Wednesday, February 2, 2011
While most industrious Americans have been on the job for hours, I’m piled up in a fluffy bed at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood Mississippi. The assignment is to insure our guests receive the best possible hotel experience and I’m here to make sure they get it.
I’ve been a hotel princess for most of my life and have the credentials to prove it. I've slept in some of the best beds on the planet. My passion for hotels has taken me to such world class properties as the Four Seasons Istanbul, the Peninsula in Hong Kong, the Oberoi Amarvillas overlooking the Taj Mahal and the Oriental in Bangkok. While most of my skills have been honed at the high end of the hospitality spectrum, I’ve also spent my fair share of room nights in no-name hotels where no four and five -star studded plaques hung behind the front desk. In the most dire situations, I’ve used my creative powers to devise elaborate schemes to sleep without touching the sheets or to not let my feet touch the floor (flip flops are our friends). I know what makes a hotel a first class experience for its guests.
You can only imagine my delight when I was asked to head the team at the newly-opened Alluvian a few years back. The stars were in alignment and all was right with the universe because at last I had a job that seemed created just for me. At last I could worry about the thread count of the sheets and the weight of the towels…and get paid for it.
Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the Alluvian is a 54 room luxury boutique hotel that has been honored as one of the 100 Best Hotels in America and regularly makes the Condé Nast Gold List as one of the best hotels in the world. Along with the talented home-grown hospitality professionals at the Alluvian, I am dedicated to keeping it that way.
On this cold winter morning Room 217 has my full attention. From the nick on the door to the spray in the shower head, no flaw or potential flaw escapes my attention or my notebook -- especially when it involves bedding. The Alluvian is renowned for the comfort and luxuriousness of its bedding…and our team doesn’t want to take any chances. This week we’re making a major decision to change the fabric on our duvet covers as the original fabric is no longer available. The sample cover has been custom-made by a new supplier and must be road- tested by someone…and that someone is me. The color looks right; the fabric is lovely, but will it hold up and meet Alluvian standards? Just imagine being given the assignment of rolling on, jumping on, wadding up and throwing the duvet cover on the floor. Its serious business and I take it as such. Beth Williams, the ever-organized and always efficient hotel manager, called first thing this morning to make sure I had fulfilled my obligation. Expert housekeepers Charlene and Pat, came in the room to pull, tug, check for wrinkles and see how it looks on the bed. Betty in the laundry department will wash and dry it before it gets another work-out from me tonight. Me? I’m still in bed working.
Leona Helmsley, the famously obsessive New York hotel mogul, was prominently featured in all advertising for her flagship hotel, The Palace. Above a regal photograph of Leona standing proudly before the gilded grand staircase, the headline proclaimed “The Queen Stands Guard at the Palace.” Well, we don’t have a queen at the Alluvian…but we do have a self-proclaimed hotel princess who doesn’t stand guard at the door…."The Princess Lives In the Rooms”.
Come see us at the Alluvian!
Stay at the internationally acclaimed Alluvian Hotel. Take a class at the Viking Cooking School. Eat in our historic fine dining restaurant, Giardina’s. Treat yourself to a luxurious service at the Alluvian Spa. Experience the Mississippi Delta. The Alluvian, 318 Howard Street, Greenwood, MS 38930. 866-600-5201. http://www.thealluvian.com/.