A return to this historic, 75 room property overlooking the Pacific in the picturesque town of Carmel. Mary Crowe, its capable General Manager, had asked me to re-visit her team to conduct an Excellent Service Workshop.
THE BOISSET COLLECTION, NAPA, SONOMA AND FRANCE
With owner, Jean-Charles Boisset and his team of 42 directors, leading an Executive retreat for the week at Deloach Winery in Sonoma focusing on service initiatives for the company.
"Let us thank so much for the talent, style and incredible intuitive personality of Eric Weiss; for being, over the last 3 days and before...such an amazing catalyst to enlighten us in so many ways!”Jean-Charles Boisset, Proprietor, The Boisset Collection
CALIFORNIA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
I was honored to be with Disney and The Deepak Chopra Institute as guest speaker at the California Travel Association’s annual conference. Held at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, my topic was "SERVICE EPIPHANIES, and with an audience of 500 people, it was wonderfully challenging to integrate my interactive techniques of involving everyone in the presentation.
Eric Weiss, President/Founder
WALDORF - ASTORIA, NEW YORK CITY
Over the last year and a half, I have worked with forty food and beverage managers from this historic, New York City hotel.The workshop series included restaurants, banquets, in-room dining and catering sales focusing on finding the right balance between the property's iconic elements and a relevant service style. I'll be returning to the hotel at the beginning of October to guide the team of La Chine, the Waldorf's exclusive, new Chinese restaurant.
GOVERNOR’S DINNER AT THE WHITE HOUSE
After tasting approximately 50 wines from Long Island, I submitted my top 12 recommendations for wines to be used at various events at The White House. Several of my recommendations were used immediately afterwards at the Governor’s Dinner.
A return visit to the wonderful Golden Door in Escondito, California where I spent the week working with Executive Chef, Greg Frey, Jr. and the food and beverage team. Together we re-vamped the sequence of service, transitioning it to become more relevant to the new direction of the Spa/Resort. In anticipation of the "Women of the World" conference scheduled for October, numerous renovation projects have been scheduled.
GOLDEN DOOR SPA, ESCONDIDO, CALIFORNIA
SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY, WINE COUNTRY, SONOMA, CA
"Thank you for delivering such a positive and engaging workshop to begin this new year.You were able to adapt quickly and lead a powerful, riveting two days with our Realtors and staff.We are all looking forward to our next workshops." Mike Bryant, General Manager, Sotheby's International Realty, Sonoma County
TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB, TOKYO, JAPAN
The Tokyo American Club, one of the most prestigious private clubs in the world, was established in 1928. I have the honor of working for six weeks with all of the departments; food and beverage, member services, activities, concierges, etc. Thank you Brian Marcus who championed my selection over the last 18 months.
“Mr. Weiss delivered his Service Excellence training to more than 100 employees, managers, and directors at our Club over a six week period. It was our first time working with a trainer from outside of Japan. He is an energetic trainer with a deep understanding of excellence in hospitality. We are sure that our organization can sustain the best practices he shared with us. "Anthony L. Cala, General Manager, The Tokyo-American Club
MARTINHAL RESORT, SAGRES, PORTUGAL
10 days spent with the executive and front line teams of this brilliantly conceptualized property in the Algarve region. The owners have opened two other hotels in the last months, with a third to come in Lisbon.
KORBEL WINERY, SONOMA, CA
Working with the entire hospitality team of this renowned winery, opened in 1882. It was an extremely productive week with both management and front line staff thanks to Camille Urmini, the Hospitality Manager whom I met last year during the Service Excellence Workshop series for businesses throughout Sonoma County."Thank you again for such an inspiring, insightful and invigorating workshop at Korbel. The buzz of our learning is all about the winery and I couldn't be more thrilled."Camille Urmini, Director of Hospitality, Korbel Winery
MASSACHUSSETTS CONVENTION CENTER AUTHORITY, BOSTON, MA
Signature Boston's Excellence Service Workshop which I led with 35 of the executives who lead the largest convention center in the Northeast.Thank you David Gibbons, Executive Director for championing this worthy initiative."Eric recently facilitated a Service Excellence workshop for Signature Boston. It was masterfully conducted and helped everyone re-connect with the commitment to excel at not just one's job but at everything one does. Eric has a unique ability to engage each and every member of the group making for a very special experience."David Gibbons, Executive Director, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
LADERA, SAINT LUCIA, WEST INDIES
Ladera is the only hotel in the Caribbean ever rated #1 in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler's "Best of the Best." I had the pleasure of working with its restaurant team for two weeks. A wonderful project with tangible results moving forward.
