Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Davidson

Lara Davidson

Director , The Spa at Pebble Beach

Lara Davidson, Spa Director, The Spa at Pebble Beach is a 20-year veteran of the spa industry. Ms. Davidson has implemented a myriad of spa programs and initiatives to enhance the guest’s spa experience. Under her direction, The Spa at Pebble Beach has become one of California’s premiere spas, most recently ranking in Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Resort Spas. Ms. Davidson joined The Spa at Pebble Beach in February 2001, and oversees spa operations for the 28-room facility, including managing more than 115 staff professionals. Previously, Ms. Davidson was the opening Spa Director for the Golden Door Spa at Las Casitas in Puerto Rico, as well as Operations Manager at the Spa at The Peaks in Telluride, Colo. Ms. Davidson is also co-chair for the Pebble Beach Resorts Green Team and a member on the Board of Directors for the Green Spa Network, a non-profit dedicated to greening and sustainability in the spa industry. Ms. Davidson holds a B.A. from Columbia University.

Ms. Davidson can be contacted at 831-649-7615 or davidsol@pebblebeach.com

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.