Steven Boggs is the Director of Global Guest relations at The Beverly Hills Hotel. He talks about the hospitality industry and working with Dorchester Collection
What does your role involve with Dorchester Collection?
I have been with The Beverly Hills Hotel for 19 years. My current role as Director of Global Guest Relations is really about developing a relationship with our guests. Starting from the moment they make the reservation through their departure and then maintaining those relationships so that we can keep them as valued clients.
What was your background before joining Dorchester Collection?
When I was about 22, I thought I would try being a real estate broker. The market at the time was very soft so I took a job as a room service waiter at Hotel Bel-Air to make some extra cash. I quickly realised I hated real estate but loved the hotel business. I became the Room Service Manager and then took over running the Pool operations as well and then became the Hotel Assistant Manager and eventually transitioned over to The Beverly Hills Hotel.
How important is Diversity and Inclusion to Dorchester Collection?
To be truly successful in the hospitality industry Diversity and Inclusion are absolute necessities, particularly with an international collection of hotels such as ours. Every single day guests of all different races, nationalities, religions, economic backgrounds, political views, and sexual orientations walk through our doors. For a diverse clientele such as ours to feel at home, a staff that is equally as diverse is vital.
What benefits does a policy of Diversity and Inclusion offer the staff at Dorchester Collection and its guests?
A former general manager of mine said that a hotel is only bricks and mortar, it’s the staff that makes the difference. We place enormous emphasis on the culture at our hotels. If employees know they are valued and respected, they in turn will value and respect our guests.
What has been your proudest achievement working for Dorchester Collection?
After 19 years, it’s hard to pick just one. The most recent was how we handled the current pandemic. At the outset, we made it clear that everyone’s job was safe and that all medical benefits would continue. Even though it would have made more sense financially to close, like most of the other hotels around the world, we chose to remain open and continue caring for the few guests we had. The Beverly Hills Hotel kept open during the 1918 pandemic, World War 1, Prohibition, the Depression, World War 2 and riots and earthquakes, etc., so it was with a real sense of pride that we stayed open through the pandemic as well.
What can your hotel uniquely offer the LGBTQ+ traveller?
What everyone wants: to be accepted, respected and to feel safe. I have always had three very simple values: respect the guests, respect the employees, and respect the property.
And, on a personal note, what gives you the most fulfillment and enjoyment?
As a native Angeleno, I have long been fascinated by the history of LA and Hollywood in particular. So to be able to work at the iconic hotel where much of that history happened is a gift.
I really enjoy passing some of the stories on to the younger staff members or to a guest that has saved up just to afford a few nights in the hotel and watching their eyes light up. That lets me know the mystique of The Beverly Hills Hotel will continue on for another 100 years.