A TASTE OF THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas has no casino, and its 23rd oor bar has probably the best view of any on the strip, while the hotel is always around the top in terms of rankings on TripAdvisor. When the hotel opened a few years back, it was the most “techie” property of the group. We asked Donald Bowman – General Manager – what has been learned since then.

IT ALWAYS TAKES A LITTLE TIME TO WEIGH UP HOW THE GUEST IS EXPERIENCING THE HOTEL, AND THAT’S WHEN YOU CAN FINE- TUNE IT

Donald Bowman

Donald Bowman – General Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

That things need to be simpler. I remember when we opened we established a quality circle meeting at the hotel which we still do today, where we review every single piece of guest feedback that we have received in the week, with a large group of managers from every department, and I ask one question, which is “If there was a problem, what are we going to do differently to prevent that ever happening again?” It’s not “How did we appease the guest?’, or ‘Did we x it in that room at that time?” It’s what we are doing to prevent that happening to any guest in any room in any circumstance again. It sometimes takes a long time to get the answer to that, but that’s this continual improvement and investment in the quality experience.

I remember we were getting a lot of that feedback initially from our guests saying they couldn’t open the drapes or turn on the TV. There was in fact a remote control with an “on” button, and the drape button said open or close, but still, it wasn’t traditional, so, we created a short guide on how to use the technology in the room. It always takes a little time to weigh up how the guest is experiencing the hotel, and that’s when you can ne-tune it. And that was a very clear message.

First of all, we thought that at least we could explain it, but then the guest still had to work to read and understand how to use the technology, so it is a matter of just simplifying.

On the other hand, a lot of what we did was fantastic. The rst time you use your key and enter your guestroom, the guestroom sequence starts. The drapes had been closed, the lights off and the TV off, to save energy. Then when you check in and use the key for the rst time, the lights come on, the TV turns on, and the drapes open to reveal this incredible view. That’s where technology really helps us with the guest experience.


Photo: Donald Bowman, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas