New Hotel Luxury Car Experiences

Are You Covered for a Porsche or Pinto?

By John Welty Practice Leader, SUITELIFE, Venture Insurance Programs | June 04, 2017

The opportunity to drive their dream car is on the bucket list of many. That goal can be checked off fairly easily these days as luxury car driver experiences are available through a variety of venues, including hotels and resorts. Dreamers no longer have to shell out hundreds of thousands to drive a Lamborghini; they can reserve a luxury suite at certain high-end hotels and enjoy the privilege of driving one for a few hours.

Of course, for hotels and resorts offering this luxury service, new risks come with the experiences. In this article, we discuss what hotel and resort owners participating in these luxury driver experiences can do to make sure they have taken the proper steps to protect their guests, employees and their bottom lines.

Who could forget the scene in the classic comedy Ferris Buellerís Day Off where the parking garage attendant takes off for a joy ride in Cameronís fatherís red Ferrari? It seems wrong, but itís hard to blame him. Who doesnít want to get behind the wheel of a luxury car and paint the town as well?

Among its many other high-end amenities designed to pamper guests, luxury car experiences are now on the menu at the revered Waldorf-Astoria. Hotel guests can do just that Ė take their dream cars for a spin. Exotic cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens are available to guests with valid driverís licenses who are willing to open their wallets.

Without a doubt, this trend will take off and it wonít just be the Waldorf offering this experience. Already, many four- and five-star hotels and resorts have arrangements with luxury auto manufacturers, wherein they highlight and promote the brandsí featured vehicles. This typically includes the availability of a fleet of luxury vehicles for use by special guests of the hotel.

While this is an appealing perk for many, what happens in the event of an accident? The nature of these cars and driving experiences beg us to consider the risks of potentially deadly accidents and damage to cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hotels and guests should consider their insurance policies and coverage limits before signing on to drive one of these vehicles. Does a guest have enough coverage for a luxury vehicle or just enough to cover their family sedans? What does the hotelís commercial auto policy say?

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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.