Each year, when Forbes Travel Guide announces its Star Ratings list, the usual key players pop up alongside some surprises. But to even get to this point, hotel staffs work diligently to meet certain standards with the hopes of one day becoming a part of this prestigious group. This go-round, an unforeseen hotel brand that doesn’t always equate to high-end luxury service in the United States ups the ante on Macau’s Cotai Strip. We welcome Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central to the sought-after list.
As a first-time award for the hotel brand, creating one-of-a-kind experiences for each guest is a must. Just imagine arriving to your room and two of your favorite treats — bowls of fresh strawberries and macarons — are waiting for you. The staff at Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central goes above and beyond to make sure the guest experience is unlike staying at any other Holiday Inn property.
We caught up with Mark McWhinnie, senior vice president of operations at Venetian Macao Resort Hotel & Sands Cotai Central, to chat about what this Four-Star award means to his team, how the Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central staff stays on top of quality service and more.
What does receiving the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star status mean to you and your team?
To put it simply, this to me is truly a great acknowledgement for all the effort that not only our management but also every one of our team members, including those that may not come into direct contact with guests, commit to as an employee of Holiday Inn. When the hotel receives awards and listings such as this, it means that they are being recognized for their hard work and dedication and it helps to build team morale.
What makes Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central different from stateside Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts?
When we first developed and opened what is essentially the largest Holiday Inn in the world — with 1,224 guest rooms and suites — we were very focused on developing a midscale product that was affordable, comfortable and that offered truly friendly service. To do this, we were ever mindful of ensuring that we met both the Holiday Inn design and brand standards, as well as the overall Holiday Inn service philosophy.
What are your three favorite things about Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central?
There are many attributes that I personally like about the property, the foremost would be the bright, contemporary décor of our guest rooms, also the fact that the Holiday Inn is part of a fully integrated resort complex [Sands Cotai Central], which provides a broad range of leisure, shopping and entertainment options to suit all of our guests, whether they are traveling for business or pleasure. In addition, we are very fortunate to have a passionate team of people working for us that come from all around the world and who are fully committed to providing great service to our guests.
How does your team stay on top of providing quality service?
Even though the Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Strip is a very large hotel compared to other hotels, our goal and company philosophy has always been to stay focused on all the little details that go into making a guest feel welcome and right at home. This can only happen because we have a very service-oriented team who live the brand standards each and every day that they come to work.
What family-friendly activities should guests of Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central know about?
Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central, through our parent company Sands China Ltd., has partnered with DreamWorks Animation to create the DreamWorks Experience, which gives guests a host of options to see and interact with their favorite characters from well-known movies such as Madagascar, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.
Guests have the chance to enjoy a themed breakfast with Shrek, Alex the African lion and other DreamWorks Animation characters, as well as a meet-and-greet session in the Paradise Garden. They can also watch the daily DreamWorks All Star Parade or just enjoy a range of poolside activities immersed in the DreamWorks magic. There is something for everyone at Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central.
Photos Courtesy of Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central