How Do You Like Yours?
Our World | On 24, Jan 2013
It seems to me that choosing between five star hotels is becoming harder. With traditional style hotels adding a touch of modernity and lifestyle hotels scaling back slightly to incorporate more luxury touches – how do you decide which hotel you choose for your next group event?
The traditional parameters of size and location are still important, as is brand fit, but for me the largest decision factor is service and experience. In short, a five star hotel that has a fantastic location and hardware is nothing without great service and customer experience. As such I’ve come up with a simple gauge – “The Eggs Benedict Test”.
Sunny side up!
Traditional Eggs Benedict contain four simple elements (muffin, ham, poached egg and hollandaise sauce) however you’d be amazed at how different the end result can be. All of the individual elements need to be of the highest quality, and produced well, but most importantly they all then need to come together in a complimentary manner in order for the end result to be successful. The same applies to hotels.
I’ve had “Sorry sir – we don’t do that” (despite all of the individual elements being available in other breakfasts). I’ve had great hollandaise sauce let down by hard eggs and great eggs let down by rubbish hollandaise sauce. It’s a minefield for the hotels, so I choose to order it every time I stay at one.
I’m pleased to say that very recently I came across the best Eggs Benedict test result in the world – at the Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil (Iguassu Falls).
During a site inspection I mentioned the Eggs Benedict test to the Executive Chef – Fabio Delantonio who has recently taken over at the property. He explained to me that the breakfast there (as in the rest of Brazil) was a buffet affair and that Eggs Benedict had never been offered. However, he would be delighted to come in the following morning (8 hours after he had hosted a dinner for us), on his day off, to produce it for me. Now that is 5 star service!
So the next morning I sat down for breakfast and explained to a rather bemused Maitre d’ that the Executive Chef was coming in to cook for me. Off he scuttles to the kitchen, finds Fabio in his whites, makes his way back to me and asks how I’d like my coffee. “Your eggs will be with you shortly sir”.
Ten minutes later I got perfectly poached eggs in a compact shape sandwiched between the most amazing ham and a freshly produced hollandaise sauce. Unfortunately due to their remote location, the hotel had not been able to source muffins on a Sunday (having only been given 8 hours notice) so I got perfectly toasted bread cut to the exact dimensions of a muffin. Not traditional – but it worked. Why? The same reason you’d choose a hotel:
- Can do attitude
- Friendly, efficient service
- Great individual products
- Customer focus
- Location (sat poolside adjacent to Iguassu Falls in this instance)
- Thinking on your feet and overcoming issues
Take a bow Hotel das Cataratas – you have passed my test and as such proven yourself to be amongst the best hotels I have ever stayed at.