Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Wees

Hans Van Wees

General Manager, Hotel Vermont

Hans Van Wees is General Manager of Hotel Vermont. Appointed in December 2012, he is responsible for managing the contemporary, LEED-certified address located in the heart of Burlington, overseeing all operations including sales and marketing and food and beverage. A seasoned hospitality professional with extensive hotel experience in the Green Mountain State, Mr. Van Wees arrived at Hotel Vermont following senior leadership roles at hotels across New England, Europe and the Caribbean. Trained as an officer in the Dutch army, he launched his career in the Netherlands with Sonesta International Hotels and Resorts before transferring to Bermuda to take up various senior management positions at the 400-room Sonesta Beach Resort and Spa. Mr. Van Wees then moved to the U.S. as General Manager of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. He also provided consulting services to a variety of businesses throughout New England, including Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont, where he led the opening of the boutique Tram Haus Lodge - a key component of the resort's $200 million expansion. Along with his hotel management expertise, Mr. Van Wees is a passionate advocate of sustainable development and operating practices in the hospitality industry. He has spoken on the subject at industry conferences and served as chairman of the Vermont Hospitality Council. He is also actively involved in hospitality education in Vermont, most recently as an adjunct professor at the Business Department of Johnson State College. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Mr. Van Wees studied Hospitality Management at the School for Hospitality Management in The Hague and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is fluent in English and Dutch and also speaks German and French. Mr. Van Wees, his wife, Karen, and their son live in Burlington where they enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain as well as biking, hiking and cross-country skiing surrounded by the beauty of Vermont.

Please visit http://www.hotelvt.com for more information.

Mr. Van Wees can be contacted at 802-651-0080 or talktous@hotelvt.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.