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Top tier service
By Ma Zhenhuan ( China Daily )

Top tier service

Cru Steak house at JW Marriott Hangzhou owns a fabulous collection of wines, which matches well with the fine cuts of beef at the restaurant. Provided to China Daily

Ma Zhenhuan finds international hospitality at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hangzhou.

Continuing improvement in the quality of service to enhance customer loyalty is a top priority for hotel operators, said Minnie Xu, general manager of the JW Marriott Hotel Hangzhou. "I hope the first thing that comes to mind for our guests when our hotels are mentioned are the prime and meticulous services we provide," said Xu, who is also general manager of the adjacent Courtyard Hangzhou Wulin.

"As the upscale luxury hotel brand ,JW Marriott is comparatively new to Hangzhou. I hope that each guest will be impressed by the service we offer. Oftentimes, they become promoters for our hotels," says Xu, in an interview with China Daily.

One example of top service is the handset telecommunication system used by the concierge at JW Marriott Hotel Hangzhou that enables staff to inform taxi drivers within 1 kilometer to come to the hotel to pick up guests.

It's quite helpful in the scenic city infamous for difficulties in finding a taxi during rush hour.

It is by such attention to detail that the hotel will reach a "sound and virtuous operational circle that will enable us to stand out in the long term," Xu says.

The hotel veteran joined Marriott in 1997 and has been a witness to robust expansion of the US hotel group in China. Over the past 15 years, she worked extensively in a range of Marriott hotels in Wuxi, Shanghai, Tianjin, Suzhou and Wuhan.

In 2008, she became general manager of the Renaissance Wuhan Hotel, the first Chinese local to serve as a general manager for Marriott in China.

"Marriott has a sound culture to take care of all its employees and provides an open and fair system for hospitality staff to improve and develop themselves," said Xu.

Xu noted that Marriott has a talent pool in China that enables management staff to work in different hotels and positions.

She added that localization helps smoothen interaction with local customers, governments and property owners, especially in second-tier cities in China where Marriott is increasingly active.

Since assuming her current position in Hangzhou four months ago, Xu said she has been working on a combined strategy to improve competitiveness and revenue at the two hotels by focusing on catering, and the meeting, conference and exhibition market.

Top tier service

The hotels in the same building complex in the Wulin commercial zone of downtown Hangzhou includes the 305-room JW Marriott Hotel Hangzhou and the 330-room Courtyard by Marriott Hangzhou Wulin, whose property is owned by the local Hangzhou Wulin Real Estate company.

They are part of an 80,000-square-metre complex with the two hotel towers connected by a building Marriott calls the "palladium" that houses conference space, restaurants, lounges and other public facilities.

"It's an unique combination as the two hotels aim for guests at different levels, so we adopted separate branding and marketing strategies," said Xu.

She said the target market for JW Marriott is high-end business and convention guests, while the Courtyard Wulin aims for middle-income business travelers and individual tourists.

To win over the hearts of more Hangzhou residents, Xu said the two hotels will also put more effort into the food and beverage department so wedding banquets and other gatherings generate more revenue.

"Hangzhou people are quite affluent and they are paying more attention to improving their quality of life, and people here are willing to pay more for well-prepared foods," she said.

"Besides, we got a grandeur ballroom here, a unique venue for hosting wedding banquets and meetings."

For JW Marriott Hangzhou, it is now considering introducing a variety of cuisines to attract more local gourmets.

"For example, the Cru Steak house in the JW Marriott Hangzhou offers the finest cuts of beef in town."

The two hotels opened in December 2010, the first JW Marriott in Zhejiang province.

Contact the writer at mazhenhuan@chinadaily.com.cn.


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