I visited another five-star hotel today and took a tour of its rooms and facilities. I will be writing a report at the end comparing all the hotels to our’s and hopefully be giving some feedback on how to improve service and how to further appeal to foreigners. I won’t give the names of the hotels I will be visiting online until after the internship when I post some pretty pictures of the rooms on Instagram. For now, here’s one ambiguous photo (if you are really great with Tokyo geography please don’t give it away) of the view I saw from the hotel.
I worked a little bit later today so that I could observe some parties in the various banquet halls. I learned that the sales team not only sells rooms, but also sells the banquet halls for events. The parties were super amazing and I learned that it is not uncommon for Japanese companies to host large parties for all their workers at the end of the work year or to celebrate an anniversary. It was so formal in that the food is prepared perfectly, the room is decorated beautifully, the staff (particularly the waitresses) are dressed beautifully, and the VIP guests (i.e. President of the company) are given a separate room to wait in before they enter the party. I tried to stay out of everyone’s way and just awkwardly stood next to my team members and bowed/greeted people as they came by. You have to be sure to bow at an appropriate level for each guest’s status; for example you would bow very low to the president and important guests but not as low for normal employees.
It was my first time witnessing Japanese hospitality at a party setting instead of in a typical hotel setting in the room or at a restaurant. It was super amazing to see that guests are treated like celebrities when they enter the banquet as all the servers are lined up with drinks ready. Guests also get to take home some party favors from the hotel when they leave.
Overall, my impression is that Japanese hospitality makes people feel that they are important and worthy of receiving good service. Of course service will be a bit different depending on what your social status is, but witnessing even normal people set foot in the hotel and receiving superb service is somehow satisfying. If anything, I think that if guests come home after being at the hotel feeling important, we accomplished something.