Situated in Sesto San Giovanni, on the northern outskirts of Milan in an area boasting a high concentration of businesses, the NH Concordia is your typical hotel for business travellers. Or rather: it’s exactly how a typical hotel for business travellers should be.
It’s clean, discreet and comfortable. Its staff is courteous and attentive. Thanks to its proximity to the line 1 metro stop, you can reach any area in the city in just a few minutes. It has a top-notch restaurant for those who prefer to dine in after a long day’s work. And, what’s more, it also offers a number of little ‘surprises’ as its manager, 40-year-old Domenico Forte, who has made it his mission to leave guests with good memories of their stay, likes to describe them.
“The standards of all NH hotels, both those dedicated purely to business travellers like ours as well as those situated in tourist areas, are designed to surprise customers pleasantly, offering them something more than they would normally expect from a standard 4-star hotel”, explains it manager. “Although, nowadays, ‘customer care’ is a term too easily bandied about, that’s exactly what we focus on here, by offering a series of small options that make all the difference when you’re away from home.”
The examples given by Domenico Forte are, in actual fact, exactly what you’d hope to find on a business trip. What if a woman travelling alone has booked a room? According to statistics, its highly likely that a customer of this caliber will wash her hair in her room: based on this premise, the staff at the reception desk will make sure to assign the lady in question a room with a powerful hairdryer. What if eating away from home poses a problem for health-conscious businessmen? Healthy options are always available on the restaurant’s menu and a ‘health corner’ is always set up during coffee breaks at conventions. What if traveler has to catch an early flight and hates the idea of starting his/her day on an empty stomach? There’s no need to call for room service, visitors are also given the option of an ‘early breakfast’ in the dining room, starting at 5am. What if you’re beset by jet lag and want to de-stress while the majority of guests staying at the hotel are still sleeping? No problem, the manager has authorized use of the gym 24 hours a day. Additionally, for those who prefer watching TV, all the television sets have recently been replaced by next generation LED systems complete with mega screens. “In short”, Forte explains,” we try to satisfy all the requirements of our guests not with words but with deeds, as simply and professionally as possible.”
Customers appreciate the services offered and often return.
According to figures, 85% of the hotel’s clientele are business travellers who have chosen the hotel based on its proximity to the large companies headquartered in the area and who, after staying here, tend to return time and time again. The average stay is 2 nights. The majority of guests come from Europe, the US or the Far East. Most of them travel on their own and 70% are men. “However, at weekends, everything changes”, says Forte. “The hotel fills up with couples who have chosen to spend a weekend out-of-town not only because they are able to benefit from cheaper rates but also because they can count on the convenience of the nearby underground system. Thanks to the M1 line, travelers can reach the Duomo in just fifteen minutes. It goes without saying that, in this case too, several surprises await our leisure guests. But we can’t let you in on all of our secrets!”
Top-notch service and great customer loyalty programs
The NJ Group boasts one of the best loyalty programs in the hotel world: at the Concordia, numerous guests are regulars who have chosen to return time and time again. “Some guests spend as many as 150 nights a year at our hotel”, explains the manager. “We are obviously proud of this fact and, in order to show our appreciation, we make sure to pamper them.”
And, as confirmed by the hotel’s staff, customers greatly appreciate the attention paid to them. “Both those staying with us as well as those who participate at the events held in our numerous conference rooms appreciate both the small unexpected details as much as the necessary, more commonplace ones”, comments Giorgio Angioletti, Front Office Manager, “starting from impeccable cleaning.”
Cleaning and orderliness are the mission of Lelia Gheorghe, the housekeeper at the Concordia, who has been with NH for 7 years and who supervises quality in all areas. “The work of all of our staff is coordinated by means of a least a few briefings each day”, concludes the manager, “because always knowing what’s going on in the hotel is the best way to satisfy clients’ requests in a timely manner and, if possible, also anticipate them.”