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02/28/2020 IHG Careers Team

IHG Celebrate Service Week: A roundup of our favourite stories


Each year at IHG® we take a week to acknowledge the dedication and passion of colleagues across the globe, celebrating especially our front-line teams in particular who deliver extraordinary service every day.

Celebrate Service Week was created to say a great big ‘thank you’ to all our IHG colleagues who go above and beyond to deliver True Hospitality for everyone and for providing great service day in and day out. We celebrate and recognise colleagues who make our guests, and those we interact with every day, feel welcome and cared for, recognised and respected. No matter where in the world, our extended IHG family is always creating Great Hotels Guests Love®.  

Some statistics from this year:

  • 1,200+ posts on social media using #IHGCelebrateService and #TrueHospitality
  • More than 20 hotel visits by members of the Executive Committee
  • 1,300+ competition submissions were made sharing inspiring stories of True Hospitality


Of all the submissions we’ve handpicked a few of the winners from our regions to share! Let’s take a look at some inspiring stories of True Hospitality.

Abdou , Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park

“It was a sunny Friday morning at Crowne Plaza Doha when one of our guests came rushing through reception, from a far we noticed he looked frustrated, worried and disappointed.

The guest went straight to our concierge desk stuttering and struggling to express himself. Abdou was really trying to understand him.  He did not interrupt nor did he try to para-phrase what he was saying.  He had Abdou’s complete attention. The guest explained he lost his passport and had tried to speak with the embassy which was closed.

Abdou escorted the guest to one of the empty hotel meeting rooms, offered him some water and let him relax. Abdou requested late check-out for the guest before taking it upon himself to check CCTV. Abdou discovered he went to a meeting during his stay and was able to verify the guest was given his passport before getting into a public taxi. Abdou called the Taxi hotline and was able to trace the driver who had found the passport in the backseat.

When Abdou approached the guest with the good news, he totally went blank and had no words. The colour returned  to his face and the only words he could say were thank you. He hugged Abdou and held his hand.
The guest walked through the gift shop trying to get a gift for Abdou. I have never seen such a happy guest, he wrote one of the most remarkable pieces of feedback.” 

Above: Abdou, Crowne Plaza Doha 

Chris, InterContinental® Berlin

“Chris, the man we happened to meet at a bus stop in the middle of Berlin while asking for directions, happened to work at InterContinental – the hotel we were staying at! He talked with pride about the hotel, the city, and gave us suggestions on what to do for our short stay.  This was after he took the time to walk us to the hotel given the bus delays he was aware of.

After he helped us check-In, he introduced us to the concierge who gave us lots of tips on how to make the most of the city. Chris is the greatest brand ambassador you could ever ask for, because no amount of advertising or PR can ever take the place of a person caring about another person or helping someone in need. Please relay my thanks to him, he truly cares, and that is not something you can teach - it comes from the heart."

Nicky, Holiday Inn® Coventry M6 J2

“One of the organisers from a company came in for a meeting and was walking out of the conference room when he caught his trousers on the door and tore a hole in them at the knee. Without a second thought, our wonderful Nicky took the gentleman’s trousers and using a hotel sewing kit, she took time to personally repair them for him. The client was so grateful to Nicky and has become a regular customer at the hotel.”

Bing, Holiday Inn® Suzhou Jasmine

“Bing, a deaf waiter works in the western restaurant at our hotel. He is an enthusiastic, optimistic young man. Before he came to Holiday Inn Jasmine Suzhou, he had no relevant work experience.  During the past 6 months he’s worked so hard and has kept improving. From his point of view, he believes as long as he has a can do attitude, he will never be defeated by anyone or anything.”

Holiday Inn Express & Suites® Oklahoma City, Okla.

“One night earlier this year, we had a couple check in to our hotel (into a standard room). They came to the front desk and asked if they might be able to see the biggest suite. The couple had come from Kansas to finalise an adoption. The guests told us how they had tried several times before and have many times reached the final stages of an adoption only to have the parents back out at the last minute. This little girl they were adopting was the answer to their prayers!

Amber took it upon herself to give them a complimentary upgrade to the executive suite for the week. We got to meet the new born and the new mother jokingly commented that she needed some bows for her long hair.

On the last day of the guests' stay, Amber arranged for a handwritten card to be signed by our staff expressing our congratulations and six tiny pastel hair bows – perfect for a baby girl – to be delivered to the guest’s room.”

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