I’m back in Vegas, enjoying my view of the Bellagio’s fountains, the Eiffel Tower and Donny and Marie on the marquis of the Flamingo.
Once, Vegas drove me nuts (I know, I am a spoiled travel reporter, aren’t I?)
But that passed. Now, I love it. Why? The purity of its artificiality. It doesn’t pretend to be anything than what it is. Fake. Fantasy. Fun. It is shameless and honest about what it is. And it does it with class.
Vegas has the highest standard of service that I’ve ever encountered anywhere. And that includes Europe, where the hotel and restaurant industries are considered careers in and of themselves, instead of steppingstones to some other career, as they are so often here.
I just met with Robert Gaymer-Jones, CEO of Sofitel, a hotel group that is remaking itself. He’s here in Vegas for the same reason I am, Virtuoso’s Travel Week. It’s nearly 2,000 travel agents who specialize in luxury travel and they’re meeting with nearly 1,900 hoteliers, tour providers and other travel suppliers. After our interview, Gaymer-Jones and I talked about the high service standards of Vegas.
Because of those standards, he believes that Vegas is the Mecca for anyone in hotel industry. And I couldn’t agree more. I just came back from the pool. And as I walked out, the young woman who was staffing the towel station cheerily bid me good-bye and thanked me for coming to the pool. A small touch, but one that is emblematic of the service standards here at the Bellagio. And while the Bellagio is top-notch, it’s still what you’ll find at hotels and restaurants up and down the strip.
But, enough babbling about Vegas. It’s back to my so-called job—covering travel at Virtuoso’s Travel Week.