Services Provided: Brand transition support, service assessments, hiring support, service coaching
Proper Hospitality is a group of innovators in the industry. Founded by the same people that started Viceroy Hotel Group, they are dedicated to creating a strong hotel concept from the ground up. One of their first steps was expanding their Avalon Hotel brand beyond its original Beverly Hills location. Part of this expansion included taking on the daily operations of their owned properties from another management company.
Urchin Workshop was able to provide support during this transition to maintain a high level of guest satisfaction, while helping employees to learn about their company culture. To do this, we first worked to understand how Proper was different from other hotel groups so we could communicate this to employees in small, collaborative sessions. One big message was how much freedom each employee now had to customize their interactions to be truly engaged in the guest experience. After, we worked with each department individually to provide coaching to individuals so they could stay focused on providing that same intuitive service. Employees were also able to provide valuable feedback to their leadership to help improve the operation overall and support the brand vision.
Services Provided: Concept development, creative direction, guest programming, amenity selection, service training
Urchin Workshop was engaged to help develop the flagship property of this new and innovative hospitality group. Designed by Roman and Williams, Greydon House combines the warmth of a village inn with the service experiences of a luxury boutique hotel. From designing cocktail programming to curating in-room amenities, Urchin Workshop touched every aspect of the guest experience.
With only twenty rooms, we were able to have a bit more fun with the guest programming. Instead of just having an afternoon wine and cheese hour in the bar, the hotel also offers aperitif cocktail cart service direct to each room as guests are getting ready for dinner.
Urchin Workshop also curated a unique mix of guest amenities that are truly intuitive to the quintessential Nantucket getaway. Think: beach bags complete with complimentary sunscreen sticks, waterproof & touchscreen-capable iPhone cases, Ursa Major face wipes for a quick refresh and portable bluetooth speakers (something other hotels won't let you take with you).
For employees, we engaged GANT as the uniform label for the property. With a history of heralding the preppy look, we took their pieces and styled them in a unique way to offer contemporary, yet classic uniform ensembles with the versatility to allow individual employees to accessorize with nautical bandanas and choices of layered outerwear.
Overall the service at Greydon House effortlessly blurs the line between a quaint bed & breakfast and a full-service property - offering a new and innovative style of accommodation on Nantucket.
Services Provided: Creative direction, branding support, project management
We're currently writing this story on the streets of Portland (and beyond) as we speak. Stay tuned for updates. In the meanwhile, check out the awesome things Bamboo Sushi is doing here.
Services Provided: Pre-opening logistics, critical path support, guest-facing content, amenity selection, training program development and implementation, hiring support, service guide creation, music curation, in-room technology design, SOP development
What started as simple training support for Highgate Hotel’s newest luxury property, The Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City, ended up becoming a long-term project focused on multiple areas of both the employee and guest experience.
As hotel openings can sometimes be the most confusing and stressful time for the first wave of staff, we made sure their on-boarding experience was filled with exciting programming and deeper involvement in pre-opening tasks. The program we designed went beyond basic technical training to include a strong focus on a culture of service. We curated a team of amazing thought leaders to produce a training program that included:
-Intuitive service sessions to help colleagues truly anticipate guest needs and connect with their experience on a much deeper level.
-Storytelling workshops to ensure that all employees could articulate the rich history of the hotel as well as give relevant concierge recommendations in a story-like way.
-Training from renowned communications strategist, Richard Greene, to ensure the Sales team's own marketing language matched the actual guest experience.
This innovative approach manifested itself in the guest experience as well. Urchin Workshop brought the narrative together curating the musical styling of the hotel’s public spaces, amenity selection and creating content for in-room guest tablets.
Many companies are looking to develop creative, guest-facing content to provide an amazing customer experience. This can come in many forms including hotel room tablets featuring custom concierge recommendations, local area information, etc. Today’s guest tends to find much of this information on their own, so how do you innovate when it comes to content? For The Knickerbocker hotel, we produced a series of meditation videos to give their guests a truly unique in-room wellness experience. We teamed up with Jenna Gessay, an intuitive consultant from California, to ensure the content was poignant and powerful. These videos, combined with extensive fitness programming and a fully equipped workout facility, offer guests a holistic approach to wellness that's hard to find in an urban property.
Then we thought, "why not have both guests and employees share in the same content experience?" So the videos were designed to be shown, not only to guests via in-room tablets, but also to employees in a private meditation room they can hop into during a quick break during their shift.
Services Provided: Training program development and facilitation, leadership coaching, service assessments, leadership keynote presentation
Modus Hotels was recently named one of the top 10 mid-sized companies to work for in Washington D.C. Needless to say, their company culture is far from broken. But that’s due, in part, to their dedication to ongoing learning. Modus Hotels engaged Urchin Workshop to put together a program that develops all levels of management into true leaders.
The program manifested itself in the form of short and effective, goal-driven workshops, rather than the lengthy off-site meetings most companies are used to. Also, by adding follow-up workshops 6-8 weeks apart, leaders are held accountable for their success metrics, but also given the opportunity to share best practices among their various hotels. To ensure understanding, we also conducted two-hour, personalized coaching sessions between workshops. As each leader received this one-on-one attention, they were able to refine their leadership skills to get tips on how to execute their action plans.
Phase 2 of our work with Modus is developing an innovative educational program for new colleagues. Rather than the technical checklists and policy-heavy orientations the industry is used to, Modus will be using a training guide that includes content relevant to today's workforce: links to engaging web content along with daily exercises to bring the Ethos of the company and the training program together.