1. What is the strategy of the hotel? Is it appropriate? Is it possible?
The strategy of the hotel is based on importing an Asian-style of luxury focused on providing a high level ofpersonalized service through its Personal Valets (VPs), in so doing differentiating itself from other luxury hotels in the area. We feel it’s appropriate in the sense that you’re offering a newservice and environment to consumers in the luxury goods and services segment, though the cross-cultural risks of bringing the largely unknown service to the American public are great, which Portman shouldbe able to overcome. Yes, it’s possible with a good marketing plan, informative advertising, which should differentiate the hotel from competitors but also inform clients on how the PV system works.2. What does this strategy require of the hotel’s work force?
Personal valets would need to be completely customer-focused, have initiative and learn to predict customer needs and beflexibility in tasks. It required long-term commitments from the PVs, ensuring stability. The rest of the hotel would need to be in constant contact with the PVs, understand their own role and those of the PVsand constantly be coordinating to improve the hotel’s operations.
3. Do the Human Resources policies in the Portman Hotel promote the behaviour needed to implement this strategy?
Theevidence provided in the case leads us to conclude in favour and against some policies:
Yes – by providing employees written contracts, a handbook with responsibilities, as well as extras such asrewards for employee of the month and year. The extensive selection process also ensured the best candidates got the jobs.
No – low pay considering importance of PVs, endless responsibilities and nochance of promotion were all bad ideas. There were also poor channels for feedback and lack of training for PVs who form the base of the hotel’s differentiation.
4. Is the position of Personal...