As the first point of contact for arriving guests, being a doorman requires a considerable amount of charm and a generous helping of people skills. Whether it’s day or night, pouring with rain or a boiling hot summer’s day, it’s the doorman’s responsibility to greet everyone with a smile and make them feel welcome at the hotel. Steven Thornett, Head Doorman at The Milestone Hotel, knows how important it is to make sure guests feel at home. He chats to us about unusual guest requests and getting to know every dog in the neighbourhood.
How long have you been Head Doorman at The Milestone?
“I’ve been Head Doorman for five years now – I’ve just received my silver carnation. I started during the 2012 Olympics, a fantastic time to have been in London. The time has gone so quickly!”
What do you think sets The Milestone apart from other London hotels?
“The staff, definitely. We have a really great bunch of individuals – real characters some of them – that make an awesome team. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our guests and providing exceptional service.”
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
“It basically comes down to offering the best service possible. I take care of all of my guests and as I’m stood on the street, I get to help members of the public too. Often, just through a bit of chatting, I get passers-by to come in to the hotel for a look and invariably, it’ll lead to them enjoying Afternoon Tea in our Park Lounge, a drink in Stables Bar or even a night’s stay.
Of course, I also know just about every dog in the area. It’s fantastic having the gardens just across the road from the hotel.”
Tell us a bit about the most memorable moments you’ve experienced at The Milestone?
“The best bit for me is hearing how much guests have enjoyed their stay with us. I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing they’d give anything to stay longer if they could. I think ‘job done, another happy guest!’”
What tips do you always give guests staying at The Milestone?
“Every guest is an individual, so the same tips do not always work for everyone. However, I like to chat to each person, get to know them, find out what they like and work from there. As a basic, it pays to know the area like the back of your hand, a few regular cabbies, and to watch the weather forecast!
Something I give to each and every guest is a warm and friendly, ‘Welcome home’. It may seem like a small thing and a contrite saying, but we strive to treat our guests like family and they know it comes from the heart.”
What’s the most unusual request you’ve received from a guest?
Not unusual per se but definitely one of the most exciting things I’ve done is pick up a brand new Ferrari from Liverpool and drive it down to London for a guest.”
If you’ve got friends visiting from out of town, where do you take them?
“Lee Valley White Water Centre, I love chatting to people, as you could guess, but sometimes it renews the soul to connect with nature a bit. For a bit of fun, I enjoy a pub crawl along the banks of the Thames, mainly along the Hampton Court to Kingston stretch.
What are the best aspects of being a doorman?
“I get to meet so many different people from all walks of life. As they say, ‘variety is the spice of life’. I just love people!
I enjoy being outdoors – in the dead of winter or the height of summer, it’s better than being behind a desk for me.”
Pick up a few local tips from Steven when you visit The Milestone Hotel for a decadent Afternoon Tea in the Park Lounge.
Image Credits: All images courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels.