****THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST***********************
With one of many hockey tourney weekends completed, this weekend by far has been one of our favorite weekends. As a Hockey Mom I often write about hockey, as Pittsburgh Frugal Mom, I write about the best of ‘everything’ consumers can purchase because in some way each products saves you time, money, effort or offers you extra advantages over it’s competitors. I find myself championing the brand Marriott and the hotel, has exemplified customer service, not just to the adult, but something beyond: THE CHILDREN.
Your kids are the future consumers of America and with that knowledge, you take them everywhere you shop, eat, dine, lodge and so forth. Whether outright or subconsciously your family makes a decision about future purchases at the same places, or to never return. The future consumers learn early what they should expect in service levels from stores, hotels, restaurants, car purchases and more just by studying your reactions or how they were treated as kids when they were with you.
Our weekend stay at the Cleveland East Marriott was something beyond fortitous. We checked in and we were greeted by the General Manager, Kenny Didier. I had previoulsy spoken to Kenny via email because I needed to make sure that all allergy items for my youngest were not going to interfere with the weekend. Kenny responded to my e-,mails personally and was already waiting for us when we arrived. We knew my son could eat most anything in the hotel and could stay here so we had everything under control before we arrived. Outstanding follow-up by a GM that actually cared if you are satisfied and with the knowledge of satisfaction comes the great likelihood that you will want to stay with their Brand again.
My story is above and beyond personal. As one of several hockey teams staying here at the Cleveland Marriott East, the kids were provided a knee hockey room to continuosly set up camp in and play without disturbing the other non-hockey guests. This room was deodorized daily, had a closing door and an open side as well. The boys would go to see Kenny at the Front Desk and he provided the kids on the hockey teams, water and gatorade. He was kind, sweet and happy to see them. He asked their names so he did not have to call them, “buddy” to make it more personal and treated them like a guest, not a little hockey rat that needed a place to stay. If you are on a sports team you know how horrible establishments are with sports teams because in most cases the kids are hollered at by the staff, asked to stay within their rooms, or to not use the pools unless it is certain times but Kenny exceeded our entire team’s expectations. Kenny provided a stash of candy for the kids in the one cabinet area as well, with his only request, “please make sure you all place the wrappers in the garbage.
I have never seen a GM work as hard as Kenny. Make no mistake about it Kenny has a wonderful supporting staff but the difference between a GM that actually works his hotel versus one that does not is a difference in the relationship and he has with this staff is the respect he has commanded from them by being a ‘worker bee’ himself. There seemed to be no task that Kenny did not complete himself, as if he would not his own staff that was beyond meritous to do unless he does it himself. Kenny’s hotel is one that should have a dedicated 5 star rating. As I have traveled the world, this is not the norm, and so very much wonderful exception.
As I was up and down in the elevators I would see Kenny moving about with the bell hop cart, and working with customers, but in his ‘spare’ time he visited the boys and girls in the hockey room, with an icecream cart, and asked them what they wanted. I do think the part that as a mom made my night was the fact that he knew my son’s name, in spite of the 50 kids that were here and he told him, “Niko, you can’t have xxx and xxxx because they have nuts, but I have xxx for you” and I was not even around. My son told me this all happened and I am moved with appreciation, thanks and gratitude to a person that has a hotel to run and a staff to manage, and yet he still tended to MY son.
That parents on our hockey team have never had their children treated as kindly by anyone as Kenny. There is nothing you could need or want for on your stay and if you did walk away with a want it was truly your own fault because his team of service managers could meet the challenges requested of them. Phones were down this weekend, Kenny provided his cell, the elevator broke, they rerouted us. Things ran seamlessly, and for it our trip, though exhausting from hockey was very restful from the Marriott. In a conference room discussion we all conceded that of all the trips we have been on together on other teams, there was no place as welcoming, or no staff as professional, and courteous to our children as the staff at the Cleveland Marriott East.
This story would not be complete without full gratification to the staff that creates the magic behind your ability to rest and relax. We would visit the front reception areas with questions and someone was always in the center of the floor and walked right up to you, entertained the question, query and immediately handled it. There was not a want left unfulfilled and this is because they all work together as a team, to produce an incredible result. The entire staff of the Marriott were incredible and they each should know what a difference they made. As a tired, stressed out from driving mom, a clean room, a question answered and a staff for any of our needs, created a weekend that iced over easily!
Thank You Kenny and Staff at the Marriott! We will be back for a stay. Here’s to a SHOOT AND SCORE from the Cleveland Marriott East, and the staff that outshines any out there and to a General Manager that reciprocates the enthusiasm! What a team!!!