Why the Trip Savvy Editors Choice Award?
Recently I was notified that the Empress had been awarded a Trip Savvy Editors Choice Award for 2018. We were also on their list of Best Downtown Hotels/Resorts/Bnbs In Little Rock. There are 9 hotels and inns on the list and The Empress is #3!! at Trip Savvy.com . This is quite an honor, but it caused me to wonder what might be behind the fact that of all the different downtown hotels and inns, we are the only 2018 Editors Choice Award winner. There are some good hotels in Little Rock!
After correspondence with Trip Savvy’s team, I was told the research had been highly sensitive to the fact we had so many reviews placed by actual guests. We found this information stupifying. Trip Savvy had actually taken the trouble to check out the sources of our reviews and determined they were posted by guests. We partially won an award just because we are honest. I guess this should not shock me. The rise of anonymity on the internet has created all sorts of issues that weren’t something many of us would have considered an unusual thing prior to BI (Before Internet).
It’s About The Guest Experience
While I am certainly pleased we have received the Trip Savvy Editors Choice Award and are listed as “Best Downtown Hotels/Resorts/Bnbs in Little Rock”, I think I am more proud of the fact that we have earned the respect of our guests. So much so, that they have rewarded us by placing wonderful reviews with Trip Adviser and Google, Yelp, BedandBreakfast.com. But our goal from the beginning was to be the best.
It started with the quality of the 1993 restoration. It came close to bankrupting us, but left us knowing we’d done our best. We knew we’d pull out of it because we weren’t afraid to work hard. Two year’s later, after opening in August of 1995, we received the AAA Four Diamond Award, the only BnB Arkansas at the time to do so. In those days, it required three inspections, two unannounced overnight stays by hoteliers, and a review of their steep list of regulations. Things like music in the parlors, double deadbolt locks, two (not one) suitcase rack per room, stationery in all the desks, detailed emergency notification numbers, internet-this was dial up in 1995. A whole host of things one wouldn’t think of ordinarily. But we met the challenge.
It’s not about awards; it’s about hospitality
Over the years, we received numerous awards we never even considered, all because hospitality to a stranger, even if they weren’t a guest, was not something we considered an extra. It was just who we are. Guests have written poems about us, made the bed before leaving, and written us notes and sent us cards. We are amazingly flattered. Thru it all, we’ve had only one mission, to hear you say as you leave, “I heard it was good, but it was so much better than we expected”.
Now don’t get the wrong idea. We definitely mess things up now and then, and certainly get told about it. But after 23 years, we still get chills when our guests tell us how they enjoyed their stay. It’s what makes us get up each morning and do it over again each day. Even in the face of challenges getting staff. Even when some don’t appreciate the beauty and integrity of the history we’ve restored. But most of all, we are just so humbled to have been able to be here 23 years. And to know that it does matter what our parents taught us as children. If I work hard, care about what I do, even if I build my “bed and breakfast” in the boondocks of this world, people will beat a path to my door.
The award goes to you
So, Thank you, our Guests! Because we could not have done it without you. And we are humbled to say you are our Guests.