The legendary Dorchester Hotel speaks with LSST about all things hospitality
Within the sentiment of Park Lane so stands The Dorchester – London’s most significantly spectacular hotel where guests experience the epitome of enduring glamour.
Luxurious and lavish, its highlights include divine floral displays, listed apartments and three world-class restaurants – with one, The Alain Ducasse, being the UK’s only three Michelin-star hotel restaurant.
Open since 1931, The Dorchester continues its legacy as one of the world’s greatest hotels and deserves every superlative thrown its way. The Dorchester is a clear celebrity and Royalty favourite and is recognised as a global benchmark of luxury service by LSST’s hospitality management courses.
Ali Jafar, LSST’s Marketing and Admissions Director, and Kunal Chan Mehta, LSST’s Marketing and Public Relations Consultant, meet with the much praised Mr Nicholas Messian – the Hotel Manager of The Dorchester – to discuss all things hospitality management:
1. Who are your customers? What are their expectations?
Our clientele range from special occasion, to leisure and business guests. We also have the pleasure of welcoming royalty, as well as A-list celebrities to The Dorchester.
2. What is unique about The Dorchester Hotel?
As one of the most recognised hotel names in the world, The Dorchester has been a global benchmark for luxury service and innovation for more than 85 years. Opening in 1931, Britain’s most famously iconic hotel is the storied meeting place of the world’s A-List from Elizabeth Taylor, Churchill and the Beatles, to Jay Z and Kanye West. In addition to our heritage, it is our customer service and our highly skilled teams that set us apart from our competitors.
3. How do you oversee the training of hotel staff?
I have one to one meetings regularly with my management team to ensure continuity and to maintain our high standards of both product and customer service.
4. How do you inspire confidence, loyalty and trust in your staff?
I have an open door policy and try to be at my desk as little as possible. I believe that management should be seen and as such can often be found visiting departments and outlets throughout the hotel.
5. You are from a strong line of hoteliers. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes of course. My Great Grandfather Henri Alexander Elless retired at the pinnacle of his career, having held the positions of GM for both The Ritz Paris and London. Working alongside the famous Chef Auguste Escoffier and the world renowned Swiss hotelier Charles Ritz.
6. What three things have you always enjoyed about the hospitality industry?
Having the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world.
Being given the chance to travel all over the world within my career and all of the opportunities which arise from that.
Making a genuine difference to guest stays and helping to create magical memories.
7. Describe a time you worked with your staff to improve the service of your hotel.
With the implementation of our Forbes training, we have had the opportunity to improve upon our high standard of customer service, ensuring that The Dorchester retains its prestigious 5-star Forbes rating every year.
8. Describe a time you turned a negative situation with a guest into a positive situation.
When a guest’s stay is less than perfect it is our job to recover the situation. This can often be done immediately and our team members and managers have been highly trained to handle such incidents. If a guest contacts my office directly then I personally ensure that missed promises are turned into a positive guest experience.
9. In what ways have you worked with your staff to go the extra mile to deliver great customer service?
Special occasion guests. Our Guest Relations team personally prepare welcome cards for each and every special occasion guest, this is then hand delivered to the guest room with their special welcome amenities. Sometimes it is the little details that makes a guests experience truly extraordinary.
‘Local measure’ enables our teams to highlight guests that have posted on social media, allowing us to react and make their experience with us even more memorable.
10. What advice would you provide to LSST’s hospitality students?
Do not ‘butterfly’. Understand, in depth, the department that you are working in. Take your time to learn your trade.
11. What are your plans for the future?
Becoming a General Manager within the Dorchester collection.
To find out more about The Dorchester Hotel:
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Note from the Deputy CEO:
As one of the world’s most celebrated luxury hotels, The Dorchester is doubtlessly the place to be in London.
I individually thank Mr Messian for taking the time out to speak with LSST and for acknowledging our proud partnerships with London Metropolitan University and the University of West London.
I thank Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s Marketing and Admissions Director and Kunal Chan Mehta, LSST’s Marketing and PR consultant, for setting up this insight into The Dorchester Hotel – it will especially assist LSST’s students with assessment work and with future career choices.
If you would like more information on joining one of our fantastic Hospitality Management courses click here.
Mr Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST
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