Sheraton offers special treatments

The Sheraton Park Tower in London’s Knightsbridge, a member of the Starwood Luxury Collection portfolio, demonstrated its commitment to the Middle East market by appearing at this year’s ATM, seizing the opportunity to highlight the enhanced services it will provide to visitors from the region this summer.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  June 16, 2006

The Sheraton Park Tower in London’s Knightsbridge, a member of the Starwood Luxury Collection portfolio, demonstrated its commitment to the Middle East market by appearing at this year’s ATM, seizing the opportunity to highlight the enhanced services it will provide to visitors from the region this summer. Front of house staff at the hotel have undergone training to improve their understanding of Arabic culture and etiquette, and Arabic-speaking staff, including concierges, porters and room service attendants, will be on hand to ensure a hassle-free stay for Arabic guests. “London is always a popular destination for Arabic guests looking to escape the summer heat, and the Park Tower has been welcoming guests from around the region for many years,” explained Shane Hodges, director of sales & marketing for Starwood Central London. “We take input from our sister properties in [the Middle East] to make sure we are able to provide a unique and comprehensive service. These guests generally stay for long periods, so it is important that we look after our Arabic guests well.” Indeed, the Sheraton Park Tower enjoys a high volume of repeat business from the Middle East market, according to Hodges, who attributes this to the quality of service provided by the hotel’s long serving staff. “Over half of the hotel’s associates have been at The Sheraton Park Tower for over five years, hence the team has a great deal of experience in making our Middle Eastern clientele feel at home, and welcoming guests back time and time again. Frequent guests benefit from building a genuine relationship with the staff, so that on their next visit, all the guests’ individual requests and requirements are anticipated,” he said. Upon arrival, guests will be welcomed with cards written in both Arabic and English, and Arabic sweets and coffee will be available in their room. Guests can also enjoy a choice of Arabic-language newspapers and eight Arabic television channels. Compasses are discretely built-in to all rooms, giving the direction of Mecca, and prayer mats and prayer times are available. “From July to September, which is the peak time for visitors from the Middle East, the hotel also employs a speciality chef to prepare traditional Lebanese dishes. Usually a chef from one of the other Starwood properties in the Middle East is flown in especially to provide this service. They prepare an extensive menu, including freshly prepared mezze and a wide range of dishes from around the Gulf, which can be ordered through room service at any time of the day or night,” Hodges said. The hotel also offers an in-room spa service, ensuring privacy for Arabic guests, and a personal butler service is available in all accommodation on the hotel’s Penthouse and Butler floors. Unpacking and complimentary garment pressing are taken care of and a full valet service is provided. The professionally trained butler will wake guests each morning with complimentary tea or coffee, and will serve afternoon tea later in the day. “This type of one-to-one attention is appreciated by our Arabic guests. For those on business trips, the butlers can act as a personal assistant, arranging appointments and business centre services, sending faxes, doing photocopying and so on. They can also act as a private concierge and will arrange anything from private chauffeurs and restaurant or theatre bookings to personally designed shopping trips,” said Hodges.

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