Launched in The Red Book 2019, The Blue Standard is Blue Sky Luxury’s response to the need for clear standards in the villas rental market in the Caribbean. The aim is to have benchmarks to ensure consistency in the quality of product and services offered to owners and by extension, their guests.
The Blue Standard initially focused on four core areas, primarily to ensure the best possible service delivered to owners. These core areas are:
The Blue Standard – Part 2
The next stage in development of The Blue Standard has evolved to include four areas we believe are crucial to also providing the best possible service to our guests.
These four areas outline specific experiences and facets that are important to the holiday rental traveller. They identify why each is important and to what level/detail the service is to be provided depending on the holiday home and how each home within a certain category will have its own Service Level Standards which will add value to a guest’s experience.
By differentiating and expanding on the added value provided by category, it helps to ensure that each home operates within, and thrives to its highest levels of service, there is consistency of service throughout the entire category of homes and therefore expectations can be set and we can deliver on this promise.
Direct contact is essential in ensuring that we understand the experience each guest wants. Keeping the communication channels open, asking the right probing questions and being an expert in our local, authentic experiences build the relationship and keep the guest engaged, excited and open to your suggestions.
The arrival experience deals specifically with how each guest is communicated with from the point of booking straight through to their arrival on island.
Regardless of the property that is booked, a Concierge agent is in communication with the guests within 48 hours of booking. We encourage pre-planning especially for the winter season, our team can facilitate requests for restaurant reservations and car rentals. ‘Must-do’ activities such as catamaran cruises should also be booked early so that guests do not miss out on some of the unique experiences Barbados has to offer.
The arrival experience must always be quick, personalised, relaxed and thorough. Luxury properties include their staff as part of the welcome experience, guests are introduced and the staff provide certain details about the home.
The assigned Concierge agent will also be present for the arrival.
Concierge and Staffing Service
The standard has been set for all of our Concierge agents; they are certified in one or more modules of the Certified Guest Service Professional. The role of a Concierge is to provide information and recommendations to the guest for their holiday as well as ensuring the smooth flow of all services requested while they are on island. Information on and assistance with restaurants, bars, and other activities is also very important, in addition to being available 24 hours a day, regardless of the category of the property.
Many holiday guests make return visits to homes in part, due to the caring and hospitable nature of the staff.
A concierge visits the guests daily at luxury properties almost serving as a personal assistant. While guests are on island, we help to guide them, and anticipating their needs is essential.
Many luxury properties allow guests to charge groceries, wines and beverages to their guest account that is settled prior to their departure.
For each level of property, minimum staffing levels for the home have been set. Properties in the luxury category provide different staff for varying needs; oftentimes a chef, butler and a various number of housekeepers and laundresses are available during the holiday. Many holiday guests make return visits to homes in part, due to the caring and hospitable nature of the staff. Cooks/chefs provide amazing meals and service and many times guests are blown away.
There are times when part of the planning of a holiday involves the need for additional staff. This can be organised by the Concierge, using our team of temporary staff who can be assigned on an as needed basis.
Minimum requirements have been established for each home based on the category. Providing amenities at all levels increase the attractiveness to holiday rental guests. Simple recreational additions to the home such as books, puzzles, and board go a long way to show guests that their comfort is considered and important. Owners of luxury homes add amenities to the property; it may be the addition of an espresso/cappuccino machine or something impressive such as tennis courts or an in-house spa, unique touches that will differentiate them from the market.
Having a generator for emergency power needs and water storage tanks in cases of disruption of service are expected of a certain calibre home and owners’ awareness to these needs is growing.
Regardless of the category of home, the departure process at all properties is no different – it must be quick, convenient and effortless. Twenty-four hours prior to departure all bills and any backup information are to be provided for easy settlement. A gift or souvenir and an offer to rebook are presented.
The departure experience doesn’t end on departure; as a standard, a thank-you email/card and follow-up is always sent. Providing feedback should always be easy and all guests are encouraged to do so.
With the latest upgrade of the Blue Standard we continue to evolve as we seek to ensure that our guests have the best holiday experience.