With hotels all over the world, the global head of Hilton Garden Inn was on hand at an awards ceremony in Turks and Caicos last week to present representatives of the Cartersville HGI with the 2012 Overall Service Award for coming in as the No. 3 Hilton Garden Inn property in the world. In addition to the HGI service award, the Cartersville hotel was recognized by their management company, HP Hotels, for Hotel of the Year and Director of Sales of the Year, both awards were the second in a row for the 3-year-old hotel.
“We’ve just been incredibly humbled and honored,” said Cartersville HGI Director of Sales Michele Sims. “Our management company is HP Hotels, they’re out of Birmingham, Ala. They have properties in over a dozen states and the awards were given through them this past weekend where we won Hotel of the Year for the second year and I won Director of Sales of the Year for the second year.
“And then while we were at the meeting, Hilton Garden Inn Global Head Adrian Kurre gave a presentation followed by a special award. And then we won a third award, which was the 2012 Overall Service Award and that was based on us being the No. 3 Hilton Garden Inn property in the world.”
The Overall Service Award was based on a number of components for which the Cartersville property outpaced nearly every other Hilton Garden Inn hotel. Service is rated using guest satisfaction surveys coupled with other factors, including Hilton quality assurance scores. Quality assurance is scored by regular visits from a Hilton inspector grading properties at least twice a year on guest room conditions, health and safety, financial records and food service.
“It’s crazy when you think about it, because this is Cartersville. When you let that sink in, that there are only two other [HGI] properties on the planet that rank higher than us, it’s a hard concept to comprehend,” Sims said. “We all treat it like it’s our own home, so there’s a lot of pride and everyone works hard to ensure we’re doing everything we can do to make the guests’ stay as comfortable and productive as possible.
“It’s not that other properties don’t work hard, they absolutely do, Hilton is well known for consistent quality. However, we don’t have huge amazing mountains people will flock to for skiing. We don’t have an ocean behind us where people will come to anyway. When people come to Cartersville, they come here on purpose and we know that we have to work harder for any business that comes in. They’re not just going to come here anyway like larger venues, like Chicago or even Atlanta. So for us to have the volume we have, we have to work harder, because people underestimate smaller venues and smaller communities. And sometimes it’s fun to prove the big boys wrong.”
The majority of Cartersville HGI’s business comes from business travel. Whereas other hotels struggle to fill rooms during the week, the Cartersville property finds itself in the opposite situation with a regular flow of corporate travel.
“Definitely we are a corporate-travel hotel. I have always lived in Georgia, but I have specifically worked in Cartersville for 17 years, but until I started working in the hospitality industry here, I never understood the depth and amount of corporate business we have here. We have so many national and international companies that are based right here in Bartow, it’s remarkable. During the week, particularly Monday through Wednesday, we’re generally sold out,” Sims said. “It’s just remarkable to us and we couldn’t do that without the partnership of companies in this community. People have been so gracious, have been so supportive and we don’t take that lightly. We not only reflect our brand, we reflect this community.”
A major factor in boosting sales for Cartersville HGI and other area hotels, said Sims are the county’s numerous attractions. The greatest asset, however, has been the Clarence Brown Conference Center. With a larger venue for conferences and conventions, more companies and associations are staying in and around Cartersville.
Hilton Garden Inn Cartersville is located at 24 Liberty Drive. The hotel boasts 108 guest rooms, an indoor/outdoor saltwater mineral pool and about 5,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space.