Spring 2019

50 Jan19401 A Cosy Chic Boutique on the Dorset Coast The Orchid Hotel is a 4-star boutique hotel close to Bournemouth’s city centre and coast. Complete with thirty-one bedrooms, two function rooms and an AA Rosette Restaurant, the hotel was named in LUXlife Magazine’s ongoing 2019 Global Luxury Hotel and Spa Awards as the Most Outstanding Boutique Hotel in Dorset. We spoke to Syed Anzar Ahmed, General Manager for The Orchid, to find out more about the hotel’s dedication to guest services. Based in one of the UK’s tourist hotspots, The Orchid has made its name on the back of its position to cater to a large variety of guests, with a noted ability to exceed expectations across the board. Over the last year, a refurbishment has revitalised this long-standing stalwart into one of the must-visit establishments in the area and is swiftly becoming a favourite for wedding parties. Like many of their luxurious peers, the cornerstone of The Orchid’s success lies in their guest services. It’s no secret that hotels can flourish or fail due to staff cohesion. Essentially, a hotel’s core ethos need to be internalised across the board, and every guest’s whim and need accounted for. There can be little doubt that The Orchid has mastered this delicate balance, presenting a beautiful hotel with staff that truly care about the people that step over their threshold and sleep under their roof, as Syed takes a moment to explain in more detail. “Service is key. We make sure that guests are made to feel welcome as soon as they walk through the door. Our clients are a mixture of holiday makers, corporate guests, weddings, events, and the local community. “We employ the best staff who are well-trained and love the industry and looking after people. The hotel is run as a family business and everybody feels as important as their colleagues – they take genuine pride in their work and their workplace.” In this, the staff’s family dynamic works well in helping to achieve this company-wide dedication to quality. “The management have an ‘open door’ policy and love to hear new ideas from the staff and they like to make all new staff feel welcome and part of the family. Staff are trained, and continuously trained, to a high degree and understand that customer service is key – as is the welfare and happiness of their colleagues. Ultimately, we are a team, and we work as a team.” Yet, the hotel and hospitality industries are known for being immensely seasonal, presenting some challenges when it comes managing guest needs. Syed takes a moment to discuss how The Orchid’s small staff size yields a particular strength. “The hotel industry has so many peaks and troughs, and we go from the manic Christmas season to a relatively quiet time in January. As is key for a small hotel, the staff are trained so that they can jump into other departments as and when is necessary.” But, despite these annual challenges, Brexit looms large over the UK’s entire business sphere, creating an uncertain year ahead for hotels of all sizes and in all locales. “In the sales department, it is noticeable that the corporate companies are a little nervous about spending money with Brexit around the corner. As a hotel, we are continuing as normal but as aware as everybody else that there is a lot of uncertainty with the future. We are still investing in our product so that we only offer the best to our clients. At the end of the day, you have to look at the bigger picture and still work towards your goals.” “There could be a lot of changes with Brexit and it is a wait and see policy at the moment. However, whatever challenges we’ll face over the next year, we are prepared to overcome them. On the other hand, personal budgets seem tighter at the moment, and it is all about offering bespoke packages to each individual guest to make sure their expectations are exceeded whilst still remaining profitable. “The most important thing to get right in the hotel industry is the service, and this means employing the right staff and looking after them so that they give the service that the hotel and guests expect.” Contact: Syed Anzar Ahmed Company: The Orchid Hotel Address: 34 Gervis Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3DH, United Kingdom Website: www.orchidhotel.co.uk Telephone: +44 (0) 1202 551600 Retreat

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