While doing some digging on the role of a butler in the guest experience, I was pleased to have the opportunity to reach out to Robert Watson from The Guild of Professional English Butlers in London. He provided me with insights into his profession, and what hotels can expect when they use this service.
What does a hotel butler do?
Butlers are trained to assist in all departments of a hotel. They take care of guest requests, bookings, reservations, problems, complaints, supervise and co-ordinate every service that guest receives in suite and to ensure guest satisfaction by paying attention to the smallest detail from arrival to departure.
What role does a butler play in the guest experience?
Hotel butlers act as a link between the guest and all the functions of a hotel. This highly personalized service often includes remembering guests’ preferences for dining, flowers, and other personal tastes. Imagine arriving in your room after a long trip and having a butler there to ease you through check-in, and even unpack your bags.
Butlers can also help choose clothing for a specific occasion, arrange transportation, or any number of things that ease common stresses associated with travel.
What can hotels do to enable guests to fully utilize this service?
Invite guests to contact their butler ahead of arrival. Establishing an acquaintance before arrival will give guests a sense of having a sort of “vacation ambassador”. The butler is trained to help throughout the entire guest journey, so guests should have a list of the different ways this service will enhance their stay. With today’s popularity of shows like “Downton Abby”, many people are already aware of these functions, and are excited to live the experience.
My thanks to Mr. Watson for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like more information, please visit www.guildofbutlers.com.