Guest Engagement Stories: Holiday Delight

The holidays are a wonderful time to share joy and goodwill. Although this is something The Ritz-Carlton strives to do throughout the year, these gestures of kindness are often times appreciated more during the holiday season. We hope that you will enjoy these guest engagement stories of Christmas cheer, and we wish all of our readers a happy holiday season.

A Second Home Discovered Over Holidays

An American guest was staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen over the Christmas season. The Ladies and Gentlemen of the hotel knew the guest was disappointed that he couldn’t celebrate Christmas with his family, and the hotel staff did not want the guest to feel homesick during his stay in China.

The Duty Manager worked with the Guest Relations Manager and the Guest Relations Department to create a personalized Christmas card for the guest. The Duty Manager took pictures of Ladies and Gentlemen from each department holding letters of the alphabet. Then he glued all the letters into a large Christmas card that spelled out the guest’s name and “Merry Christmas.” All the Ladies and Gentlemen wrote a personalized Fond Farewell and Christmas message in the card, and it was placed in the guest’s room the night before his departure.

A few days later, the General Manager received the following email from the guest: ”I am returning to the U.S. to spend New Year’s Day with my sons and daughters, but The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen is now my second home. I will never forget the Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen. Your warmth and general care touched my heart deeply, and you are forever my family in China!”


The Lost Luggage Christmas Crisis

An In-Room Dining Gentleman at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago was dropping off an early breakfast, when he heard an upset guest. The guest had just learned that her suitcase—containing all of her hygienic products and clothes—was lost by the airline. The guest was devastated because not only were her clothes gone, but it would be nearly impossible to buy new clothes on Christmas Day since all stores nationwide were closed by law.

The In-Room Dining Gentleman decided to go out and try to find an open store. He visited nearby malls and outlets but only met with disappointment. So he spent two hours traveling to the downtown parts of the city in hopes of finding a small store. When all hope seemed lost, he found two stores that were closing up. He told the story of what had happened and pleaded with one of the business owners.

The business owner had a big heart and agreed to let the In-Room Dining staff person in the store. He bought the hotel guest pajamas, socks and most of the items that were important to her. Then he returned to the hotel, had the hotel gift store wrap all the items and left them in her room with a handwritten note that said: “On behalf of The Ritz-Carlton, we apologize for the inconvenience you have undergone with your luggage, but we are happy to give you these articles of clothing. We hope it is to your liking, and if there is absolutely anything else that we can assist you with, please let us know. We will be more than happy to help out. We wish you a very merry Christmas on behalf of our in-room dining team.”


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

An Australian couple stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas during a business trip over a Christmas weekend. The couple was especially taken with The Club Lounge and its beautiful Christmas tree. The couple told the Club Lounge Manager that their frequent business travels usually deprived them of the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with family and to enjoy a Christmas tree at home. The husband joked that he might need to sneak back into the lounge late at night and drag the Christmas tree to their room.

Shortly after this conversation, the couple went out to dinner. When they returned to The Ritz-Carlton and entered their room, they were stunned to see that a full-size Christmas tree had been set up—complete with decorations and sparkling lights. Beneath the tree were gifts for the couple from the hotel, including handwritten cards from The Ritz-Carlton “family.” Their room was filled with the true spirit of Christmas!

After his stay, the husband sent a heartfelt email to the hotel. Here is an excerpt:
“The happiness that The Club Manager brought to us cannot be expressed in words. This letter is a testimonial to the exceptional degree of care and customer service offered by both The Club Manager and other hotel staff members.

“As background, my professional career has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world and be directly involved in running major customer service organizations. I am often asked to comment and consult on customer service issues. Unfortunately, the majority of this involves advising organizations on deficiencies and ways to improve. This is often the case with so-called “five star” hotels.

“I am now delighted and at the same time inspired to be able to write to you to highlight the truly exceptional examples of service that your staff demonstrated. I have never experienced such intuitive, genuine customer service in over 25 years of travel and business. What your staff did for us over this Christmas period will remain forever in our memory.

“I hope that you will share this story with your staff, and I am happy for you to use my testimonial as you choose as an example of the world’s best service that two of your “Ritz-Carlton family” provided. Thank you once more for making this Christmas the most memorable ever.”


A Christmas Tree Surprise & Delight

A week before Christmas, a family arrived at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common. A few of The Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen noticed that their six-year-old daughter seemed sad as she quietly looked at other children who were having their picture taken in front of the Christmas tree. The Ladies and Gentlemen learned that the little girl had been ill and that the purpose of their visit was to take her to The Children’s Hospital for further treatment.

One of the Gentlemen immediately befriended the six-year-old and found out that she loved big Christmas trees. He told her all about a beautiful 40-foot tree at Faneuil Hall. The little girl was exhausted from all the tests and checkups but that did not stop her from rushing out with her parents to see the tree at Faneuil Hall.

While they were out, the Ladies and Gentlemen got to work! They ran to a nearby store and bought several presents; they wrapped them and placed them in the guests’ room. But something was still missing. Within a few minutes the Ladies and Gentlemen set up a 7-foot tree in their room as well.

One hour later, the little girl and her parents returned to the hotel. When they opened the door to their room, a bright and gleaming Christmas tree appeared before them. The little girl screamed out of joy! She opened her presents and a personal Christmas card signed by all The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common Ladies and Gentlemen. The parents came to the lobby to express their sincerest gratitude. They said that they had not seen their daughter smile in days and that she had not stopped smiling since she saw the tree. 

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center offers advisory services, courses and presentations to organizations that wish to benchmark the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton. Your organization can learn about The Ritz-Carlton methodology for customer service, employee engagement and leadership development. We also guide organizations through a multi-step process in order to achieve sustainable culture transformation.