A Grand Hyatt Stay

After a recent conference in Orlando, I had enough Hyatt points to book a night at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (the conference was at Gaylord Palms, quite a nice destination itself).

Count me impressed.

My wife and I had stayed there a couple years back, and we liked it then. We liked it even more this time.

I’ll give you three major reasons why:

1. Exemplary service. Every single employee went out of their way to be kind and friendly. In fact, the service went to a place where no hotel has ever gone before (in my experience) – after dining in one of the hotel restaurants, we awoke in the morning to find a hand-written card under our door from our server the night before, thanking us for eating there and offering help with “anything to make your stay more memorable.”

2. Outstanding facilities. The resort is huge. Not only is there a golf course there, but there are walking trails of up to 5 miles in length, with very pleasant variety (including a boardwalk loop through a swamp area). The multiple pools, with waterfalls and faux rocks and various slides and bridges, was extremely family-friendly. A lake with boats, a nine-hole pitch-and-putt golf course, bikes, and a bunch of other amenities make this an ideal destination for families. Disney World is just around the corner, but you might have a hard time getting the kids to leave the Grand Cypress. And if you’re a member of the Regency Club, there’s a wonderful lounge area for morning breakfast, snacks and drinks during the day, etc.

3. Cleanliness. This place is spotless. The grounds are meticulously maintained. This place is easy on the eyes. We saw one guy dusting a rock outside – not kidding!

As mentioned, the Disney resorts are right nearby, and a bunch of restaurants are all within easy walking distance. But once you’re in the grounds, you feel like you’re enclosed in a very pleasant, self-contained little world.

A series of pictures from our all-too-brief stay are below. I highly recommend this resort for anyone looking to stay in the Orlando area, whether or not you have kids along. Delightful.

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Greetings…done right

Today, I am at a Hyatt hotel in Chicago, which (apparently) has had a major renovation recently. I guess that must have meant big-time improvements, but one very simple thing has impressed me more than anything.

When I arrived to check in, instead of a monolithic counter behind which employees are half-hidden and walled-off from customers, this hotel has little individual counters, and those responsible for check in stand in front. They come out to greet you, find out what you need, and only then go behind the (warmly-decorated) counters to look up the room reservation, etc.

This one little change in the user experience was delightful. I saw something similar at a Westin recently. These hotels latched on to something – a warm personal experience for a FIRST IMPRESSION can outweigh all the other aspects that perhaps cost far more.

How does this relate to your receptionist? Your website or blog? Your business card? The greeters at your house of worship (which reminds me…I’m up this Sunday!)? Think about the first interaction people have with you, or your organization. Are you hiding behind a wall? Or out front with your guests?

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