The Club at Charleston Place Delivers Service
and Cachet for Elite Visitors
Experienced travelers coming to Charleston, S.C., know that Charleston Place – a 442-room crown jewel in the luxury-focused Orient-Express Hotels portfolio -- is the most comfortable hospitality address in the city. What they may not know is that just above their heads in the 4-Star, 4-Diamond property is the elegant 80-room Club at Charleston Place, a separate hotel and experience.
‘The Club’ is the exclusive boutique hotel that occupies the top two floors of Charleston Place catering to elite business and leisure travelers who expect the best. “Our guests visit Charleston for both business and pleasure, but they stay at The Club because we make them feel special,” said Jonathan Ray, Lead Concierge, for The Club at Charleston Place.
As Lead Concierge, Ray’s job includes providing guests with dining recommendations, transportation, entertainment options and many personalized hotel services designed to indulge. “I usually work from an eight-foot u-shaped desk answering questions and creating personalized itineraries for guests with our Concierge Assistant™ software. Our system lets me quickly print customized guest schedules that often include tee times, historical tours, harbor excursions and other activities with maps and directions to each activity.” The Concierge Assistant standardizes the highest quality of guest service and management’s ability to refine it by automating manual guest service activities and reporting, thus creating orderliness and accuracy throughout the concierge process.
Thanks to luxurious facilities and superb service, Charleston Place was awarded a position on Conde Nast Travelers’ Gold List as one of “Best Places to Stay” in North America and is part of the fast-growing ‘ultra-luxury’ hospitality segment gaining popularity with corporate and leisure travelers. Guest rooms on The Club level feature beautiful appointments, bathrooms paneled in Botticini marble, and the best views in the city. “We note each guest’s preferences in The Concierge Assistant system, allowing me to anticipate their needs before they arrive. Four- and five-star travelers expect this kind of service, and our Concierge Assistant system helps me cater to our guests quickly and efficiently. It is a wonderful guest service tool,” said Ray.
With the property’s striking 14,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom and conference center that accommodates 1,700 attendees, it is not surprising that about 65 percent of Charleston Place’s guests are business people. Hosting executive teams at the elite Club at Charleston Place is an exercise in expertly choreographed group coordination. “We often accommodate top executive groups at The Club who rely on us to coordinate their team’s activities around events at our conference center,” said Ray. The Concierge Assistant system lets me easily combine multiple itineraries under one group code – that way, all the executives from a company can each have their own detailed schedules printed in color with The Club’s logo at the top. Business people value efficiency, and when we handle details like this, guests can focus on their meetings.”
Ray’s Concierge Assistant automatically faxes limo reservations and other requests to local transportation companies that do not use email –without requiring concierge staff to rekey guest information. “Concierge Assistant lets me enter guest information into the system once, then simply click an icon to fax limo company information, directions, billing instructions and other details,” explained Ray. “The Concierge Assistant helps me ‘wow’ our guests and makes our operation run smoothly so I can handle requests more quickly.”
Just like Charleston, voted the friendliest city in America, the Club level is focused on guest comfort and courtesy. “We are home to many celebrities, sports stars and international personalities who visit the city. They value luxury, but also our discretion,” explained Ray. This emphasis on courtesy, discretion and privacy extends to the property’s guest-record computer system. The Concierge Assistant is property-based, which means external hackers cannot access The Club’s guest information – a necessary reassurance with the rise of identity theft over the Internet.
From his large desk surrounded by comfortable arm chairs, Jonathan Ray orchestrates a wide variety of guest services. “The Club at Charleston Place is a very busy property,” said Ray. “I can ‘sit and deliver’ almost everything our guests require from my position in the upper lobby. With help from computerized systems like The Concierge Assistant, I can pay more attention to my guests and meet their needs more efficiently and professionally.”
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