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Artisans: Jill Bound, The Ritz-Carlton concierge

How the team leader makes dreams come true



Alex Stafford

 

Jill Bound

Head of the concierge team at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples

Years as concierge at The Ritz-Carlton: 14

Years in Naples: 14

 

Recently, a guest at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples decided to propose to his girlfriend. He approached the concierge at the four-star hotel and asked if they’d help set up the ultimate proposal, but with one condition:

“He wanted us to plan the wedding, too—for the same day. We said, sure, we can do that,” remembers Jill Bound, head of The Ritz’s full-time concierge team.

In the next few hours, Bound booked a photographer and a justice of the peace, found musicians, designed a bridal bouquet and even had a wedding cake made. What takes some couples more than a year (and many, many fights) to plan, Bound executed in less than a day.

While “going through heroics” is essentially Bound’s job description, she swears she enjoys the challenge. Viewing true hospitality as an art, Bound sees every day as an opportunity to make someone else’s life just a little bit better.

Love of the Game

“You can really only do this job if you have genuine care and comfort for your guests. There’s a level of high expectation here at The Ritz, and if you don’t truly care about your guests, you won’t fulfill that level of service.”

Organization Rules

“Basically, I’m a master organizer. I’m organizing activities and transportation and meals and keeping track of guests’ likes and dislikes. We have 295 rooms, so there’s a lot of organization that goes on to keep each of those guests happy.”

Mind-Readers Preferred

“You have to always think ahead. What might this person want or need? If we’re sending someone out for an airboat tour, we try and make sure that upon arrival there’s sunscreen and snacks waiting for them. When they return, we’ll greet them with cold towels, ice water and some fruit. It’s all about anticipating a need before it arises.”

Nothing’s Off Limits

“There is no request that’s too weird. Nothing that we think is strange or offbeat. If someone asks for green M&M’s in their room, we’ll let housekeeping know that there needs to be only green M&M’s in their room. We can really accommodate almost any request. If a guest wants to arrive via luxury yacht, we can help with that. If they want to arrive via helicopter, we don’t have a helipad, but we can close down another part of the resort to make that happen, too.”

Cheat Sheets

“We keep notes on each of our guests, what they like and don’t like, so when they visit us again, we can make sure those requests are filled before they arrive. Personalization is really important to great service.

 

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