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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Smith Hotel’

These are people who care, they are great at what they do and are down right passionate about it.  It is hospitality.  And it is the greatest investment any business can make in customer loyalty.  On the heels of my experience last weekend, this is even more breath taking to me.  The Roger Smith Hotel didn’t spend an outrageous amount of money or time…and this gesture pictured below meant the world to me.  This photo they e-mailed me a week after I left was a brilliant stroke of follow up.  Simple, sincere, sweet.   I’ll continue to sing the praises for my permanant New York City hosts, the Roger Smith Hotel.  Thank you gentlemen.

Jamile and Paul work at the Roger Smith Hotel in mid-town Manhattan.  They were part of the extraordinary team of hosts for me weekend there in early February.  This was not a singular experience.  Roger Smith Hotel is hospitality.

 

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Every commercial for travel, wine, restaurants, tourism, etc. all end up being about lifestyle, hospitality and the extraordinary lengths to which the hosts will go to take care of you during your stay with them.  Once you have the essentials met, a comfortable bed, room essentials (iron, mini fridge, mini bar, toiletries, wifi, i-home …) it becomes a matter of not just making your stay comfortable, but extraordinary.  To me, this includes anticipating your needs, going the extra mile, and a kind of unassuming kindness that’s subtle and authentic.  If you’re heading to New York that place exists in mid-town Manhattan.  That place is the Roger Smith Hotel.

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The bar & restaurant, Lily’s, looks like an avant garde art gallery and feels like that artist’s family room.  The bartender Paul (see smiling bartender, Paul, pictured below) makes you feel like most great bartenders and hair dressers…you can tell him anything and he’ll not only have humor, compassion and words of wisdom, he’ll know exactly what cocktail to make for you.  I couldn’t get enough of the house plum infused gin and tonics he made for me.  Brunch on both days were delightful twists on traditional fare:  I had granola crusted french toast one day, vegetable frittata with fingerling potatoes the next …I’m not admitting to any morning cocktails.

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The weekend I was there also happened to be the start of Social Media week in New York:  A set of meet ups, openings, releases and social media focused gatherings that includes Twestival NYC and the regular Social Media Breakfasts at…you guessed, The Roger Smith Hotel.  So on Sunday, Mr. Hospitality (see Brian Simpson pictured at top) hosted a Tweet Up (#tweetuprsh)…and since @ChrisBrogan was also staying at the RSH for the week, we amassed an impressive gathering that went for over 12 hours including a raucous, impromptu Grammy watching party to close out the evening.  Some attendees include: @coffeewithian (going for 100 hugs by Feb 14 and documenting them all on twitter via i-phone), @sukifuller (completing her MBA), @emilyspearl, @rachelreuben, @nexeus (NYC DJ, U-Streamer), @robbin_g (East Coast wine goddess), @hvwinegiddess (managing the Hudson Valley Wine Competition this spring), @chazfrench (winner best T-Shirt at the meet up…ask him),  @davekerpen (ZBuzz Marketing), @sandraschubert, @robblatt, @nadiapayan, @daveyarmon, @chrisbrogan, @bsimi, and me…@winedivergirl.  Though there were 20+ tweeters there, if I missed you, please let me know and I’ll add you right into this list!

cbroganrshAn additional set of concierge services from RSH pointing me to fabulous shopping, restaurants, great bars and transportation back to the airport  made my weekend overflow with something beyond satisfaction.  New Yorkers are the friendliest f*cking city people ever (RSH and beyond).  While I was in NYC for an Art Opening at the Walter Wickiser Gallery, my time there was jam packed from end to end with the best of what New York could offer me in a 3 day weekend with only 10 hours sleep total.  I made the most of it.  Now it’s your turn.

Photos from my Blackberry Storm

P.S.  I didn’t even get to Henry, the RSH mascot (see below left…)  That will be it’s own post altogether!

Yamile, Chief Restaurant man at Lily’s…demonstrating hospitality pictured below right.

For the best photographic pictorial : visit @BSimi ‘s Flicker page.

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Proof of ROI in Social Media:

That’s for the boss’ bottom line.  But I think the real ROI isn’t measured by the bottom line.  The most valuable investment we all make in social networking is our time and ourselves.  Without those two things invested…and invested authentically, there is no real return.  How do you measure and put a dollar value on connecting, shared information, generating ideas, developing conversations?  I’m sure there are social scientists that will study and follow these activities and endeavor to measure the trail and where it leads.  And as soon as the numbers are in black and white, I think the measure will have already missed the essence of the most valuable return from social networking.

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In this particular case, however, I have been VERY lucky to have a short, direct trail with a couple people in the chain to point to a measurable outcome.  Brian Simpson, (F & B at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City) and Shannon Marshall,  (Northeast Divisional Manager for Hahn Family Wines ).  Through the power of social media, twitter and 12seconds.tv, Brian & I have connected & have been posting 12 second videos of the RSH daily lunch special paired with wine.  We started in early November.  By request, I connected Brian with Shannon & by early December we have the menu above :  5 wines from Hahn Family Wines by the glass with 3 more by the bottle.

For me the return is in the relationships and connections I am allowed to cultivate world-wide through social networking.  The bottom line ROI is a secondary result I am grateful for…but not my primary pursuit.  The connections are.  Which brings me back to wine.  I feel the same way about sharing a bottle with someone.  Happy New Year everyone.  Cheers.

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Maybe it’s me, but there’s something special about, um, the Special of the Day.  Ok, maybe that’s redundant, but listening to the waiter offer his practiced listing of foods, flavors and preparation always makes my mouth water, even if I don’t order the Special.  But there’s something else;  it is the Chef’s pick of what’s best today, what’s fresh, something new, fun and different from what’s on the menu all the time.  And it is only for today.  So the expiration underscores the ephemeral nature of the moment:  today’s lunch.

Over the past week I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a 12Seconds.TV video of the daily lunch specials at New York City’s Roger Smith Hotel.  As I watch at 9 am PST, delicious preparations inspire me to look forward to my own Napa lunch, fantasizing about pan seared lamb chops with carrots, chanterelles and figs.  So I started responding with a video reply recommending a wine pairing.  It is actually great fun.  They post today’s special and I find a wine I’d order with it.  I’m in Napa, California.  They are in New York City.  But we’re bridging the gap with our passion for food and wine, sharing along the way and I hope, adding value to people’s daily food experiences.  We’re focusing on the senses, the visual, and your imagination, using a couple social media tools to connect us all.  To what end?  I hope to heighten the experiences we have together in person, over a shared meal.  And maybe world peace too.loresmerlotwglasstilt2

Today I recommended our 2005 Bin 36 Merlot (Hahn Estates in partnership with Brian Duncan of Bin 36, Chicago)  with their pan seared lamb chop. You’ve got to watch the 12 Second video to enjoy it.  Then there’s a video reply just beneath offering a wine pairing.  Not much detail in the 12 seconds, but you know you have time for it.  I always have time for my 12Seconds friends.  It is one of my favorite ways to connect.

I’ve said it before, but am astounded the way technology really does build relationships and bring people together.  It’s not the cold, impersonal tool once dreaded.  Web 2.0 and beyond, with user generated content and participation is able to bridge the gaps of time and space that went neglected before.

I’m meeting a friend for lunch and will relish the specials and our hour of conversation and just taking a moment to breathe.

Now I can’t wait for lunch.

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