Raising The Bar In Zanzibar
Our World | On 28, Mar 2013
The nature of being in the events industry is that we get the chance to visit some amazing destinations, venues and hotels. However, lots of site inspections sometimes blend into one especially when done very close together. This tends to be the case as time out of the office is limited and when in a city we like to try and squeeze in as much as we can.
Last year, I was lucky enough to visit Zanzibar and Oman. In the space of five nights on the ground, I stayed in four different hotels and visited another seven which is rather a lot when doing full site inspections for each, as well as also exploring the destination. Now, the hotels I stay in always stick in my mind because I get to enjoy the experience, first hand. However when visiting several hotels, one after another in one day, it can sometimes be a different story and I tend to visit the websites to jog my memory from time to time. This was true when I was in Zanzibar and had several inspections in one morning but one particular hotel will stick with me for years to come and that was the Melia Zanzibar.
As soon as we stepped into the hotel lobby, we received a very warm welcome and a lovely refreshing drink. Both the General Manager and Assistant Manager conducted the site inspection along with a couple of other staff members who were ahead of us, which at the time I thought were leading the way.
Making an impact
So, we arrive at the first bedroom and I am one of the first to walk in and see a person working at the desk. I immediately thought ‘how embarrassing – we are on a show round and they have showed us an occupant room’ however it soon becomes clear that the business man is meant to be there to show us around the room. This got the group talking and after some light hearted banter, we move onto the next room, all wondering what we will find behind the door and agreeing that surely it was a one off! Again to our surprise, we find a couple and a child in the suite, demonstrating that while the family are on holiday, the husband is busy working and can do so in the lovely spacious suite. So you can now imagine all our responses when we walk into the final room and find a lady on the balcony enjoying the sun and a glass of Champagne! There is definitely some excitement within the group and we then start to become suspicious thinking that there must be someone else in the room. While some of the group walked through to the bedroom, the others went to have a look in the bathroom and then suddenly I heard a roar of laugher – without hesitation, the rest of us made our way into the bathroom (large enough to fit all 12 of us in with room to spare) … another person had been found… a man was in the bath complete with a shower cap! And I would like to confirm that he was suitably dressed for visitors! At this point we were all in hysterics, thinking what a fantastic way to demonstrate the bedrooms and hotel!!
The group of people I was with have been in the events industry for years and had never been on a site inspection quite like it. We were all raving about it while walking to the public areas of the hotel. This fun site inspection didn’t just stop at the bedrooms, at each restaurant we visited, we received a drink and sampled the cuisine while the head chef and staff were there to greet us and talk about their restaurant – it was great and we all felt very welcome.
Nearing the end of the site inspection, we jumped on golf buggies to visit their private beach. There was definitely a buzz in the air within the group, wondering what could happen next and again we were not disappointed! The O ‘Grille and surrounding area would be a fantastic venue for a beach party, having heard the DJ demonstrating the volume control!
So, on reflection this has to be the best site inspection I have experienced. It was so refreshing to see the staff at the hotel enjoy the inspection just as much as we did. It was clear that a lot of effort went into the visit and although it lasted longer than a usual inspection, we all came away with very positive vibes about the hotel and staff. We were all still talking about it on the plane journey home and I know that the hotel name ‘Melia Zanzibar’ will stick in my mind for years to come.
A job well done for the hotel and I only hope I get to experience similar site inspections in the future.