How can a hotel make a guest feel at home when Mother Nature forces them from their own home? RoseAnn Lesher, general manager of the Country Inns & Suites, Lehighton, in Pennsylvania knows it means going the extra mile by being extra compassionate and caring. When Hurricane/superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast, RoseAnn and her colleagues sprung into action.
"We allowed the public to come in and use our facilities to use their electronic devices, charge their electronic devices or basically just warm up and catch up on current events," she said.
For those affected within a 20-25 mile radius, the hotel offered a room for storm victims to get a hot shower during the day. Then, they cleaned the room and sold it as a sleeping room at night. The hotel also offered hot food all day by extending its continental breakfast and Be Our Guest Reception times. Guests appreciated the caring, comfortable and consistent service.
"Due to the recent storm, Sandy, my husband and I stayed at the hotel located in Lehighton, Pa," wrote one guest. "We had lost power and water. Not only did they allow us to bring our chocolate lab but went out of their way to service guests. There was always something hot to eat and drink. It was available without any additional charge. Since we had the dog in our room, we posted the 'do not disturb' sign. They still offered to clean our room and made sure we were provided with anything we needed. The general manager, RoseAnn Lesher, was especially nice, but entire staff was wonderful. My husband and I will make every effort to stay in one of your hotels when we travel."
"The Country Inn and Suites is an absolutely fabulous place," wrote another guest visiting during and after the storm. "During the aftermath of Sandy, those of us displaced by power outages, etc. were made to feel at home. They made sure that we had constant coffee and tea...hot food available...just all around some of the nicest folks!! They truly made a trying time much easier, especially since I have two rambunctious little ones....which they made giggle and smile. Thank you to the staff for all of your kindness, professionalism and all around awesomeness!"
There were more accolades including this praise for the "special staff" who "made this stay during a trying time absolutely fabulous ... they have gone above and beyond helping all of us who are displaced from our homes feel like a small community. Roseanne and the staff have maintained a clean, orderly hotel, with hot food and coffee constantly flowing. My family and I cannot thank them enough for the wonderful service and warmth."
Not only did the hotel address the needs of the local community, but they also helped those who lost everything.
"We went through our lost and found items that were older than 90 days," said RoseAnn. "We washed and cleaned the 'good' items and sent them down to New Jersey for the families that basically lost everything."