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London’s TripAdvisor #1: tiny noticeable touches.

by Rajul on October 1, 2009

The Milestone Hotel in Kensington currently tops the TripAdvisor charts

The Milestone Hotel is currently top of the TripAdvisor London hotel charts

I recently met Mr Andrew Pike, General Manager of a boutique hotel in Kensington called the Milestone Hotel.  I asked him: how did your hotel get to be the current number 1 (at the time of writing) on TripAdvisor?

We covered part of the answer already in revealing the 12 service standards adopted by Red Carnation (the Milestone’s parent company) which manages six luxury London hotels in the West End.

Below we list some of the real-life “TNTs” (Tiny Noticeable Touches) which staff at the Milestone Hotel have recently delivered to their guests.

The Milestone’s staff are empowered to surprise and delight guests at every opportunity.  Apart from the list below, you’ll find many more examples by scouring the hotel’s outstanding TripAdvisor reviews.

Book direct with the Milestone Hotel at the best guaranteed rate

Conservatory at the Milestone...there is no sterile "matching" at the hotel and each public area has a different style.

Stylish conservatory at the Milestone...there is no sterile "matching" at the hotel and each public area has its own distinctive style.

The “TNT” theme was also mentioned by the Group’s MD whom I met at another high-flying Red Carnation hotel, the Egerton House (at the time it was number 1 but is now “merely” in the top dozen on TripAdvisor!).

But I think this list from the Milestone is particularly interesting because it’s been the TripAdvisor number 1 London hotel (or in the top 5) for quite a while now.  So without further ado…

Recent “TNTs” at the Milestone Hotel (in the staff’s own words)

  • “Given the growing number of guests who stay with us and then travel to France, we have Paris Metro maps available as well as some magazines with local information on Paris.  Our French staff in the hotel can usually answer any question a guest has about visiting France.”
  • “A regular guest left her passport on the parcel shelf at check in.  As she entered her taxi and commenced her journey to St Pancras, we noticed that she had left her passport.  We dispatched our driver to St Pancras who handed it to her at the Eurostar check-in.”
  • “When a guest requests a wireless internet access card it is logged into their profile so they will never have to ask for it again on future stays as it will be automatically in the room prior to check-in.”
  • “We had wedding guests staying in the hotel and took photos of the guests together, got them printed and put in frames.  The photos were left on the guests’ beds upon turndown on their last night.”
  • “We had a travel agent staying with us who lost her passport whilst shopping in central London.  We traced back where she had been and managed to find her passport on a bus heading to Hammersmith.  The next morning the passport was back in the guest’s possession.”

Book direct with the Milestone Hotel at the best guaranteed rate

  • “I overheard a guest talking about the film ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ which he saw and liked.  I arranged to put 2 tickets on hold to a musical concert of the theme music from the same film that was being performed at The Barbican the next evening without being asked.  The guest was blown away and of course went to see the concert.”
  • “A guest called the hotel and asked for a taxi to pick them up in Leicester Square.  Before the staff member who took the call could ask the guest more specific details of their whereabouts, the guest hung up the phone.  So without hesitation a porter jumped in a taxi equipped with a very large board with the guest’s name on it and headed to Leicester Square.  Within 45 Minutes, the guests were located and tucked up in bed safe and sound back at the hotel.”
  • “We have a regular guest who requested a bottle of brandy from South Africa called “Klipdrift” which is very hard to get hold of.  Our Food and Beverage Manager sourced it and it can only be purchased from one shop in outer London.  We arranged for it to be delivered to a train station where a member of staff met the supplier and the bottle was brought back to the hotel in time for the guest to enjoy his drink.”
  • “We had a senior member of the Australian Air Force stay with us so I thought nice touch would be to upgrade him to the Military Room.  Similarly we upgraded another guest whom we know to be a big fan of lions to the Safari Suite.”
  • “For the recent G20 summit we received a late reservation for delegates who were assisting their country’s government.  We turned 2 rooms into fully-functioning offices in 24 hours, with all the latest office equipment (high-security cross shredders, large-volume copiers, fax machines, printers and extra direct phone lines to each room).”
  • “A guest from a company came to stay and his group had dinner in the hotel one night.  The guest said that he wanted to bring his own bottle of wine from home.  Of course we allowed the guest to do this.  We also managed to get the name of the wine he was bringing beforehand.  At the dinner our Sommelier explained to the guests the history of the wine and all about the Vineyard and region the wine came from.”
  • “The MD of a large company came to stay just before Easter.  Upon taking him to his room, we found out where he was going on his Easter Holiday with his family.  We then arranged for the Easter weather forecast for his destination to be printed out and put in his room.”

Book direct with the Milestone Hotel at the best guaranteed rate

A guest room at the Milestone...the choice of in-room furnishings at the hotel is often very eclectic

The choice of in-room furnishings at the hotel is often very eclectic

My personal favourite from the above is the story about the porter going around Leicester Square with a sandwich board.  I know from personal experience how hard it is to get a taxi from Leicester Square!

The next article in this series will complete our in-depth look at the Milestone and learn how the flourishes above are actually delivered.

Photo credits: Red Carnation Hotel Collection.

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