Clients and partners routinely ask @valkyrie to ‘recommend hotels,’ especially in central London. We are also regularly contacted by hotels who want us to endorse their hotels – we’ve had several contact us recently, and last week, after initial assessment via online resources, etc. we arranged meetings with two intending to add them to our current ‘approved’ list.
Selecting and recommending the ‘right hotel’ for clients’ (often VIPs) is critical to ensure their safety, comfort, and privacy. Security measures should be discreet and not intrude upon the clients/VIP’s comfort/convenience. Specific requirements for clients – of which security is a key one – may vary depending on the individual’s profile/status, any perceived threats, the nature of their visit, itinerary, personal preferences and the hotel’s policies, etc. so, it’s essential to conduct a detailed review before recommending a hotel.
The importance of hotel selection cannot be overstated; hence, taking time to assess/select hotels is vitally important. Remember it’s your reputation on the line as well as the safety/security of your client. Yes, there’s a lot to consider and experienced teams will have their own checklists and procedures – the following are a few headline considerations from our experience:
1.Selecting a hotel is a collaborative effort involving the security team, the hotel, and any external consultants – always plan in advance
2.Communication and a thorough understanding of the client’s needs are essential for a successful arrangement – flexibility is vital, as security requirements may change during the stay
3.Think about geographical location in terms of where the hotel is located and where the client needs to go. Select a centrally positioned hotel cutting down on unnecessary vehicle movement
4.Conduct a detailed security assessment of the hotel to ensure they are of a high standard, check–access control, floor/room security, CCTV coverage, internal security personnel standards, emergency/crisis management plans, and baggage handling procedures. Does the hotel conduct staff background checks? What is the cooperation with the police?
5.Does the hotel regularly deal with VIPs and have procedures/protocols in place? If they do, they should have a good understanding of a VIP’s needs/expectations, which in turn should make for a smooth stay – ideally, the hotel should provide a designated point of contact.
6.Does the hotel provide discreet and secure drop off/pick-up, check-in/out and private meeting areas – important to avoid unnecessary public or media attention
7.Don’t forget cybersecurity; it’s often overlooked when travelling, but protecting against data breaches and cyberattacks is essential
8.With the constantly evolving threat landscape keep your approved list under constant review and reassess regularly