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WhatsApp in luxury hotels

WhatsApp in luxury hotels

Old Dec 27, 2023, 12:01 pm
  #1  
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WhatsApp in luxury hotels

We were at the MO London in a suite a few weeks ago. Immediately upon arrival we were told that in order to secure butler services we should use WhatsApp.I asked for a plan B as I didnít want to bother downloading something and was told to just push the butler button on the phone.
It sounded good except it was never answered so, in order to get to the butler appropriate attention, we had to go through the front desk throughout our stay.

So here we are at another hotel with WhatsApp butler connectivity and, so wisened up, I downloaded it and have found it majorly disappointing. Getting an answer to two simple questions took almost two hours as there was always a lag and imprecise information usually
followed. I discovered that it was a team, not our personal butler, who was answering and crowd sourcing high touch service seems off. I ended
up calling the front desk again for any needs and that is how it will remain.

Iím curious if others have had different/better
luck. Iím not sold and will optimize for personal communication the old fashioned way.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 12:20 pm
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 12:36 pm
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WhatsApp appears to be the most popular messaging app in Europe. Our two most recent hotels responded very quickly to WhatsApp messages (and to voice calls for that matter). The issue could be a hotel's service level and responsiveness more than the mode of communication.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 1:53 pm
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I find Four Seasons does a nice job with chat via their app.

Also, my butler at The Siam used WhatsApp and was super fast in responding and was always available - I really liked it.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 2:44 pm
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When WhatsApp is well managed by the hotel I find it to be extremely convenient and I love using it. I much prefer making contact via WhatsApp and writing in requests as needed than having to call and speak to someone on the phone. Some hotels drop the ball and donít keep an active eye on WhatsApp messages, but in my experience it is more of the exception than the norm.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd
WhatsApp appears to be the most popular messaging app in Europe. Our two most recent hotels responded very quickly to WhatsApp messages (and to voice calls for that matter). The issue could be a hotel's service level and responsiveness more than the mode of communication.
While you are certainly correct about service levels and, I would add training, the piece that goes wrong is the lack of personal engagement.
Although we theoretically had a butler in London, we never laid eyes on him after arrival. Where we are now, it is entirely up to who notices the WhatsApp message, so it has typically not been someone who has a read on our family and the response time has been poor. I also make a distinction between a hotel offering this service to all guests, which is probably efficient and also leaves a paper trail, but less impressed when a guest is paying for bespoke butler
service.

And Iím sure my next issue will involve AI generated butler service!
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 3:38 pm
  #7  
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While yours truly does not share cell / mobile number with many , but use the gadgets including iPad Pro ( WhatsPad ) for photography & WhatsApp / Pad messages and not calls .. found it an efficient or best use option last month to communicate with MOHK team .. had fallen & could not reach phones in suite .. it was the means to reach my friend / dinner date and some MOHK team - could not get up from the fall .. had to leave the suite unlocked the duration of stay after fall as could barely walk .. some FTers saw the injuries , dinner date an FTer too


The cushions placed where I hit my body / head - where the fall occurred

Last edited by FlyerEC; Dec 27, 2023 at 3:48 pm
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 3:52 pm
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I really appreciate having WhatsApp or a comparable communication system in place - obviously only if itís promptly answered. This might be a generational issue - Iím a millennial and hate having to pick up a phone to get service.

