What makes a 5 star hotel, even more than 5 star quality?
Michelin and other travel guides and sites all identify the necessary components of a 5 star hotel classification – ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms, size of hotel, location, the entire experience etc.
But what makes a 5 star hotel, even more than 5 star quality?
First impressions count of course: the size and style of the entrance, the greeting received by the doorman and – of course – the concierge, such as the delightful and debonair Joseph Colon formerly at the Eden Roc .
More recently, whilst staying at the 5 Star Dusit Thani Laguna in Phuket, I unwittingly had occasion to test the capabilities of this sanctuary of tranquillity – when dealing with an accident.
And this underlined the sheer elegance and uncomplicated consideration of the Dusit Thani Laguna staff… defining their 5 star training and management skills to get through my ordeal.
What happened was quite simple; having walked back to my room in my perfect stilettos (yes, Baudino and her heels again!), slightly damp from the dewy grass, I slipped in my room on the marble floor and somehow managed to gash my head – rendering me at best unconscious or more probably concussed.
Question: How does a hotel deal with such an emergency? – particularly when the guest does not speak the language and is also travelling on her own.
In the case of the Dusit Thani Laguna, the answer is with the perfect combination of grace and efficiency.
La, Dusit Thani’s head of security, skilfully ensured my safety and well being,totally organising my visit to the nearby clinic…which was then followed by a trip to the hospital, where he stayed alongside me for a full six hours, as scans were carried out, stitches applied and medication dispensed.
Then came a series of gentle and unexpected little touches…the Get Well card and flowers from my chamber maid:
The charming, graceful Ma in the Laguna Cafe offered on several occasions, after my fall to physically escort me and carry my bag. Subsequently, she commented on my recovery – which, I assure you, was speeded up by the kindness and generosity of all members of the staff (most of whom I cannot even name sadly, and there are too many of them in any event)
The kindness, superior attention to detail and diligence of the staff does not stop at ‘wounded guests’ like me.
It was already apparent from my first day here when I discovered that my Kindle (for reasons unknown to me) needed recharging. I enquired at the Concierge’s desk as to whether they had a charger. The very enterprising, Janjira, then took it upon herself to find a means of re-booting my Kindle via a Samsung device… Since then, she has come up to me repeatedly to enquire as to its welfare.
Clearly, the excellent cuisine and stunning grounds make this hotel a 5 star but what makes the Dusit Thani Laguna extra special is their thorough thoughtfulness, the grace and genuine care of the staff towards its guests…. In short, they go that extra mile and win Stars way beyond those awarded to the best hotels.
Thumbs up from La after my recovery – and thumbs up from me to all at The Dusit Thani Laguna, Phuket: