| To: Beth Johnston; Brian-Douglas Stanwood; Lori Cavagnaro|
Subject: Exceptional is a word I use very rarely but I apply it to the Hotel Monaco in Denver
Dear Hotel Monaco Team,
Exceptional is a word I use only when it is deserved. But you have an exceptional team here. Let me tell you about my experience with your hotel today:
1. My day started at 4am when I woke up to catch a 6am out of SFO for DEN. I had all the security hassles everyone else did but I made it. My day was not going well at all RIGHT UP UNTIL the point I contacted you at noon and explained I had lunch at Panzano's with a guy I am doing a deal with here in DEN. I asked if there was any way I could check in early. No problem Mr. Dunlap come right in and we'll set you up, said Ashley at the front desk, and don't forget the wine event tonight from 5-6, we have good wine and the ladies from Aveda come over and give massages. No, I think. I am a serious businessman. We do not drink wine and get messages at 5. I will miss it but thank you.
2. Had a great lunch. Great food at Panzanos. Said hello to Elise, your head chef, who was working lunch but not dinner (big smile as I walk up "HI! How you doing!"). I was crestfallen not to be able to eat dinner at the chefs counter with her that evening (for the 4th time) but said i would do so anyway when she said her sous-chef was just as good. Even enjoyed an ahi salad with roasted veggies instead of a Panzano burger.
3. Returned to Monaco at 5:15 completely exhausted, determined to grab a bagel or something and go to bed. But Brian-Douglas Stanwood (you have got to do something about this guy's name!) left me a HAND WRITTEN note in my room with a bottle of wine naming me and my company and thanking us for our business. I didn't know they made note cards any more. And hand written ones? (It's a good thing he put his card in there cause God knows I couldn't read his writing. BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT).
4. So I go downstairs expecting crappy wine and 58 year old chain smoking plumbing parts salesmen talking about their exploits. But instead find Beth Johnston offering wine of my choice in a friendly, courteous manner, not talking about business, which I don't want to talk about, but HOW WAS MY DAY? And I have an engaging conversation with a married woman about the thwarted terrorist attacks. And Beth happily gives me a refill when I ask for one and tops off my glass when I exit the room to take a cell phone call on the street (yeah I saw you.)
5. Because Beth mentioned the Concierge Lori had a useful website to check the DEN security line wait time, I walked up and asked her for it and she gives it to me, and explains the benefits of signing up for the Kimpton preference thing in a non-pushy way. I leave her to take care of other guests because it's clear she's busy and she's someone who can HELP PEOPLE. I told her before she asked (she politely asked each guest in the lobby if they'd made their dinner plans already that evening) I was going to Panzanos. I have a feeling that if I ever need anything in Denver if I don't call Lori first I am making a big mistake.
6. SO HERE'S THE MOST UNUSUAL THING. As I am walking around searching for Beth to thank her, a new guest arrives and sees the housemaid carrying dirty wine glasses away on a tray and asks "did I miss something?: And the MAID says "we just finished our wine event for the evening, but can I get you a glass of wine?" Somebody pinch me.
7. So now I HAVE to go find Beth to thank her and tell her how her hotel turned a crappy day into a great one. I saw her dart downstairs and I followed her but lost her (nice meeting rooms by the way, grabbed a brochure). I figure she exited stage left and followed the exit signs to the Sales office, where I bump into her. Then I find out she's the DIRECTOR OF SALES and Brian-Douglas is on her team. Brian-Douglas introduces himself and knows our CEO and Exec Admin's name without even looking them up. And there is nothing more impressive than someone who isn't falling all over themselves to tell you how important they are and then you find out how important they are. That's Beth. She serves wine from 5-6?! Are you kidding me? What a great way to stay in touch with customers!
8. Needless to say after such a great experience I have to go to Panzano's and eat at the chef's table and find out about Kiera, the sous-chef that is an incredible chef and very much like Elise in so many ways (so says the Hostess, who also tells me she has a southern accent). Oh boy. I know I'll like her before I meet her. And of course I do. What an engaging conversation we had while she was running the kitchen. What an interesting woman. And a great manager, doling out compliments and gentle scoldings to her team. Great manager. Chefs are usually moody task master perfectionists you hide from the customers but not so at Panzano. Elise was my first contact ever with your hotel when I dined at Panzanos a year ago. I figured if the chef was that nice the rest of the staff had to be decent. Boy was I right. I've been staying at Monaco and dining at Panzano's ever since.
My dad used to say "son, if you're running a business no matter what kind it is and you're trying to turn a profit, EVERYONE IS IN SALES." You guys get that here. From the maid to the Director of Sales to the chef and sous-chef.
Your team is on message and working TOGETHER, from top to bottom. Wow. Exceptional. With all that word really means. Please do me and your teams a favor and forward this to the CEO of Kimpton Hotels. He or she must be a smart manager that knows how to catch people doing things right because it sure as hell is working in Denver.
Kind regards and deep appreciation for a job well done,
Sr. Vice President of Operations