When Amber Gibson checked in at London’s The Goring Hotel this past June, she was encountered a common annoyance of travel: her room was not ready yet.
“They graciously apologized and asked if they could ‘bother’ me to have a glass of champagne at the bar while I waited,” says the food and travel writer from Chicago. “Umm, yes—you can ‘bother’ me every day of the week with a glass of champagne.” Gibson loved her “sumptuous suite,” she recalls, “but it was really the service that was most memorable.”
Gibson wasn’t the only person to get such friendly treatment from The Goring: the Belgravia hotel made the top 10 among Travel + Leisure readers for the best hotel service in the world.
Among the top 20 winners (including a six-way tie for first place, and a four-way tie for No. 20), service goes far beyond helping you with your bags. A few winning hotels offer round-the-clock butler service, and several winners employ concierges who belong to the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or. One winning hotel in London even boasts that its staffers outnumber guests by two to one. But readers also applauded hotels that offer intangible service: friendly staffers who seem authentically warm, rather than merely polite.
Certainly, The Goring did more to win Gibson’s loyalty than just ply her with bubbly. After checking in, she realized she’d left a sweater at another hotel. She asked The Goring to give that property a heads-up that she would come to get it. “There was no need,” she says. “When I got back after lunch, it was already hanging in my closet. I don’t think I'd stay anywhere else in London now. The Goring really won my heart. ”