I’ve stayed at luxury resorts (Four Seasons, Ritz, et al) but this moderately sized property has an appeal and charm that actually made it more relaxing for me than the standard luxe resort. I could go on about the marble reception area, beautifully landscaped pools and cozy bathrobes but those things are pretty de rigueur and alone do not define a fine resort. It’s the service: first, last and always.
What made their service so outstanding, and actually, preferable to the big name luxury resorts? Four things, and not in any order…
1. Eye contact. Everyone from the bus boy to the front desk manager looked me directly in the eye when speaking to me. Think about how often someone in service will look in your direction, but not always squarely in the face for the entire conversation. It may seem small, but it makes you realize that at that moment, you are their only guest. Nothing else, no one else matters to that person. The bartender didn’t ask what I wanted while he wiped down the bar, or rinsed glasses. He stopped and gave me his full attention.
2. Sincere friendliness. I was spared the canned niceties. For example when I called the spa I didn’t hear, “It’s a beautiful day at Spa Terre and I thank you for considering our services; with whom to I have the pleasure of speaking?” I am never impressed by someone who memorized the Good Service Playbook. The staff at LaPlaya were real, genuine, and felt free to show their warmth in their own way. You knew the smile was real. I heard “Are you going to the beach today?” or “I hope we don’t get another thunderstorm.” There was friendly, but not familiar chatter with graciousness and even humor.
3. Non-invasive attention. I’ve been in hotels where the staff freezes in the hallway, stands back to the wall, eyes fixed straight ahead when you near them. It’s some variation on the treatment Queen Elizabeth gets and word is even SHE doesn’t like that much formality. It’s not comfortable. It doesn’t make me feel special. It makes me feel like I have a spotlight following me around, and that’s not relaxing. Instead, if I was walking towards a door a staff member was near they just quietly held the door for me, and gave me a smile. No big deal. I knew they were observing me, but they weren’t making a big deal out of it. My towel into fell into a puddle by the pool; someone brought me a clean one. No words exchanged. Just an unobtrusive rectification. I knew the staff was observant, but they were not overt.
4. Efficiency. At breakfast, a server other than mine, noticed I was looking for my own. He didn’t say, “I’ll get your waiter,” but instead, “I’ll take care of you.” Within minutes my own server returned with my request. It was obvious that each member of each staff group (food and beverage, beach service, housekeeping, front desk) knew they were an important member of a team, and were ready to play any position.
This was my firs, but certainly not my last visit to LaPlaya. And I am eyeing closely other Noble House properties.
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- Also Known As:
- La Playa Beach Hotel
- La Playa Naples Florida
- Naples La Playa Resort
- Naples La Playa Beach
- Playa Beach Hotel
- La Playa Beach Resort Naples
- La Playa Resort Naples
- Laplaya Beach And Golf Resort