Tag: Kimpton

Don’t Leave Home Without Them…

Don’t Leave Home Without Them…

Thanks to Jake for tagging me on this particular assignment. It is particularly apropos as I have been commuting back and forth to DC for the last 5 weeks and have become an expert packer. Here are the items that always make the cut:

Cash – I know, I know, its old fashioned, but there are still some situations that simply require cash and I don’t want to be the person trying to convince the cabbie to take plastic.

Bose On-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones – whether you want to listen to music, drown jet noise, watch a movie or just say “don’t talk to me” to the person sitting next to you, these do the trick. These were a wonderful “first day of new job” gift from my husband.

Magazine-I-Would-Not-Be-Caught-Dead-Subscribing-to – The mental equivalent of comfort food, trashy magazines are my travel indulgence. If you encounter me on the road, chances are there is an OK!, People, or Life & Style hidden somewhere in my bags. When not traveling, I get my fix via Jen whose motto is “I read US Weekly so you don’t have to”.

pashminaPashmina Shawl – The pashmina is the world’s perfect accessory. Made of a cashmere wool derived from goats in the high Himalayas, these shawls are very warm while also being very thin & light. It can be easily stowed in a purse or laptop bag and emerge to serve as a scarf with your winter coat, a shawl over evening wear, or a pillow or blanket for the freezing plane. They are expensive, but pennies a use.

St. John Knit clothes – These are well covered on the blog but appear here, because I don’t ever want to iron in a hotel room again. Ever.

Reservation for a Kimpton Hotel – If a city has one, you can bet I am trying to stay there. I am in their “Inner Circle” and today the front office manager of the Rouge greeted me as if I was a rockstar and had the room waiting with the snacks and bottled water I requested when I strolled in at 9pm. They know that what frequent travelers want is to be welcomed home and they overdeliver every time.

John? Spike? Minjae? What’s in your bags?

The Gift of Kimpton

The Gift of Kimpton

Monaco DCIn my post last week about high end brands such as Kimpton Hotels rewarding customers with unique experiences instead of things, I mentioned my personal choice to give my father a night at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco property in DC for his birthday. Last night, I called him in his room and heard a new man. He was borderline giddy about how much fun they were having and, let me assure you, my parents are deep and wonderful, but not the giddy type.  His quote was “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything to deserve being treated so well!”

With my credit card authorization fax to the hotel, I submitted a note explaining that it was my Dad’s birthday, that I am a Kimpton enthusiast, and that I wanted my parents to understand why I am so passionate about their brand. They were clearly up to the challenge. My father informed me that they upgraded my parents to a 2-room corner King suite, had champagne for them at check in, delivered wine to the room, and generally treated them like VIPs at every turn despite the fact that they had never before spent a night at a Kimpton property. Now, the business side of me understands that that suite would have gone unoccupied anyway (all hotel rates were cut this week in DC because everyone’s in Iowa!) and that it didn’t necessarily cost them extra to do what they did. That being said, I know most hotels would not have taken the time or effort to create this personalized experience.

The actions of the staff of this hotel gives me another great story to tell about why I love Kimpton, and gave my parents not just a great experience, but a story I know they will tell over and over again. To please my parents is the greatest gift that this brand could give me, and I am deeply , deeply appreciative.

High End Hotels Reward with Experiences, not Clutter

High End Hotels Reward with Experiences, not Clutter

Travolta StarwoodThe Wall Street Journal recently featured a story about a California couple who traded in a whopping 124,000 Starwood Preferred points for the chance to accompany John Travolta to the premiere of Hairspray in New York. While not exactly my cup of tea, I can only imagine how much these folks are enjoying sharing stories and pictures from this experience (and how thrilled Starwood must be for the WSJ placement). Creating conversational capital for your customers is a high ROI investment.

At the WOMMA Summit in Las Vegas, Marc Priut, in speaking about his personal experiences spending his vacation following the band Sister Hazel, captured this phenomenon as “People don’t really want ‘things’ anymore. They want to ‘do.’ While all hotels provide a bed and shelter, hotels that inspire loyalty are the ones who provide experiences worth retelling. Sending top customers to a movie premiere definitely fits the “do” bill. At the beginning of the year, I wrote about Kimpton Hotels going above and beyond to solicit feedback and then shocking me by actually engaging in the specifics of my feedback. Kimpton never disappoints in providing me with a great experience in the moment and a great story to retell.

As with most business travelers, I don’t want to be rewarded with a t-shirt or other marketing clutter, but if you leave a copy of the New Yorker on the coffee table, remember me by name, or bring a goldfish to my room, I will remember that and tell someone. I have purchased a night at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in DC as a gift for my father’s birthday on Thursday. It is my hope that while he is extremely hard to buy for in terms of “things”, this might start a tradition of cutting the clutter in my own life and providing family and friends with the gift of remarkable experiences instead.