Bonaventure Memories

Twenty-plus years spent working in the hotel industry made me realize how precious and rare were my experiences working at the Bonaventure Resort and Spa. The team of people who came together at that time and place to deliver hospitality services to guests was exceptional. Work was challenging, but fun. The place really clicked. I am reminded of those days now as I work with another exceptional group of people who run the Doubletree Guest Suites Naples. A young energetic woman named Ashlee who heads up the employee motivational group called the “Care Committee,” said something that struck me—“The employees here won’t let each other down.” That comment nails it. Great managers and hard-working individuals who are talented in their particular expertise certainly contribute, but having those in place does not necessarily result in a hotel that clicks.
Doubletree Guest Suites Naples clicks and the guests confirm it with their accolades, ranking it the top hotel out of 56 in Naples on www.tripadvisor.com And that includes two Ritz Carlton Resorts! Doubletree recently held an employee party to celebrate achieving their sixth “Connie,” an award named after Conrad Hilton and bestowed for excellence in customer service. http://bit.ly/azs9du
I observed the poolside party and overheard people saying that receiving the Connie award was terrific. The President of Doubletree called it “unheard of” to earn six of them in the nine years since the hotel opened. And it is a small all-suite inn in a little town like Naples! One would expect such excellence from hotels in major metropolitan areas. Again, what struck me was hearing the employees say they were MUCH more excited about earning the CARE Cup and the Pride Award. Those internal forms of recognition are the result of months of working together more efficiently, more “greenly” and more effectively coming up with ideas to continually delight and serve the guests.
That’s what we did at the Bonaventure, affectionately termed Bonaventorture now among us alums. Every day was spent being creative about how we kept heads in beds and delivered top-notch conference services, outstanding food and beverages, tennis, golf, and spa treatments. While it may sound glamorous to those outside of the industry, it is hard work. Much goes on behind the scenes or
“back of the house,” to make it look effortless to hotel guests. I once told a job applicant that she would either really love the hotel business or really hate it.

For me, I loved it and so did my husband Mike who also was part of that Bonaventure team that really clicked. Some lifelong friendships were formed during those five years and while we have lots of hotel industry contacts and people who we still keep in touch with from all of the other areas of the country and The Caribbean where we worked, that Bonaventure experience is unforgettable.

It pleases me to see something similar happening to the happy and proud team of employees at Doubletree Guest Suites Naples. It is rare. Human resources departments and training leaders do their best to instill it with numerous train the trainer programs, off-site retreats, experiential training, and Myers-Briggs personality testing, but something else, something less tangible, something more special, maybe even magical has to be there, too. I am glad to have had the experience and wish the same wonderful memories for everyone at Guest Services, Inc. the management company running a hotel that really clicks—Doubletree Guest Suites Naples.

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