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A legacy of service excellence

Published on Friday, 15 Feb 2013
Wilson Chan
Photo: Berton Chang
Andrea Platts
Photo: Berton Chang

Though most of its staff have been with the hotel for five years or more, many new hires continue to be at the forefront of service at The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Andrea Platts still considers herself fortunate after being chosen for a six-month food and beverage internship in 2007. After completing her studies in 2009, she grabbed the opportunity to join the hotel as a management trainee.

“I was thrilled to return to such a renowned company, where so many familiar faces warmly welcomed me back. The company was willing to give me a wonderful opportunity to learn and take on responsibilities that other companies may not have given me so readily,” Platts says.

She was promptly promoted to assistant front office manager, whose duties she likens to those of a “fire-fighter”.

“My responsibilities range widely, including managing daily operations, greeting and checking in or checking out guests, handling guest complaints, inspecting cases of property damage, responding to emergencies, making restaurant or room reservations, contacting guests about belongings they have left behind, and assisting colleagues with any challenges they face. Each day is different, which is something I love about my job,” she says.

She adds that she makes it her daily personal challenge to exceed guest expectations. “Guests arrive with high expectations. It is always our desire and goal to not only meet these expectations, but to exceed them as well,” she says.

“At the same time, we hope to build an emotional bond with guests, so that we’d find genuine delight in welcoming them back and getting to know them. This requires time investment, which is always in shortage.”

Platt says that her work over the past four years has taught her to do things with passion, while not taking matters too personally.

“In any job, especially in the customer-service industry, there will always be good days and bad days. It’s important not to let the bad days get you down, and to take comfort in the fact that you always try your best,” she says.

Wilson Chan says he was attracted by The Peninsula Hong Kong’s global reputation as a renowned luxury property and its outstanding staff benefits when he joined the hotel as a room attendant over 10 years ago. He also wanted to be a part of a team with an international brand.

He has since been rotated through four different jobs in the housekeeping department before being promoted to senior housekeeper – rooms, mainly working the night shifts.

“My duties include inspecting every room attendant’s turn-down service and assisting with special requests from guests,” Chan says.

Though he works at what many consider as the most famous hotel in Hong Kong, Chan says that even though the hotel is one of the city’s most famous, it still treats its staff like family members. “Every time I come to work, I feel like I am home. Everyone is genuinely willing to help and teach each other,” he says.

Belonging to the flagship hotel of The Peninsula Group brings a lot of challenges, he adds. “I have to always provide the highest quality of service to help the hotel outperform its competitors.”

Doing so, he says, requires not merely following policies and procedures, “but following your heart when it comes to making important decisions.”

As he looks forward to a long career with The Peninsula, Chan hopes to be further given the chance to serve guests in different capacities. Based on the experience of the hotel’s veteran high-performing staff, Chan will certainly get his wish granted.  

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