Knock your socks off service

Posted by Carlene / August 18, 2008

We just returned (yesterday) from a great time (again!) on the Oregon Coast and I remembered seeing in the latest Oregon Coast that you had wanted to hear about people who made the vacation special. So here I sit…getting the privilege of tell you about our experience! We were going to treat ourselves and stay one night at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda (Pacific City). We’ve subscribed to your magazine for years and keep all the issues and every time we’d look through them, we’d sigh and say, “SOMEDAY we’re going to stay THERE!” Well, we planned our time and it was my hubby’s birthday and so I thought I’d try to ask them to help me out with something for the birthday. (I have this yucky disease that eventually you die from and can’t work any longer, etc. and this dear husband of mine has taken over so MANY household chores, walking the dog and on and on…never with one word of complaint. He truly is a saint! So I thought he deserved something special.)

So I called the Inn and asked for the manager’s name. There were 2 but I picked Kim as it was a lady’s name! So I wrote to her and sent a big padded envelope filled with things to decorate birthday style: construction tape that says Birthday Zone, things handing from the ceiling, etc. I wrote and told her when we were coming and what I wanted to do and included $10 because I wanted to properly pay someone to do my work for me; didn’t want to impose. At the end of the letter I suddenly thought I should include a phone number because maybe they’d need to ask something. I told her I was home alone in the a.m. hours so she could feel free to call. It was such fun to send off this big decorated envelope but I couldn’t help wondering what was going to be the reception on the other end!!!

Three days later, the phone rings and it’s Kim, herself, calling ME. I was stunned. She was just about as gracious as anyone could ever be and the first thing she said was: “We certainly will not be taking your $$ for decorating! Our staff enjoys getting to do that and we’ll have it all taken care of. Now what could we add to this special time?” It was my turn to nearly drop the phone! It’s not like we are steady customers (but goodness knows: we sure would like to be from now on!!) or something; we’ve never been there before and she wants to know what to do for us. She asked my husband’s first name so they could address stuff to him. I had included a small birthday sack and asked that the staff put cards in it as they arrived since I’d asked family to send cards there ahead of time. She said, “Oh, I’ll post that notice and everyone will know when they see a card with his name on it.” She further wanted to be sure what time we’d arrive so the room would be all ready.

I can’t describe to you what wonderful warmth enveloped me when we hung up. To think that someone I never knew would take such time for US…to make sure things were great – I was just flabbergasted. The hardest job I had was not to give away that she’d called when Don got home from work. I wanted to tell somebody how thoughtful they all were.

We arrived on time and they gave us a lovely room. Don walked in and was so startled to see everything even the headboard and bathroom mirror decorated with birthday stuff. The sack with birthday cards was on the bed and beside it, a personal stationary envelope from the Inn. Inside Kim had put a free movie rental and two root beer float coupons for the Pelican Pub and Brewery. (Looking at the menu in the room, that was $5.95 each!) Well, we just about fainted. My word! Kim was not there on the weekend for me to thank her, but I tried to thank all the people I saw. When I got the movie, I said we were the birthday people and right away the clerk knew about it and said, “Everything you were given was all Kim’s idea.” The topper came when the evening shift was on and they called our room to say an in-room massage had canceled and they knew we were celebrating a birthday and did we want to use it?? We were going to dinner or that would have been perfect. I couldn’t believe ALL the staff was aware of us!

Everything about the Inn is just relaxed luxury and they even treat all dogs with flair as well: a bag of dog bone treats and special dog towel for beach sand clean up – all upon arrival. But Kim went FAR beyond being a manager, in our case. She stepped into being a special angel friend who went ahead and prepared the staff for our coming, got them to decorate and thought to include things to make our stay even MORE fantastic. I would be thrilled if there was some way your magazine could honor her as it’s certainly deserved.

Thank you for letting me share and sorry I got a bit long-winded there.

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