A month on Maui. For many, it's the dream of a lifetime. I've just finished consulting with KIMOS, LEILANI'S, DUKES AND HULA GRILL, four of the 13 restaurants in this dynamic and successful group. You know when a property that usually does over a 1,000 covers daily, closes for its employees' Christmas party and celebrates with a full day on Kauai, that they must be doing something right. I only hope that Ross Anderson, the visionary VP of Operations who asked me to come, will be more than satisfied with the results. I know I am. Mahalo.
TWENTY TWO LIBERTY RESIDENCES, BOSTON, MA
A full week of Service Excellence Workshops with the General Manager, Concierges, Doormen, Bellmen and Director of Facilities at this exclusive residential building in the Seaport area of Boston. Thank you David Gibbons, long-term friend and colleague. for recommending me.
As this iconic hotel nears an extensive, multi-year renovation, I was asked to present a workshop for the W.O.W. group (Women of the Waldorf) held at The Lotte Palace Hotel in New York. Its theme, "In or out of the Waldorf, Creating your Own Legacy," was a topic that was timely and relevant.
APPLEWOOD INN AND SPA, SONOMA, CALIFORNIA
A return visit to Applewood Inn and Spa in Sonoma to help transition the new restaurant "Pinoli" with Executive Chef, Christian Darcoli, whom I had recommended from previous visits to his restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cucina Rustica showcases dishes from Liguria using local resources.
COMSTOCK WINES, SONOMA, CALIFORNIA
Working with the entire team of Comstock Wines in Sonoma, a relatively new winery in the Dry Creek area, that is gaining a stellar reputation for their Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel. Kelly Ferris Comstock, CEO of the company, is a visionary who keeps her team motivated and productive.
The fourth time consulting with Boisset Collection Wineries in both Napa and Sonoma. We focussed on "Breaking down the Silos" as well as "Closing the Sale" with the Executive Team as well as 50 team members from the Tasting Room, Production, Wine Club, Administration and Marketing and Sales.
THE BOISSET COLLECTION, NAPA, SONOMA AND FRANCE
THE CRONIN RESTAURANT GROUP, BOSTON
An extended series of assessments and workshops over the course of the year with numerous restaurants in the collection; "Temazcal," an upscale Mexican concept, Tony C's Sports Bars and Tony C's CoalFire Pizza. At this point, all of the restaurants are located in and around Boston.
An incognito service assessment thanks to Thomas Klein, the stellar GM of the hotel. 2 days at this landmark property on Nob Hill, where I observed the service delivery throughout the hotel. One of the definite "stars" was Thomas Wolfe, the Chief Concierge who founded the Cles d'Or in America and is credited with bringing the concierge concept to America.
Olivier Maumaire, visionary GM of the property, sees the importance of heightening the service culture throughout this iconic property opened in 1958. It was an extremely successful mission working with 70 managers in the hotel and casino, with the opportunity to return and work with the front line staff.A return trip to this iconic resort working for a week with approximately 90 front line team members from food and beverage, housekeeping, engineering, front desk, stewarding and pool. I was impressed with the receptiveness and willingness to learn. In fact, I have been asked to return in late September to continue working with the hotel and the re-opening of the casino section of the property.
Bringing together hotels, inns, restaurants, wineries and visitors bureaus from Sonoma County was the most recent initiative in Northern California.Supported by Sonoma County Tourism, the week-long program was a great success with my return slated for the first 10 days in April. Wineries such as Sonoma-Cutrer, Matanzas Creek and Martinelli were represented, along with Costeaux Bakery, Rivers End and Bistro 29. The workshop was held at Safari West, an amazing 400 acre wild animal preserve in Santa Rosa. Wrapping up Round 2 of the Service Excellence Countywide Workshop series with members from the winery, lodging and restaurant community of Sonoma. Pictured here are tasting room managers from Iron Horse, Coppola, Selby, Seghessio, Martinelli, Korbel, La Crema, Rodney Strong, Chalk Hill and Kendall Jackson.
“Eric Weiss has a true talent for bringing out the most in people. The trainings he conducted were truly uplifting experiences for our teams at Ryland Inn and Stone House Restaurants. His advice, exercises and lessons were intriguing, insightful giving us a sense of new found energy, catapulting us to continually strive for excellence.”Jeanne Cretella, President, Landmark Hospitality
It had been five years since working with this iconic property in D.C. The hotel has the largest ballroom in the city along with some of the most wonderful team members that I've worked with. Food and Beverage Director Gordon Marr and General Manager Steve Cowan are true professionals within theHilton corporation.
