When business travellers to Sydney want a hotel that knows what they need, there’s just one choice.

“Good Morning! Mr Rogers,” the cheerful Ms Patel greeted me with all the affection of a mother welcoming her son back from war. “You’re a tad early (I arrived at around 7 am, hardly the time to expect my room to be ready) but “you leave your suitcase here and I’ll get you a key you could use to freshen up in the gym (she’s seen my muscles though the suit) and you could enjoy a coffee before you rush out for meetings. When you’re back, the bags will be in your room.”

When I returned, 1107 was a “home way from home”. 

It’s amazing what can be achieved in a small space! Spotless, the room is ideal for a small family, a couple or even a small team of colleagues. A welcome note sits near a neat tray of fresh fruit exquisitely cut.

The following morning, down to the Two Forks restaurant (I never discovered why they call it that), I made straight for the organic corner for a bowl of fresh muesli, plump apricots, mixed berries, a dollop of fat-free yoghurt and a splash of whole milk. Marvellous Maurice greets guests and guides them to their table when he isn’t darting between his post and the kitchen, stopping on the way only to take the occasional order. His warm, friendly banter is welcome on a cold morning like this.

Built to Serve

Maurice is an essential. The essence of service is not a flame you can hide or fake. He has it and it burns brightly.

“Coffee, Mr. Rogers?” I look up at the smiling Kristina who I suspect manages the restaurant among other things. As we chat, I feel, through her, the invisible but strong energy of a man with whom the buck stops — the General Manager of the Novotel Sydney Parramatta.

A consummate professional, among Kristina’s greater accomplishments may be her ability to convey mood. Eager to improve, she enquired about my stay so far, the quality of the room and service, the cleanliness, appointment, facilities etc and if there was any way, my breakfast experience could be improved.

I ask to be shown the conference rooms and a few other guest rooms which is swiftly arranged to leave me with a fairly good impression that any small-medium scale Meeting, Incentive, Convention & Exhibition (MICE) organiser would agree with.

Leading Light

The following morning, I step out of the lift and into the warm handshake of Michael Daviss, the hotel’s General Manager and hero to his staff.

My career spanning only more then 2000 General Managers leaves me in no doubt that the effervescent Mr Daviss is a clear credit to the industry. Since most guests don’t meet the GM of hotels they live in, I won’t linger.

Having said that, the essence of hospitality rests in and ONLY in the Guest Experience of which the General Manager alone is the Chief Architect. So a mention of my chance meeting with the GM I hope, won’t be seen here as — irrelevant.

The spirit of excellence lives only at the heart of humble learning. Mr Daviss knows that he is only as good as the experience he provides to his next satisfied guest.

We talk about how best the hotel’s offerings might be improved to embrace quality markets of the Far East. We speak of people, personalities, cross-cultures, how to exceed guests’ expectations and stay quality-competitive. We speak of guests’ dietary requirements and the importance of being earnest. We speak as professionals and as people.

The car awaits to take me to another hotel and on the way and I must shake hands with the gallant Mr Daviss and bid adieu to his team.

For additional information please visit www.novotelparramatta.com.au

Hong Kong’s Business Leaders share market and interest intelligence in the pages of HKMVC 2016