The Stafford London by Kempinski is one of our favorite hotels in London: the St. James location (within walking distance of St. James's Park and Buckingham Palace) is perfect and the elegant décor a flawless mix of contemporary conveniences and traditional style. But what truly sets the hotel apart is the staff, who specializes in a rare brand of unstuffy-but-spot-on service (the head concierge, Frank Laino, is as good as they come).
To wit, the hotel’s latest amenity, the Baggage Emergency Response Squad, is both exactly what you want and just a bit whimsical. The squad works to ameliorate that most pesky of travel problems: luggage lost on the flight over.
Truly, there’s hardly anything worse than starting off a trip sans belongings and stuck on the phone doing battle with an airline’s automated phone system. But should this happen to you, there is nowhere better to be than in the capable hands of The Stafford.
Lead by Assistant Head Concierge, Peter Knell, the squad tackles the problem with a three-part approach, starting the minute a lugguage-less guest walks in the door.
The first step is to provide a customized, complimentary “First Aid Kit.” Tailored for both men and women, they include:
- Packaged “knickers” from English retailers Turnbull & Asser or Rigby & Peller
- A pair of wool socks from the Jermyn Street establishment New & Lingwood
- A Stafford teddy bear for children who may have stowed teddy away
- The hotel’s signature Floris bath products with additional necessities including a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, and contact solution
Next comes “hostage negotiations”: while the guest is unwinding over a martini in the hotel’s famous American Bar or stretching her legs with a stroll in the park, the squad will contact the airlines and wrangle with the representatives to ensure that the luggage will arrive ASAP.
Finally—and this really goes above and beyond—the hotel will provide fast, complimentary laundering of arrival clothes, so that guests can start off the trip feeling fresh. Given that hotel laundry can be so expensive, this is an excellent perk. And additionally, should someone require a specific clothing item, say a business suit for a meeting, the squad will go out and purchase that item pronto.
All this is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Need even more of an incentive to check out The Stafford this summer? From July 26 to September 5, the hotel is offering a promotion that lets guests stay three nights but only pay for two. Jolly good!
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