160 members of staff, 24-hour service and a whole team of night staff make the Lowry Hotel tick.
But what makes a five-star hotel so special?
The difference between a standard hotel and a five-star establishment lies in the details, the services, and the commitment to excellence.
To shed light on what makes a hotel a true five-star experience, we spoke with Alistair Risk, the Head of Operations at the renowned Lowry Hotel.
A Commitment to Guest Service
Alistair believes that the key to distinguishing a five-star hotel lies in “exceptional and anticipated guest service.”
“Our brand values are iconic, intuitive, and individual; we carry this with us in all actions taken throughout the hotel from a new product offering all the way through to the way we work with guests.”
At the Lowry Hotel, this concept is put into practice with meticulous precision.
Alistair notes that the staff’s ability to identify a guest’s needs before they even realise it themselves is the foundation of their service.
He said “Our primary focus is the ability to anticipate our guest’s needs even before they themselves realise them.
“This involves implementing systematic methods, but equally importantly, fostering the intuitive abilities of our teams to consistently exceed guest expectations.”
This anticipation of guest preferences starts long before a guest arrives at the hotel.
The front office and reservations team gather comprehensive information about guests, including special occasions, dietary preferences, and more.
For repeat visitors or VIPs, this attention to detail is indispensable.
Alistair emphasises that the hotel strives to know everything possible about its guests to make their stay truly exceptional.
“Another key aspect is maintaining high-quality facilities that are consistently well-maintained.
Upon arrival, the focus on guests’ needs continues.
The team is trained to be intuitive and communicative, ensuring that each guest’s journey is seamless and joyful.
Information is shared among departments to ensure nothing is missed, making it seem like the staff possesses an uncanny ability to predict and fulfil guest desires.
Alistair said: “In terms of intuitiveness, we have an exceptional front office and reservations team.
“They gather comprehensive information about our guests prior to their arrival, ensuring we have the necessary details, such as birthdays, special occasions, the purpose of their visit, and even the names of their children.
“This thorough approach is essential, especially when accommodating VIPs and celebrities with specific and unique requirements.
“While we do have established procedures, we often go above and beyond these standards to ensure we consistently surpass our guest’s expectations.
“For example, if it’s a special occasion like an anniversary, we ensure the room is prepared with their preferred flowers and other details we’ve recorded about their preferences. This level of preparation is crucial.
“Additionally, when guests arrive, our team is well-trained to be anticipative and communicate effectively with each other.
“This ensures that as the guest progresses through their stay, no detail is missed.”
Alistair acknowledges that it’s not about being a mind reader but about paying attention and using the information gathered to provide the highest level of personalised service.
Lavish Accommodations with Attention to Detail
Luxurious accommodations are another hallmark of a five-star hotel.
Alistair points out that the Lowry Hotel’s rooms and suites have undergone recent refurbishments, showcasing an elegant, individual and up-to-date design.
One distinctive feature is the size of the rooms and suites, known for their spaciousness, adding a sense of opulence to the stay.
Alistair notes that even the standard rooms are spacious and feature luxurious furnishings.
Maintaining these high standards is no easy task, but the Lowry Hotel has a proactive maintenance program in place.
They perform regular maintenance to keep the rooms in impeccable condition, even before guests report issues.
This proactive approach ensures that the hotel’s assets are consistently well-maintained.
Embracing Technology and Sustainability
Alistair also highlights the Lowry Hotel’s embrace of technology to enhance the guest experience.
From chatbots to innovative mini-bar solutions, technology is seamlessly integrated into the guest journey while maintaining a human touch.
The hotel is exploring AI in various aspects to supplement their anticipative guest care.
One aspect of the Lowry Hotel that sets it apart is its commitment to sustainability.
The hotel sends zero waste to landfill and collaborates with the Carbon Zero Forum to measure its carbon footprint.
The emphasis on sustainability reflects an understanding of the hotel’s role in the community and its dedication to minimising its impact.
Beyond Rooms: A Wealth of Facilities
In addition to its accommodations, the Lowry Hotel boasts a range of facilities that further contribute to its five-star status. Notable features include:
- The Presidential Suite: A truly opulent offering with a sitting room, dining room, grand bedroom, and more.
- River Suites: Located on each floor, these suites have been recently refurbished to provide a high-end experience.
- Executive Floor: Offering guests additional luxury and services.
- River Restaurant, Lounge, and Bar: A culinary experience that complements the opulent surroundings.
- Banqueting Suites and Meeting Rooms: A flexible space suitable for conferences and banquets, with meeting rooms to meet various needs.
- RE:TREAT wellness centre: A unique spa with a focus on wellness technology at the forefront, it plays host to facilities such as a cryotherapy chamber, VR experience, meditation pod and flotation tank.
- Fitness Center: A well-equipped gym to meet the needs of health-conscious guests.
One of the many highlights of the hotel’s incredible facilities is the RE:TREAT Spa.
This really sets it apart from other spas in the city, with amazing features such as the cryo chamber, VR experience, and flotation tanks.
Alistair underscores the hotel’s dedication to maintaining high standards and ensuring all its facilities are up-to-date and well-maintained.
It’s evident that a five-star hotel is not merely about providing luxurious accommodations.
Alistair said: “In terms of our facilities, what sets The Lowry Hotel’s rooms and suites apart is the recent refurbishment.
“Our owners are committed to consistently upgrading the property, and all our suites and guest bedrooms have been refurbished.
“This keeps the quality at an incredibly high level and makes sure we’re always in style.
“The suites were recently entirely renovated, bringing in a more elegant and contemporary standard, including new artwork and designs.
“Another standout feature is the spaciousness of our bedrooms and suites, which are among the largest in Manchester.
“This provides a sense of opulence and luxury.”
Maintaining these high standards is an ongoing effort at the Lowry Hotel.
The Lowry Hotel’s dedication to excellence, anticipation of guest needs, integration of technology, and commitment to sustainability make it a shining example of a true five-star experience.
It’s not just about luxurious accommodations; it’s about going the extra mile, embracing technology, and being a responsible member of the community.