Renowned worldwide for offering superior service to the most discerning of guests, the Villa Hosts at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts provide discreet yet attentive service, 24 hours a day. Otherwise known as butlers, Villa Hosts are responsible for meeting the needs of Banyan Tree’s guests from across the globe. Whether it’s on the sandy shores of Central Vietnam or in the cultural heartland of China, Banyan Tree’s Villa Hosts aim to meet and exceed guests’ expectations, proving that the small, yet thoughtful, signature Banyan Tree touches are what make all the difference.
Becoming an intuitive Villa Host
Recognised for delivering warm, personalised service, Villa Hosts at Banyan Tree undergo rigorous training; “We are like ambassadors of the resort, we can be a receptionist, concierge, cashier, buggy driver or operator – it’s a complete resort job rolled into one” says Sirapat Patumanont from Banyan Tree Samui. Many of the Villa Hosts have been with Banyan Tree for years, progressing from Resort Host and learning the necessary skills along the way. Lee Li, Villa Host at Banyan Tree Lijiang, China says; “Five years of front of house experience has equipped me with the tools to anticipate our guest’s needs. It comes down to the art of being invisible, yet trying to second-guess their requirements.” Pham Thi Mai Nguyen, Villa Host at Banyan Tree Lang Co, in Central Vietnam comments; “To become a Villa Host, you need to have natural people skills as well as years of on-the-job-training to build a solid understanding of what is expected, plus practical knowledge. The focus is always on making sure we’re one step ahead as well as establishing an emotional connection with our guest so we can create memorable and impactful experiences that last a lifetime.” Avin Athanikal, Villa Host at Banyan Tree Al Wadi, in the United Arab Emirates adds; “I have been with Banyan Tree for six years and over this time have developed an innate understanding of what different types of guests from a variety of nationalities tend to require and prefer. As soon as I meet each guest I quickly assess their personal needs so I can provide them with the best tailor-made service and create a memorable stay”.
Pleasure to be of Service
Being at guests’ beck and call, Villa Hosts are multi-functioning and multi-tasking all of the time; wearing different hats over the course of a day, whether it be a tour guide, nanny, barista, driver, concierge, a friendly listening ear and much more. Day-to-day services include packing and unpacking luggage and shopping, creating destination dinners such as a gourmet picnic on a sandbank or an in-villa barbeque, organising day tours to explore the local culture; and delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as the perfect spot for a marriage proposal or celebrations to help guests surprise and delight their loved ones. Andrea Berenguer Chatoyan, Villa Host at Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Mexico comments;“Being a Villa Host involves much more than just greeting the guest and checking them in. You have to engage with them and become an integral part of their trip, whether it’s arranging a bespoke dinner aboard our traditional Ixchel boat, booking a spa treatment or organising a private tour of the nearby ancient pyramids.” Theerzpe Peezorz, Villa Host at Banyan Tree Samui says; “Our aim is to offer highly personalised service. We not only deliver their breakfast, we make it our job to know exactly how they take their tea and which spread they like on their toast. We are the brand ambassadors for Banyan Tree and ensure we are on hand at all times to assist with every need from the moment our guests arrive until they leave.”
Going the Extra Mile
From a forgotten travel item, to a favourite book for an evening read, or a thoughtful last-minute gift for a loved one, no request is too small or unattainable, no matter the hour of the day. “One day, a guest lost her phone which was coincidentally a present from her husband. I stayed with her all night helping her retrace her steps around the resort and finally, we found it,” comments Wilaiporn Sukhalang from Banyan Tree Samui. Villa Hosts go above and beyond; offering guests memorable experiences as well as dealing with any issues such as lost luggage, or illness. Lee Li from Banyan Tree Lijiang remembers; “We once had an American family staying in the resort. It was their first time visiting China and I’d learnt from their tour guide that they were finding it difficult adjusting to the different culture. I made it my priority to ensure that by the time they left their outlook had changed. This involved ordering their favourite food, playing games with their daughter and doing everything possible to make sure they were relaxed and comfortable. On departure, they told me that Banyan Tree is somewhere they could trust and they looked forward to visiting Lijiang again.” Wayan Andi Krisnatha. Villa Host at Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali adds another example;“We recently had a couple staying who were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. I took the time to research their likes and dislikes, including their favourite cuisine and their music preferences. I then set up a beautiful table on the cliff top complete with candles, flowers and framed photos that their friends had provided. Everything was meticulously prepared, from the bespoke menu to the live band. They were so surprised that we’d managed to find all of their favourite things, the lady even cried.”
To experience the personalised service offered by the Villa Hosts at Banyan Tree, please visit www.banyantree.com