Service stars shine at hotel industry awards

Restaurant employee Helen Goh won a gold award for service, while engineer Ad Broere won an award for being a gracious hotel guest.
Restaurant employee Helen Goh won a gold award for service, while engineer Ad Broere won an award for being a gracious hotel guest.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Honours for those who went out of their way to help - and hotel guests for being gracious

It was a traveller's nightmare. A tourist from Melbourne arrived at the Festive Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa, only to find she had made a reservation for the wrong dates.

Instead of turning her away from the fully-booked hotel, guest services executive Ivy Chui Peik Shin, 26, called several other hotels in the area, booked a room and arranged for a taxi to take the woman there. She even called the other hotel later to ensure all was well.

Over the past two days, hotel staff like Ms Chui have been honoured at two award ceremonies for staff who go the extra mile.

Recounting last year's incident, Ms Chui - who won the top accolade for the hotel sector at the Excellent Service Award on Monday - said: "I thought I should assist the guest as much as I could."

The annual ceremony, organised by the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA), was held at the University Cultural Centre and honoured more than 3,000 exemplary service professionals from 104 hospitality companies.

Mr Albert Teo, SHA president, urged the industry to "up the ante" in service delivery. With guests increasingly sharing their experiences on social media, a post about a good service encounter can reach a wide audience almost immediately.

Meanwhile, 87 service professionals were given Service Gold Awards by the SHA and Singapore Kindness Movement yesterday at a separate ceremony at Raffles Hotel.

Among them was Madam Helen Goh, a senior captain at a restaurant in Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre. Earlier this year, she encountered two diners whose toddler had a fever and was crying. She saw the family back to their room, collected the bill as well as food from the buffet for them and got an ice pack for their son.

"When I saw their son, it reminded me of my own son," said Madam Goh, who declined to give her age.

Five hotel guests were also given awards for being gracious.

Mr Ad Broere, 47, an oil and gas engineer from Holland, knows the staff of Orchard Hotel by name, from the doorman to the general manager, and takes them chocolates or cookies for Christmas.

In the past four years, he has stayed at the hotel when visiting Singapore for work, for about five to six weeks each time.

"They are like a family to me. They treat me very well, so it's my way of showing appreciation to them," he said.

Dr William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, said the purpose of the Awards was to thank those who deliver exceptional service, and spur others to do the same.

He said: "If every year, we come together to celebrate the gold standard for service... we will eventually create a culture of excellent service."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2015, with the headline 'Service stars shine at hotel industry awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe