Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ethan, a fantastic Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant. Around here, Ethan is known for being both clever and genuine. As Ethan will be leaving the team for college shortly, I thought this was the perfect time to hear a bit about his experience as a Personal Assistant.
Tell me about yourself. What are two experiences that have made you who you are today?
I am 19 years old and come from a family that has always been involved in public service. My aunt was Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy advisor for a large number of years and my parents own a gas station in Pennsylvania. I’ve grown up seeing guest interactions firsthand and have always had a passion for business, especially the dynamic industries where no two days are alike. Guests come and go, but you want to make a memorable impression on them and that’s what draws me to hospitality.
Can you tell me about a time where you planned and executed a memorable and unique experience for our guests here at Capella Washington, D.C.?
We had an influential author and his family who expressed interest in taking a tour of Washington, D.C. They originally were looking at the big bus and the old town trolley, but I told them that the best way to tour the city is by foot underneath the city lights. I put together a walking guide that started out on the Potomac River Waterfront, to the National Mall and everything in-between. I made sure to include unique destinations that they would not find on the Internet, such as the Watergate complex, giving insight on the Nixon Scandal and many more destinations sharing Washington’s history. The guest loved how we personalized all the information, with walking directions, maps and suggestions. The next day, the author signed a copy of his book to show his appreciation. I love having guests that stay with us for more than three days for instance. This is when you really have the opportunity to learn about them and establish a connection to give them that home away from home feeling.
How do you wow a guest?
I think you wow a guest by what you do when they are not around. Often times it is the least verbally appreciated things we do, but it’s those little things over the course of the stay that establishes that wow factor. Getting it right on the first try and picking up on small details is crucially important.
Being so young and hungry, what motivates you about working at Capella D.C.?
I believe in the product. I think it’s really easy to work hard when you love your job. You love your job when you really believe in it. When you have a property as amazing as this and a team as great as this it comes naturally. Each one of us goes above and beyond for every single guest and that’s what inspires me to keep striving for success.
What will you take away most with you from Capella D.C. experience when you move onto hotel school at Cornell?
I will always live, breathe and sleep by the Capella Canon (A card that each employee carries everyday that aligns each of us behind the philosophy and mission of Capella Hotels & Resorts). The knowledge of hotel objectives and taking the time to understand individuals and personalize their experiences is something I will never forget.
What advice can you give to future guests of Capella?
The happiest guests who stay with us are the ones who take the time to speak with their Personal Assistant prior to their arrival. In order to be certain that we have all our guests’ preferences and details, the guest conversation is very important. When your Personal Assistant calls you, these few minutes can make the difference between having transportation arrangements, personalized newspapers in your room, refreshment center stocked with your favorite food and drinks and even a family photo to welcome you. Our service will always be exceptional, but with the support of guest preferences, we can tailor your experience in a personalized way, just how you like it. This is what we consider luxury.
For more information about Capella Personal Assistant services and how to get in touch with them, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-617-2416.