About NH Collection,
Palazzo Barocci by Laurent Heras Guerquin
What is your take on the French art of welcoming? Do you think that the French art of welcoming is a distinguishing feature in the international hotel industry?
I am French, and my mother is French…so I don’t see the art of welcoming as a business, but rather a return to my origins. Each time I welcome a client, I am brought back to memories of summers spent between Paris and Normandy and how my grandmother crafted some unforgettable memories from those small moments. Yet I remain reserved my reception of clients, since I have been raised with elegance, education, but also simplicity.
Within French culture comes the elegance and education that a luxury hotel requires when it welcomes guests. The art of welcoming, by definition, means above all to give pleasure through the presentation of a beautiful room, to give smiles and delicate attentions, all with a natural politeness. This is what distinguishes luxury hotels, where the expectations of our clients are exceptionally high.
What values are aligned with the reception of guests? What is your approach within your hotel in the method of reception?
I believe that the most fundamental element when we welcome a guest is respect. Each guest must trust us completely; it is up to us to make sure that we exceed all their expectations. This, along with a friendly smile and the ready availability of service, are, in my opinion, the fundamental guidelines for a successful stay. The NH Collection experience certainly depends on a framework at a certain level, but the differences always lie in our attention and our positive, committed attitude toward our clients. The NH Collection Hotels were created with the aim of satisfying the desires of demanding clients who are in search of superbly located hotels in dream destinations with services of high quality. We want our guests to feel ‘special,’ and we look to make sure that their stay exceeds their expectation by bringing together meticulous attention with high-level service and products of quality.
What distinguishes you from your competitors?
I truly believe that our level of service and that of our competitors belong to a very high level. We believe that the guest—and not the client—must be our sole preoccupation. With this philosophy, and with the level of service implied by the NH Hotel Group, we seek to differentiate ourselves from other hotels. NH Collection Palazzo Barocci offers all its clients freshly ironed clothing upon arrival, as well as complementary delivery of their favorite journal every morning to their room…all the little things that make the difference.
Room of NH Collection Palazzo Barocci
Each employee is an ambassador of his hotel and the promise of expected services. What actions do you put in place to involve your team in the success of the customer experience? How do you motivate them so that they give the best of themselves?
All employees must have in my opinion two innate characteristics: a smile and a high sensitivity and that is what we are looking to start create ours teams. The only action that works ,for me ,as a leader of a team in the customer experience is to be an example. That means that all managers and all supervisors should be the first people that believe in quality values and must demonstrate it every day to their guests but also to their employees.
The motivation come mostly from a solar working atmosphere .A real team is based on the confrontation but also on make feel easy and feel special on the day by day the work of the other colleagues . NH Collection Experience must also be seen from the inside to power it and then externalize with more strength to our guests .If my staff fell comfortable in their jobs they also will transmit serenity to our guests.
What is the most beautiful memory as Hotel General Manager? Can you tell us an anecdote that you have experienced?
Surely the opening of the NH Collection Palazzo Barocci. . Even if was very consuming ,it was one of the best experiences on my professional life ,the collaboration and support I received by my supervisors and my team is something I will never forget. I do not remember an anecdote in particular , all the guests are different and give you the opportunity of change experiences day by day..That makes my profession every day so exciting and motivating.
Laurent Heras Guerquin born in Paris on 18/04/1980. French Mother, Spanish Father. Grown between Madrid, Rome and Paris. Graduate in tourism and management of hospitality company’s (CEU) in Madrid. In NH Hotel Group since 2006 .In May 2010 appointed Front office Manager for the opening of the NH Porta Rossa Firenze Collection , General Manager of NH Ancona in 2013 .Since April 2014 General Manager from the opening of the NH Collection Venezia Palazzo Barocci.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.