A FRIENDSHIP THAT STARTED WITH 20 POUND DUMBELLS
Perceptive travelers know that attention to detail is what sets a hotel apart from the rest. While business travelers needs and expectations are different from traveling families or honeymooners, there are a few that are always expected—clean rooms, good food and, above all, exceptional guest service.
Ayres Hotels, as one of the highest rated Southern Californian hotels, pursue guest satisfaction like few others. This has become known as the “Ayres Way,” which has resonated very well with our guests. We had a chance to interview one of our guests at Ayres Hotel Orange, Mrs. Vance, who has now become a part of our Ayres family.
[Vance] For me, the most important aspects of the hotel are providing a breakfast option and accessibility to a mini fridge in my room. I already have to eat out for lunch and dinner and it’s nice to have healthy options for breakfast at the hotel before I head to work for the day. Having the option to have a fridge in the room is also very important, because I bring many of my own snacks to stick to my diet and having a fridge allows me to keep my healthy foods fresh in the room so I don’t have to rely on take out. The most important aspect of service is responding to guests requests with a friendly attitude – Ayres certainly lives up to this by responding to feedback surveys and the front desk accommodating any requests I have had – such as switching rooms due to noise.
[Vance] I enjoy the Packing district for dinner. I also liked going to dinner at the circle (I believe that’s what it’s called) in downtown Orange. I have stopped at the outlet malls nearby whenever I have forgotten something or just had some time to do a little shopping. I work long hours when I’m there and since I walk to work on the medical campus, I don’t go out that much. That’s why it’s so important to me that the hotel is a comfortable, relaxing space. I mainly spend my time at work and then a little at the hotel, and that’s it. Knowing I will get to relax when I head back to the Ayres makes it feel more like home.
3. What would be the one thing that makes Ayres Hotels different than any other hotels or hotel chains you have stayed with?
[Vance] I couldn’t narrow it down to one – I would say there are two major things that make Ayres different. One is the unique large and comfortable guest rooms with the oversized tubs. I find most hotel rooms are cramped, especially in California. It’s nice to be able to spread out and relax. I frequently use the oversized tub and bring my Epsom salts along to use after a long day or a hard workout. I also enjoy the personalized touch you get with a smaller chain. Many of the front desk employees know my name and recognize me when I come in. I love that I’ve been able to establish a relationship with Jhoanna and Christine, I even met Christine in person last week! When I had a small suggestion like adding back the 20 lb weights to the gym, Christine was quick to respond and answer that request. Most large chains do not respond to feedback as promptly.
4. If you have any additional comments in regards to your time at the Ayres Hotel Orange, we would love to hear it.
[Vance] I have stayed at another hotel in the area and had the chance to compare the two – these are some of the reasons that the Ayres is BY FAR my go to hotel: 1) breakfast is included, 2) large rooms, 3) oversized tubs, 4) the hotel is quiet (don’t hear a lot of cars like some other high rise hotels nearby) 5) complimentary happy hour (sometimes I just need a glass of wine when I get back from work!) 6) the management has responded to my requests, unlike another hotel I had a problem with and had to attempt to them multiple times with no reply.
Known for their top quality and guest ratings like no other in the industry, we asked our hospitality pioneer and General Manager of Ayres Hotel Orange, Christine Smith, on how she defines great service.
“Listening to our guests is the beginning and end of providing great guest service. We listen to guests’ comments, requests, and constructive criticisms, acknowledge their needs, suggestions and comments, go above and beyond their expectations in fulfilling their needs, and then end by always asking if there is anything else we might do for the guest. Guests are always amazed when I respond to their guest surveys, they often reply that “other hotels never respond to surveys or comments from guests.” Something so simple goes a long way.” – said Christine Smith. We couldn’t agree more!