Renaissance Austin Wins Savvy Service Award

Corporate award given to Austin property for outstanding service

. October 14, 2008

AUSTIN, TX, September 28, 2006. The Renaissance Austin Hotel was recently acknowledged for its outstanding service, operations, and leadership when presented with the corporate Renaissance Savvy Service Award for North America. The Austin hotel was announced as winner of the coveted award at a banquet for Renaissance General Managers held earlier this month in Chicago, Illinois.

This annual award is bestowed to the North American property that meets the strict criteria for achieving three areas of service for the hotel. The first criterion is to achieve the Top Tier in Guest Satisfaction Survey (GSS) Overall Satisfaction and Operations. This is based on the corporation's Savvy Service basics which include: Inviting Sense of Arrival, Random Acts of Kindness, VIP Personalization, Very Crisp Conduct & Language, Daily Meetings, and Service Training. The second level of criteria is based on achieving Top Tier in the Operations Review, which includes Arrival Ritual, Renaissance Pour, Wake-up Call, Guestroom Delivery, and Meeting Event Planner. The last area judged is Leadership for the hotel defined by the ability to build and create enthusiasm amongst hotel staff, and the creative execution used in building new ideas and using "out of the box" thinking. Over 90 hotels were considered for the honor and title of being a Savvy Service Award recipient with the Renaissance Austin shining through the group as it was awarded the honor.

Rob Gillette, General Manager for the Renaissance Austin Hotel, was present at the banquet to receive the beautiful crystal award and commented "we are honored to be accepting this outstanding award. It shows the dedication of the employees on all levels, and quality of service the hotel strives to provide its guests on a daily basis. Employees of the hotel should be congratulated on their hard work and commitment to provide only the best to our guests."

As a recipient of several other awards and ratings over the past year, including the prestigious Gold Key Award by Meetings and Conventions magazine, the AAA Four Diamond Award for ten years, Sales and Marketing Management's Executive Choice Award, and the International Special Events Society (ISES) Austin Chapter Host of the Year, the Renaissance Austin Hotel provides outstanding accommodations and Savvy Service to its guests. The hotel is also part of the Marriott's award-winning frequent travel program, Marriott Rewards(R).

The Renaissance Austin Hotel is located just 11 miles or fifteen minutes from downtown, nestled in the scenic hills of northwest Austin and connection to the Hill Country. The property is the cornerstone to the upscale entertainment complex, the Arboretum, a 95-acre park-like setting filled with over 80 shops, boutiques, restaurants, movie theaters, walking and jogging paths. The recently-renovated 10-story atrium hotel features 492 luxurious guest rooms with new bedding packages; a new, state-of-the-art fitness center with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, whirlpool and sauna; and 60,000 square feet of function space, including the renovated 30,000 square foot exhibit hall. The Renaissance Austin offers the finest in dining and entertainment with Banderas - A Texas Bistrot restaurant, serving three meals daily; the new, trendy @ustinbytes Internet caf'e, and two lounges for relaxation - all providing an attractive destination for both business and leisure travelers.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.