Making
Service Personal

Before, during, and after your stay, concierges like Leo Wang are finding new ways to personalize your experience

By Patricia Olsen - Photography by chad Ingraham

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund (above).

It's the little things that count, goes the saying. At least, that's what Leo Wang believes. And as chief concierge at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, he should know. Wang and other Waldorf Astoria concierges are passionate about the details that make your stay unforgettable.

"The whole purpose of the Personal Concierge is to create a memorable stay that is completely customized," says Nicki Gonda, personal concierge supervisor at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. She notes that more than 150,000 hours of training went into developing a seamless, exceptional experience for guests.

The whole purpose of the personal concierge is to create a memorable stay.

Nicki Gonda
Personal Concierge supervisor

1 Before Your Arrival Before you even step foot inside a Waldorf Astoria, your personal concierge is working to create a flawless experience for you. All lei- sure guests receive a personalized email two weeks before their arrival connecting them to their concierge, who will offer to pre-arrange anything from a spa visit to a dinner reservation. "Luxury means different things to different people, but it can be found even in the simple things," says Gonda. "For example, I like to have a guest's refrigerator stocked with their favorite beverages and foods. It's so nice to walk into a room to find that the comforts of home are there."

2 During Your Stay When you arrive at the hotel, your personal concierge will welcome you in the lobby, allowing you to bypass the front desk check-in. Then, your concierge will show you right to your room so you can settle in. Guests are encouraged to reach out to their concierge directly to take care of whatever they may need throughout their stay. "So many guests love to have just one person to connect with," says Gonda. "There is no question we cannot answer. We are here to make each guest's stay perfect."

Be it as simple as a dinner reservation, or as extraordinary as a marriage proposal, Wang of Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund is adept at helping his guests create those special, one-of-a-kind moments.

"Recently,one of my guests reached out to me a week before his stay. He was coming in from Japan for a special occasion—he was going to propose to his girlfriend here," says Wang.

"I suggested he propose in their suite after dinner at Pelham's restaurant. I researched Japanese customs and arranged for roses and white candles to be available, as they symbolize lifelong devotion and love in Japan. I also obtained a pair of Japanese figurines in traditional wedding clothes." While they were at dinner, Wang arranged for the figurines to be placed on the bed and a trail of rose petals to lead to a bouquet and a bottle of champagne, all compliments of the hotel. Amid the gifts was an envelope with a note our guest had written for his sweetheart.

"The next morning, our newly engaged couple strolled through the lobby, beaming. I said, 'Good morning, Miss.' The future bridegroom corrected me: 'No, no, no—you can call her Mrs.' "

3 For Your Departure The most difficult part of any Waldorf Astoria stay is leaving, because it is the last thing you want to do. Your personal concierge will be there to make sure your departure is effortless. From the complimentary packing service to a swift and easy checkout, your Waldorf Astoria experience will leave you wanting to plan your next visit before you even leave the hotel.

Concierge Leo Wang goes to extra lengths to serve his guests at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.