When they first opened their doors in 1904, the St. Regis hotel defined exemplary customer service in luxury travel. Their signature butler service revolutionized the hotel experience for the world’s most affluent guests. Unfortunately, over 100 years later, this once unique service has become ubiquitous in high-end hospitality.
Concurrently, in this modern era of advanced design and technology, guest expectations of service quality are higher than ever. It is no surprise, then, that the usefulness and desirability of a service conceived over a century ago was in question.
The St. Regis needed to evolve their butler offering to be unique enough to stand apart from the crowd, and relevant enough to impress their guests. In brief, the hotel needed their butler to become legendary again.
Make the St. Regis butler legendary again by:
1. Reimagining the butler service menu in a way that embodies the brand's longstanding values of anticipation, personalization, and discretion
2. Standardizing the butler service across all St. Regis properties globally
3. Integrating modern tools that enhance but don’t replace human high-touch points
The new generation of luxury travelers expect to be catered to, but are less likely than their parent’s generation to admit it. Traditional butler service may conflict with their empowered and independent self-perception.
Self-automation drives the everyday. Technology has put a personal assistant in everyone’s pocket, living room, and office. Guests want and expect technology to help them.
The Digital Platform
Named after John Jacob Astor, the St. Regis’ founder and social influencer of his time, this digital platform serves to:
1. Standardize butler service across all St. Regis locations
2. Facilitate optimal communication butler-to-butler and butler-to-guest
3. Aggregate guest data & preferences to ensure satisfaction this trip and next
Change is the only constant across every market. We knew it wouldn’t be enough just to offer a right now solution. So, we thought about what the future of butler could look like in light of current travel trends and areas of disruption in the hospitality category. Armed with the knowledge that it is no longer enough to spend seven days lounging by the beach, we conceived of an entirely new service extension for St Regis.
The Experience Butler
Experience butlers offer a service that is local, immersive, authentic, and adventurous. In contrast to the standardized butler service of the present, experience butler is about total curation and customization. No two experience butlers are alike, and the service is created for individual St. Regis locations with the unique interests of the guest in mind.
This concept delivers the guest what they’re truly looking for from travel: an experience that makes them more informed and in touch with the world around them.
Alex Danks (Strategy), Kelly Prudente & Ashley Glover (XD)