Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Araya

Andres Araya

Managing Director, Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain

A consummate hotel executive with 25 years of experience with leading luxury hotels worldwide, Chilean-born Andrés Araya took the reins of Spain’s exclusive and historic Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine hotel in 2010. During the first two years, he guided the 900-year-old abbey through a sensitive restoration to convert it to a unique hotel, that earned it an award from the European Union for conserving cultural heritage, and committed to making LeDomaine a property that would be on the wish list of every discerning global traveler. He opened the new hotel in March 2012 with the first complete butler service in Spain and in 2015 oversaw the addition of a spa that is among the best in Spain. As part of his F&B strategy to position LeDomaine as a world-class culinary destination, he partnered with one of the world’s superstar chefs, Spaniard Andoni Aduriz; within two years, in 2014, the hotel had earned a Michelin Star. Today, LeDomaine is one of Spain’s most renowned properties, recognized as the country’s #1 hotel in several prestigious magazine and industry rankings, while the Abadía Retuerta wines have been recognized as being among the Top 100 Best in the World by Wine Spectator. Mr. Araya’s distinguished career includes serving as managing director of internationally acclaimed, Five Diamond Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, and holding executive positions with the Ajman Kempinski Hotel & Resort, United Arab Emirates; Conrad Cairo Hotel & Casino, Cairo, Egypt; St. Regis Aspen, Colorado; Sheraton María Isabel, México City, and The Palace of the Lost City, Sun City, South Africa. Please visit http://www.ledomaine.es for more information.

Mr. Araya can be contacted at 34-983-680-368 or info@ledomaine.es

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.