The first time I saw the service was a decade ago at the St Regis Moscow. Since then a number of luxury hotels and not quite luxury hotels have offered the service. Personally, WhatsApp is my preferred solution, because I mainly live in Europe where itís the dominant messaging app.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by United747
I find Four Seasons does a nice job with chat via their app.
They tend to respond promptly in my experience. And it is very convenient. But it lacks a group chat feature, which is super helpful if there is more than one person on the reservation/stay. (As an aside, it is also super useful when you are dealing with multiple people in a tour group, like a cycle tour.) If they could just improve the chat handling component of the feature, it would be a winner. Until they do, I prefer WhatsApp just because it handles a lot of the basic capability so much better. And in my experience, it comes down to training and responsiveness. The specific app is almost irrelevant. A lousy concierge / butler team is going to lead to bad service, no matter what app they use.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC
While yours truly does not share cell / mobile number with many , but use the gadgets including iPad Pro ( WhatsPad ) for photography & WhatsApp / Pad messages and not calls .. found it an efficient or best use option last month to communicate with MOHK team .. had fallen & could not reach phones in suite .. it was the means to reach my friend / dinner date and some MOHK team - could not get up from the fall .. had to leave the suite unlocked the duration of stay after fall as could barely walk .. some FTers saw the injuries , dinner date an FTer too


The cushions placed where I hit my body / head - where the fall occurred
I think I can speak for all of us whom you have provided so much help and assistance to over the years EC, that I hope you are OK and heal quickly. Very sorry to hear of your misadventure.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar
I think I can speak for all of us whom you have provided so much help and assistance to over the years EC, that I hope you are OK and heal quickly. Very sorry to hear of your misadventure.
You are very welcome , ridefar and thank you too . The most evident black eye is not obvious anymore , 😅 .. but the contusions including the ankles / feet , knee , etcetera are still on the mend
Was very relieved that my iPad & iPhone was within easy reach to SOS as I could barely move after the fall

Nick D ( yes , United747 ) and other GMs - AMANs , ex AMANs , FS .. on WhatsApp too

Blessed CHRISTmas to you & yours / others reading this - all of 12 days , day 3 or 4 now - depending where you are 🤗 .. lots of FT postings and actual flying with stays in luxury hotels / properties in 2024 😊 !!
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Last edited by FlyerEC; Dec 27, 2023 at 5:08 pm
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC
You are very welcome , ridefar and thank you too . The most evident black eye is not obvious anymore , 😅 .. but the contusions including the ankles / feet , knee , etcetera are still on the mend
Was very relieved that my iPad & iPhone was within easy reach to SOS as I could barely move after the fall

Nick D ( yes , United747 ) and other GMs - AMANs , ex AMANs , FS .. on WhatsApp too

Blessed CHRISTmas to you & yours / others reading this - all of 12 days , day 3 or 4 now - depending where you are 🤗 .. lots of FT postings and actual flying with stays in luxury hotels / properties in 2024 😊 !!

always so positive and helpful, feel better SOON!!

On the topic of whatsApp, the Four Seasons App is the best one and only way I have communicated with their butler teams.

Only time that was different was at Los Cabos FS where they used whatsapp instead of the app
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd
WhatsApp appears to be the most popular messaging app in Europe. Our two most recent hotels responded very quickly to WhatsApp messages (and to voice calls for that matter). The issue could be a hotel's service level and responsiveness more than the mode of communication.
Not only in Europe. Asia and Latin America too. So convenient not having to download an app for every hotel service you use. When in Malaysia, the driver would text that theyíre there. The hotel sent messages about our tickets we had requested etc.

I Cancun I got help making reservations at the restaurants on the resort etc.

so convenient and I really encourage more services and hotels to use this.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 7:18 pm
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I've experienced it a few times in luxury hotels in Asia and I'm a fan. The response and follow up has always been immediate or very prompt. That said, if I was promised a 'butler' who I could only reach via WhatsApp (and was clearly not actually answering the messages) then I would probably be irritated too.

I find expectations are better managed when it's branded as the 'concierge' or 'front desk' and it's a channel for minor things like housekeeping requests. I like to use it to request my room be cleaned by a certain time, or to get extra amenities, as it's otherwise annoying having to phone and ask for little things.
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Old Dec 27, 2023, 8:10 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by richarddd
WhatsApp appears to be the most popular messaging app in Europe. .
Basically everywhere in the world except the US and Canada. For many many years.

If one travels outside North America, WhatsApp is the standard.
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