LIBERTY HOUSE, NEW JERSEY
Working with the catering staff of this beautiful property overlooking the New York skyline followed by a two-day Service Excellence workshop with 25 managers of the Landmark Hospitality Group.
COSTEAUX BAKERY AND CAFE, HEALDSBURG, CA
A return consultation to this bustling cafe/bakery in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. I worked with the administrative, retail and service team and then spent several days with ownership and management providing new culinary concepts.
David Rio Chai started its company 20 years ago and now produces and distributes chai and teas in 45 countries throughout the world. Working with the owners and the management team for a week opened my eyes to the reasons this company has become so successful. Eric Weiss is genuine, intuitive, passionate and experienced.Since the 3-day workshop, I have heard and seen my staff take what they learned and apply directly to how we work with our customers, as well as our suppliers and amongst each other within our organization.Ai Okubo, CEO, David Rio Chai
BELA VISTA HOTEL & SPA, ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
I recently had the opportunity to assess the food, service and accommodations at this magnificent 19th century palace in Portugal's Algarve region. It was part of a month's visit of ten, five-star hotels for a story on each one in luxurytravel.about.com. On no level did this property disappoint.
HOTEL FAUCHÈRE, A RELAIS AND CHATEAUX PROPERTY, MILFORD, PA
Named for Louis Fauchère, head Chef at Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City, this property has attained a wonderful reputation since it opened nine years ago. I was responsible at that time for training the staff throughout the hotel and asked to return by owner, Sean Strub. After an incognito assessment, I spent the week working with ownership, food and beverage as well as front office and housekeeping.
Kudos to The Conrad Algarve, voted the top European Luxury Resort of 2013 by the World Travel Awards. TheConradAlgarveisamagnificentpropertyinPortugalwhichwasvoted,1yearafteritsopening, as the #1 newest luxury European resort in Europe by the Luxury Travel Advisory. Eight days of working with the food and beverage, front office and spa teams of the first Conrad resort with the first Conrad Spa. This beautiful property with its five restaurants, is overseen by the visionary General Manager, Joachim Hartl whom I first met in Florida several years ago. The staff was wonderfully receptive to learning with a desire to please that I have rarely seen in my years of hospitality, Portugal is truly a hidden gem and the Conrad, Algarve is no exception. A two week Excellent Service Workshop series for all departments of the hotel, at its opening, will be followed by a 4 day "refresh" in March of 2015. I am pleased to have been extensively involved in developing the service programs for this destination. “Eric Weiss' services have been vital to the success of the opening of the Conrad Algarve. The support that he provided in communicating the key principles of service excellence and to ensure our brand service standards of delivering flawless, personalized and authentic service were second to none. The engagement of the team was great to see and we are still talking about Mr. Weiss since we opened the hotel.”Joachim Hartl, Managing Director, Conrad, Algarve
CONRAD ALGARVE HOTEL, PORTUGAL
SWOONER RESTAURANT, STONINGTON, CONNECTICUT
This beautifully situated seaside restaurant is the creation of Chef Jeffrey Gimmel and Nina Bachinsky-Gimmel, Pastry Chef. This dynamic duo also has the acclaimed eatery "Swoon" in Hudson, New York. Just having opened two months ago, our objective was to firmly establish the sequence of service over the course of 10 days with a young, mostly seasonal service staff. Additionally, it was essential to re-establish credibiity with the local clientele.
OSMOSIS DAY SPA SANCTUARY
VILA JOYA AT PRAIA DE GALE, PORTUGAL
I spent several days at this absolutely breathtaking, 28-suite hotel in the Algarve. Its restaurant is one of three, two Michelin-starred restaurants in all of Portugal. Here is my story from luxurytravel.about.com.
THE CHICAGO HILTON
It was inspiring to lead a Service Excellence Workshop series with the front office team of this venerable hotel on Chicago's Miracle Mile. The city is definitely undergoing a Renaissance period and it was an exciting time to be there.
Here are links to my formal introduction to Luxury Travel, as well as feature stories that I have written and contributed:
Familiarizing myself with 11 wonderful wineries in Sonoma was my February assignment for this prestigious website. Tasting, meeting the owners and/or winemakers was a great assignment, particularly since I had represented Napa and Sonoma wineries almost 35 years ago to restaurants, hotels and clubs in New York City. Nothing like coming full circle!