08.12.2017 - Inside

Beltrami interview: Simone Moretti

The Italian who likes to provide Service with a capital “S”.

He is one of the Italians who best represent the future of hospitality in the service-driven ultra-luxury sector. He has lived in London for over 5 years, and was once the Manager of the Arts Club, one of the city’s best-known members’ clubs, located in exclusive Mayfair. Before that, he was Guest Service & Butlers Manager, and subsequently Front of House Manager, at Claridge’s, the luxury Mayfair hotel. He graduated from The International Butler Academy in Holland, an exclusive school dedicated to the training of butlers, and obtained further specialisation in the United States. He is currently an Independent Consultant for luxury brands. Moretti reveals the secrets of impeccable room service.


What are the essentials of impeccable room service?

Impeccable room service must incorporate the three dimensions of service common to all aspects of hospitality. Specifically, the aesthetic, technical and human dimensions.
In the particular case of room service, the aesthetic dimension obviously means impeccable presentation of the trolley, while the technical dimension goes beyond the mere act of serving coffee to include food quality and staff know-how. Finally, the human dimension involves the ability to interact with the guest to create that special emotional contact that distinguishes the ultra-luxury sector. It’s all about reading between the lines, being visible and invisible at the same time.
Details, also, are important in room service, the small acts of attentiveness towards the guest that create a unique experience – something that applies to all three dimensions.


How do you create room service magic?

Serving breakfast for two in a suite means entering into people’s lives, and you create magic with small gestures that make a difference: opening the curtains gracefully, or courteously offering the newspaper even if it has not been ordered. It means using your eyes to anticipate and understand the guest’s wishes. In a certain sense this work calls for generosity.


Can you describe for us the items used for room service?

To begin with there’s the trolley. With dozens on the market, you must always choose one that is functional and compatible with the hotel’s image. One of the most important items is the tablecloth, and the cutlery also plays a key role – and, of course, the salt cellar and pepper pot, still acceptable on the room service trolley, although chefs might object to them in the restaurant. One of the most important components of the trolley’s magic is hidden under the tablecloth; it’s a box that helps to keep dishes at the right temperature, just as they were when they left the kitchen.
Finally, a fresh flower always adds a flourish.


How has the concept of luxury service changed in the last 10 years?

To succeed today you need to offer the best in personalised service, which is why we try to learn each guest’s preference.
Also, technology has changed luxury. For example, some chains have apps that allow guests to send orders to the hotel’s restaurants, but in the ultra-luxury sector the human dimension is still essential for creating rewarding interactions.


What does today’s luxury hotel guest expect to find?

I like to think that the luxury or ultra-luxury hotel is the only place where everything is possible. The modern world always has yet another novelty for you to spend money on, but not time or memories. Luxury offers both, through unforgettable experiences.


Is there any particular incident in your career that you remember with affection or that makes you smile?

One incident that still makes me smile happened when I was the Guest Service & Butlers Manager at Claridge’s in London. I was checking that everything in a suite was perfect, and went out on the terrace. Suddenly I found myself locked out in the cold, and I was there for 4 or 5 hours before someone was able to let me back in. I didn’t want to knock because the guest was resting, but the guest got up to call room service at one point and noticed me through the window.


What do you like most about your job?

We have the ability to make people’s lives better. Working in the luxury sector is a little like being the conductor of an orchestra. Everything must be perfect, and our job is to create experiences that guests will remember forever by playing a small part in their lives. It’s like a daily adrenaline rush for me.


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