“A hotel in the middle of the night can be a magical place”
-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
It’s absolutely true…There is something fundamentally beautiful about a hotel shrouded in the intrigue and mist of the evening. Whether it’s exploring the ancient echoes of an old European hotel, or navigating the angles and curves of a brand new architectural property, the nighttime yields a certain romance.
It was with this in mind that my hotel, and I must say a brand new hotel, designed a very special amenity to be delivered to guests arriving late in the evening. It’s called Brutti Ma Buoni, “Ugly, but Good” in Italian, and it was created by the talented and beautiful Chef Lisa White, who just won Best Pastry Chef for 2016 in New Orleans. Curiously enough, the early setting for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
It’s a selection of kitchen sink double espresso chocolate chip cookies fresh baked out of the oven paired with a glass of ice cold milk waiting in the minibar. I also like to include a handwritten note welcoming the guest to the hotel. I am definitely not an expert on pastry aesthetics, but this cookie is a thing of beauty!
Another interesting side note…As I write this, Chef Lisa White is living at the Thompson Nashville with her charming bull dog, Millie. I just love the idea of a pastry chef in residence.
Now this amenity is not the most labor intensive or expensive to make, but it is personal. And I think that makes all the difference. It offers something unique to our property and simultaneously reveals a detail about a distinguished member of our staff. Someone we are lucky to have.
This notion of the importance of locality is something ALICE is able to accommodate 360 degrees. We have a custom amenity program designed to showcase the creativity of our food and beverage partner, Our House Hospitality. When we revamped that program and changed our offerings completely, Maxine, our Customer Success Manager at ALICE, was able to update our program in the short space of a winter afternoon. Que Bella.
With the help of ALICE, I am able to record at what time in the evening the guest arrival will take place. With the help of ALICE, I am able to request “Bruti Ma Bouni” from a customized drop down menu designed specifically for our hotel. ALICE in turn generates a guest ticket that is received by our Food and Beverage partner. I am then able to monitor the guest ticket in the program as it is received, delivered, and subsequently closed. That way I know in real time that the cookies have been delivered roughly about five minutes prior to the late night guest’s check in.
The beautiful thing about ALICE is that its customization applies to all concierge related guest requests. For instance, Mr. Murphy prefers the Wall Street Journal over The New York Times, or Ms. Simon requested a Black SUV for three hours to look at real estate around Nashville. ALICE facilitates customization across all platforms. It’s as flexible as the modern day concierge position itself. ALICE helps me enhance the magic we all hope for when we check into a hotel. And that is all I could ask for… A little bit of magic in the everyday.