The iconic Corinthia Hotel London is the flagship property of the luxury group Corinthia Hotels International. Situated in the heart of London, on the site formally occupied by the Metropole and moments away from the River Thames and Trafalgar Square, this grand Victorian building, dating back to 1885 is one of the jewels in the global crown of hospitality.
Laden with history, the Corinthia, which opened in 2011, seeks to redefine the highest levels of luxury based on the core values of the brand – precision, understanding, passion and authenticity, at every level of the hotel's operations. With seven penthouse suites and 287 rooms, the hotel is particularly popular with studio movie junkets and touring music stars.
“We have lots of visiting celebrities, movie stars and music stars, as well as people from all over the world," said Jean-Loius Fresta, director of rooms. "Our guests are very demanding, and rightly so. Our aim is to be the best hotel in London; our guests expect a lot from us."
To help it perform at its very best, the hotel partnered with Knowcross, a hotel management software provider, to collect guest preferences.
“It is important to retain the information [on guests that] we gather during their stay," Fresta says. "Guest profiling is essential in a five star deluxe hotel. This information includes desired room set up, F&B likes and dislikes, additional guest requests and little details that are important in delighting guests. With the easy recording and dissemination of information to our staff Knowcross allows us to be efficient and anticipate the guest's needs. This technology helps us to deliver great service."
The hotel also uses the software for generating important reports and data, something that is of particular interest to Mirko Cattini, hotel manager. He uses the data to analyze performance and improvement as well as to identify training needs. The Corinthia utilizes KNOW Inspection in particular, something Cattini leads personally within the hotel to improve standards beyond normal levels of expectations.
“This is something I am particularly passionate about," he says. "The main difference is that now we have proven data, whereas before it was just a feeling. Thanks to the proven facts, we know exactly what we need to focus on."
Fresta said he also finds the data collected by their software to be incredibly useful because it helps to identify commercial trends.
“We can look at the past, at what we have achieved and also look at the future," he said. “When it's budget time, we now have data to help us write our budget, which we can use to forecast what we will need, the equipment to buy, or investing in payroll.”
Front Office Manager Jochem Meijerink said the Knowcross software helps the hotel in communicating with other departments, in order to make sure it is consistent throughout the day and throughout the week. For instance, he uses KNOW Inspection, via his iPhone, to simulate professional audit visits in real time in order to test his teams' ability to meet the required standards.
“By doing this on a daily basis, it does not matter anymore if my team is checking in a normal guest or someone doing an audit, because we deliver consistency all the time," Meijerink said. "Once a check-in is complete, I just press submit and within a minute I receive an email with a soft copy of a real quality audit. This is a great way to go back to the team and show them where we can improve and of course what they did perfectly.”
Meijerink also uses KNOW Service to deal with customer requests and anticipate needs. For example, there was recently a family checking in at the front desk when his staff noted their reservation was only for two adults. Corinthia has a special room set up for children including special amenities and of course extra beds. While they were being checked in, another staff member notified housekeeping via KNOW Service to change the room set up for a family. By the time the guests reached their room, the room was correctly set up.
Front office and reception deals with a vast range of guest interactions and so Meijerink also uses KNOW Glitch to ensure that guest's issues are resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner; but he notes that it is also important to record the glitch to ensure it doesn't happen again. In another example, a guest complained about traffic noise in their room. The glitch was resolved and recorded and now when that guest stays he's always allocated a room overlooking their quiet courtyard. The guest has since become a very loyal visitor.