A letter of complaint from a guest used to cut me to the core. Then I read that Claridges, who are about as iconic as they get, employed someone whose sole job was to answer letters of complaint. That cheered me up no end. If Claridges, where everything is perfect, gets moaners perhaps I shouldn’t mind so much.
Nowadays no-one ever bothers to write in. If they’ve got something to moan about they just post something on TripAdvisor, for the world to see. But sometimes, when things have gone splendidly, they take the trouble to tell the world about that too. Wayne, at the Damson Dene Hotel is good at making things go splendidly. I was there every day over Christmas and New Year, but Wayne seemed to be there every hour, usually making someone laugh, with the help of his dog Fly. Because of the rapport which Wayne has with the guests he gets lots of 5 Star reviews on TripAdvisor and in an idle moment, I thought I’d check how he has fared against the competition. Not too badly as it turns out. Last year Damson Dene got 175 five star reviews. The iconic Claridges got only 145. When you think that Claridges has 200 bedrooms and 420 staff, whereas the Damson Dene has only 40 bedrooms and 23 staff, I think that’s pretty good going on the part of Wayne and his team. In fact I’ve yet to find a hotel that has beaten Damson Dene. They did better than all the other hotels in the Lake District, whatever the star rating (see link here).
I think it’s because it’s not just the staff who smile – the dog does too.