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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Where excellence is the competitive edge

Reaching new heights of excellence and brand loyalty is the core goal and achievement a luxury hotel like InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong strives for.

In such a competitive luxury hotel market it’s all about guest recognition coupled with unique personal touches that build brand loyalty. With a service philosophy of creating a ‘Great Hotel Guests Love’ the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong achieves this by exceeding guests’ expectations and providing unique experiences.

It’s the ‘At-your-side service’ behaviours that put InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong ahead of the competition. Encompassing the three core elements of Stay in the Moment, Make it Memorable and Be Charming and encouraging colleagues to apply these service behaviours at every touch point, takes the guest experience above a standardized 5 star experience to a memorable one.

Customers remember every contact point in the hotel where service is encountered. It strikes all who enter the hotel that all employees come across as charming, approachable, knowledgeable and confident. There’s a profound respect but no distance between the guest and any member of staff and this philosophy is common across the entire organization.

As General Manager Mr. Alexander O. Wassermann explains, “It can be remembering a guest’s favourite drink in the bar or seat in the restaurant. Sometimes it’s very simple features such as providing different choices of pillows or catering to different dietary requirements. We accommodate a very diverse guest mix, and we adapt our services accordingly to meet the different cultural needs. Today’s guests are also more health conscious and have very specific dietary requirements. This requires us to pay attention to vegan and vegetarian requests and gluten intolerance. If someone requests gluten-free bread, we are prepared for that too and provide it fresh to the table.”

A passion for service
And it’s driving towards excellence that has led to solid results. As the Host Partner Venue for the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2015, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong also achieved Hong Kong’s Leading Business Hotel for a second year in succession.

Wassermann attributes this to the passion for service provided by his teams “I think one of the key stories of success is that 30% of our colleagues working in key positions have been with the hotel for more than 20 years. We are one big family and know many of our guests more as returning friends and they have really become part of our family.

We have a lot of business owners from Europe and the US, and they started coming to the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong 25 to 30 years ago and brought their children with them. Now this child is an adult and has maybe taken over the company, but our people have grown up with them. So it’s not a transaction it’s a personal interaction. It’s a respectful friendship.”

The team at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong also has another accomplishment – an altruistic one. The hotel has established three Green Engage teams, where each individual team focuses on either waste, water or electricity conservation. Initiatives like that and encouraging the reduction of paper consumption are always at the forefront. Over the last year alone, the mere activity of paperless meetings has reduced paper consumption by over 750 reams.

The hotel even had a poster competition to save water open to all family members to spread the word throughout the community, and it’s by involving and empowering the employees, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong achieved gold recognition from CLP Power Hong Kong Limited for green initiatives.

With so many hotel choices in a city like Hong Kong it can be hard to really differentiate one from the other but at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, the experience of the employees and the element of truly unique memorable service make it stand out from anywhere else in town.

As Wassermann comments “We want to create lasting memories for our guests time and time again so they never consider any other hotel when visiting Hong Kong”.
Not only that, the spreading of goodwill to the community by running the business responsibly with such activities as giving bread to the elderly, collecting clothes for the Salvation Army, planting trees and cleaning beaches reinforces the sincerity of this hotel to be more than just an ordinary luxury institution, it’s a caring one. It’s this daily striving for excellence in all aspects of the business that makes this hotel a cut above any of their luxury counterparts.

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