Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. Things are slowly (not really) starting to open back up – have you gone out to a “non-essential” place recently? I still haven’t – not sure if I can. Still doing take out and order in. I just don’t know if my anxiety will let me be in full public yet lol. Mother’s Day weekend I was working at Target and almost had a panic attack because that was the first weekend for Texas to “open”. Woo.
My life has been very boring being at back at work and still working at Target on the weekends. Only positive is that it seems we are able to keep items on the shelves longer now (TP, cake mixes, canned goods, etc.) so that’s good right?
On 5/13, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) did a campaign called #TakeMeBack. They wanted people to talk about one of their best or most memorable hotel stays, what they did, etc. while tagging the hotel and using the hashtag TakeMeBack. I didn’t see many non-hotel people do this (and that hashtag has a huge following on IG that’s not hotel related) so I’m not sure how successful it was. But, it got me to thinking about what my most memorable one was.
Since I work in hotels, I remember a lot of hotel experiences because I’m always comparing and contrasting. My best work trip hotel is actually a tie between the Hyatt Regency New Orleans and the Hyatt Regency Austin. When I worked for Hyatt branded hotels, I went to the Hyatt Regency NOLA two summers in a row; once was for a week-long HYPOWER sales training and the other was for a Hyatt Sales Summit with all of the Directors of Sales. It’s a gorgeous hotel (HUGE) but just an overall great experience. I have great memories tied to that hotel because working for a Hyatt was one of the better hotel experiences I’ve had. The Hyatt Regency Austin was my most recent work trip, March 2020, for the GBTA Texas Education Day. One of the reasons I liked the hotel were the small touches they made to my pre-arrival and during my stay that made it that much better. It was also one of the last times I traveled before everything went to shit (this was THE weekend they announced SXSW was cancelled).
For my most memorable leisure/vacation hotel, I would have to say my trip to Portland, OR with my mom. We stayed at the Hilton Portland Downtown and it was a great stay. Room was a little small if I remember correctly but the location was perfect. We ate at the hotel’s restaurant a few times and it was great too! Again, more so about the memories I made while I stayed there (which is the point right?) than the actual hotel but I remember how pretty it was and the view we had was awesome (see below).
I think back at the hotels I’ve worked at and I hope that other people had great or memorable experiences there too – I know I did.
- Hilton College Station & Conference Center Hotel – banquet server for 2 years; start in the industry and made friends for life.
- Holiday Inn Express Denton off 380 – first front desk job and got a little exposure into the sales side of things (got exposure to the not so fun corporate/management side of things too lol).
- Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center – front desk; I was only there for a few months but it felt like forever because the people were actually like family.
- aloft Frisco | aloft Plano – first sales job; learned a lot here. Loved the hotel, brand was different and a difficult sell in the markets they were in. But I will always “Live Life aLoft”
- Hyatt House Dallas/Uptown – my first promotion/Director of Sales job as well as my first extended-stay hotel. This hotel was a cash-cow at the time but really opened my eyes to what my mentors trained me on and how I was able to use it to be successful. I also made a TON in bonus here
- Hyatt Place Dallas/Plano – used to be a competitor at the alofts so it was interesting being “behind enemy lines”. I actually really loved this hotel and the team there. I wish I wouldn’t have left so soon.
- Hyatt House Dallas/Frisco – new and beautiful hotel. Loved my sales team but management couldn’t get it together for it to be successful.
- Embassy Suites Dallas Love Field – first step into “full-service” sales; I thought I was going to be fired after my first 3 months lol. I messed up something pretty badly and got a lot of heat. But, it’s part of learning right? Hotel was successful, great location, and sold itself really. Don’t miss the commute though.
- Hampton Inn Frederick MD – stepped into a task force role (while still doing my other job at Embassy) and assisted in a management company conversion. Let me tell you, that’s messy. Neither side really wants to help either out so the people at the hotel are stuck in the middle. I came into a sales dept that had no sales team for 3 months and no active selling for a good while. But, it was probably the most fun I’ve had selling hotels. Hampton’s are great hotels and this one was unique because it had a bar/restaurant and 7,000 square feet of meeting space. It was cool selling something different and being in an entirely other state.
- Westin Stonebriar Hotel | Sheraton Stonebriar Hotel – even bigger step into full-service sales and now managing my segment at 2 properties. One thing about this hotel was that for the most part, everyone got along really well. We had our spats and moments but, we were all adults and respected the fact that most of us knew what we were doing. It was a very different dynamic than what I was used to and such a pleasant surprise. These were always “the hotels to be at”, so it was kind of a dream to step into them. And I can’t wait until renovations and updates are completed.
What are some of your #TakeMeBack experiences? I could go on forever about mine but figure you don’t care that much haha.
Working from home this week again (not fun when you don’t have a true office to setup in). Stay safe and have a great rest of your week!