throughout the country to run the day-to-day operations.  In turn, he also saw The Concierge Assistant guest service software system from Gold Key Solutions as a necessity rather than a convenience. The Carneros Inn has continued to build a solid reputation by choosing PlumpJack Group along with CEO Rob Goldberg as the management company for The Inn. Founded in 1992 by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, these like-minded thinkers and innovators have brought a profound sense of ‘joie de vivre’ to the property.

Laurie Gordon, Chef Concierge and a 25-year member of Les Clefs d‘Or, an exclusive association of professional international hotel concierges, has been with the property prior to The Carneros Inn’s opening in November of 2003.  Ms.Gordon says, “The tailor-made level of service we provide at The Carneros Inn is unique because it is so personal.  The Concierge Assistant is exceptional technology that enables us to track guest information, create itineraries and seamlessly integrate vendor and guest information. It truly is a marriage of details that makes magic happen and does so in the blink of an eye.  The system allows us to think outside of the guest service box.” 

The Carneros Inn guest register reads like a Hollywood party ‘A-list’ with names like Steve Soderbergh, Minnie Driver, Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow.  Renowned Chef Jacques Pepin hosted a holiday book signing at The Inn and many of the ‘hot’ young stars like Amanda Peet, Josh Hartnet, Molly Sims and Jessica Simpson have fallen in love with the property and the personalized attention offered there.  “Guests come to us because we provide an experience that can be fun or artsy or romantic or peaceful; all of the above or none of the above,” said Ms. Gordon.   

Guest confidence with secure data and timely communications 

The Inn operates its Concierge Assistant software from the hotel’s secured network and the data is password protected, meaning only authorized staff - concierge, reception, PBX, reservations and spa can access the system. This safely provides timely staff communication to meet guest’s needs.  Additionally, the guest information database on the property’s own server is thoroughly fire-walled to safeguard it from dreaded hackers and identity thieves.  Finally, all credit card information entered into the system is automatically encrypted.  “We sleep soundly at night, as do our guests,” said Ms. Gordon.   

Owners and management quantify guest service levels for budgets and staffing

Visitors have fun at The Carneros Inn, but the property takes guest service seriously.  Ms. Gordon’s position as Chef Concierge includes a seat on the executive committee where she helps guide policy each week.  “Concierge Assistant allows me to share with management what our guest requests and needs are, without any guess work.  The data our software provides can be charted, graphed and/or color-coded.  Furthermore, the software enables us to do all of this in an instant.  We can track the amount of entries done by the individual team members, the time of day that the workload is at its heaviest and where and when our guests spend their time.”  

With the internet a key source of information for travelers, The Carneros Inn is in the beginning stages of automating all guest web inquiries through a new program recently introduced by Gold Key Solutions.  E-mail requests for transportation, local events and valley happenings, restaurants and wineries can be loaded into The Concierge Assistant in a matter of moments.  The Inn also has the ability to link each guest entry to their individual profile within The Concierge Assistant. 

Ms. Gordon adds: “This allows us to quickly reconnect with our returning guests and immediately view what they have done during past visits.  It is a great guest service tool - rather than searching through ‘out of date’ guest log books for guest history, our software allows us to provide personalized attention instantly.  The system also provides the concierge with what they live for, the luxury of spending quality time with their guests.” 

Making dreams come true

Given the enviable location of The Carneros Inn, guests often request winery tours to visit some of the areas ‘hidden gems’ - vintners that produce some of the best, and hardest to procure cult wines from the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  The concierge staff at The Inn is available to set up itineraries off the beaten path ranging from early morning hot air balloon rides, leisurely afternoon art gallery hopping, horseback riding through the vineyards and even olive oil tastings. For guests that do not want to leave the relaxing atmosphere of the property, they may enjoy the luxury of peace and quiet in the Mobil Four-Star rated Spa at The Carneros Inn.  

Named by Travel + Leisure magazine as “One of the 25 most romantic resorts in the world,” many guests come to The Carneros Inn to propose, get married or to renew their wedding vows. The Inn’s concierges have helped to create many a romantic memory by filling the guest’s cottage with surprise dinners, bath fizzers, rose petals along with candles, candles and more candles.  Members of the concierge team have been known to jump in to serve whatever role was needed - a wedding planner, photographer, or even a flower girl.  “We do so much more for our guests than they expect.  Visitors frequently remark they are surprised and delighted by our care.  Having the right tools ensures we succeed - we have The Concierge Assistant to thank for that.” 
Personalized service

A favorite memory of Laurie’s was the day she arranged an emergency dental appointment for an arriving guest, Buddy Buie.  Sensing that her “precarious charge” might not make his way there easily, she commandeered the house car and drove him to his destination. Driving back to The Inn, ‘Spooky’ came on the car’s radio and Mr. Buie proceeded to chuckle heartily and asked if she knew who had written the song.  Surprise, surprise, it was none other than “her patient.”   Well, one must meet a surprise head on – ‘Googling’ Buddy Buie, Laurie discovered he had a song on the most recent Garth Brooks CD.  Throughout his stay, his words and Garth’s music played in the lobby for all to enjoy.  Now that’s personalized service, service duly noted in The Concierge Assistant.

About Carneros Inn 
The Carneros Inn is the first full-service resort to be built in Napa in 20 years, and the first ever in the world-renowned Carneros wine region.  The resort features 83 charming, private guest cottages, each furnished with casual elegance and nestled in a lush garden courtyard with private deck.  Innovative dining options at The Carneros Inn, under the direction of Chef Kimball Jones, include the architecturally dramatic Hilltop Dining Room and The Boon Fly Café, a roadhouse-style public eatery.  The property also offers terrace dining and an infinity pool - both with panoramic vineyard views; and award-winning spa facilities; and, most importantly, first-class service delivered with warmth and ease.  In addition to the hotel accommodations, 24 stylish resort homes will be located on the grounds, allowing homeowners access to all the services and conveniences of the luxury hotel including concierge and event planning.  A civic space featuring a post office, bocce courts and outdoor community fireplace will also be established on the resort property.  For more information visit 

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, which allows managers to put in place a standard of excellence that may be continually refined. The Concierge Assistant is used by 200 full-service Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood, St. Regis, Four Seasons, Le Meridien, Conrad, Fairmont and other quality properties. The Concierge Assistant is also employed by many residential living properties and professional concierge companies to optimize services to clients.


Gold Key Solutions
Newton Gore
Phone:  (818) 865-0006

Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires
Softscribe Inc.

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