The property is undergoing a $30 million dollar renovation project including guestrooms, meeting areas, pools and the Spa Grande. The last hotel renovation took place in 2009. Management recently decided that it’s time for a new face-lift to cater to today’s demanding traveler’s technological and esthetic needs.
Along with this physical renovation, the Executive Committee also felt that guest service would undergo a “renovation” of its own. The wanted to enhance the guest experience delivered by over 1400 team members working to create extraordinary lifetime memories for its guests.
This idea brought about a Star Wars themed, multi-layered communication and change management strategy that can be summed up as the “3 F’s Recipe for Success” – The Force, The Fun, and The Future
The value proposition to guests of Grand Wailea stems from the impeccable service provided by the team members “Jedis” who work tirelessly to ensure a luxury guest experience. Many Jedis have been serving guests in the Grand Wailea galaxy for almost 25 years when the resort opened for business in 1991. They are The Force in which all things happen at Grand Wailea. Providing enhanced tools to their team of “Jedis” to assist them in better managing their time, improving their existing processes, and delivering higher levels of personalized service to their guests was a key priority for 2015. The leaders “Jedi Masters” knew that introducing this caliber of organizational change and new technology was not going to be an easy task; nevertheless this did not stop them from moving forward with the plan to implement technological changes to better serve the guests and the bottom-line.
Kristi Millhiser, Director of Learning and Development, knew right away that by introducing fun to the Recipe, the organization would culturally accept and seamlessly buy-in to the change. She introduced The Star Wars theme to serve as the foundation of a six-week communication campaign including movie posters with Executive Committee members dressing up as Star Wars characters. From pre-implementation, to training in the “Jedi Academy, of course” and post-implementation, the Star Wars theme proved to be an infectious concept adopted by all departments. The theme created a buzz throughout the resort with team members getting excited to know, hear and learn more about the arrival of this change. It expedited the cultural acceptance of the change in a fun, lighthearted and understandable fashion.
Leadership realized that in order to enhance the guest experience, staff productivity, and increase efficiencies, they would need to partner with a software solution. Newmarket, Service Optimization solution, HotSOS, was selected to work in achieving these results. HotSOS is a SAAS solution designed to automate guest requests, incidents, and preventive maintenance orders to improve communications amongst departments, increase productivity, and reduce inefficiencies. HotSOS Housekeeping automates the housekeeping daily operations to increase the yield of clean rooms resulting in an enhanced guest experience.
Leadership was pleased with the 3F’s recipe results. The FORCE “staff” was willing to learn the FUTURE “HotSOS” with the help of FUN “Star Wars Theme.” Kristi says: “The feedback I have received from our team regarding HotSOS has been overwhelmingly positive. They realize that this solution will help them facilitate their daily work and personalize the guest experience.”
Tom Donivan, General Manager, said: “We are really happy with this partnership and can confidently say that today, with HotSOS, we can confirm that we are not leaving any guest behind.”
The Grand Wailea
Located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui, The Grand Wailea is one of Hawaii’s grandest and most cherished resorts. The Grand Wailea sits on 40 acres of lush waterfalls and tropical surroundings overlooking the southern shores of the island, with an unrivaled beachfront location on Wailea Beach. The 780 guestroom and suite resort features Spa Grande, an internationally renowned wellness spa; Wailea Canyon Activity Pool with multiple separate pools, seven water slides, and the world’s first water elevator. The resort’s Humuhumunukunukuapua’a thatched-roof restaurant floats on its own island lagoon with marvelous sunset views. The extensive art collection from artists including Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, Andy Warhol to name a few, gives the resort a feel of an art fantasy. Since opening in 1991, the Grand Wailea consistently ranks among the world’s best resorts.