Luis Carreno has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality and has held senior management positions within the industry for 26 years. He has honed his leadership skills previously with Marriott as well as with a number of select, independent hotels. Mr. Carreno graduated from Saint Edwards University in Austin, TX with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a minor in Marketing.
THE CARRENO STORY —
I worked my way up in hotel management from an hourly housekeeping position to General Manager and during my earlier years I had numerous insightful conversations with veterans of the industry. Their obvious commitment to the customers and guests of the hotel greatly influenced my leadership path in the hospitality industry.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
I’m driven by a need to help and care for others and my children’s well-being and happiness. As it relates to the hospitality industry, it is always the desire to go above and beyond to provide a clean, efficient product and a safe environment for our associates and guests.
Describe who your customer is at Creekside Inn Hotel?
Our customer base is a mix of well-educated younger professionals and mature affluent visitors to the Palo alto area
What are guests searching for in their visit and how do you meet those expectations?
Location is a big draw for our hotel, however, our ability to provide a safe, comfortable, clean room with value packed amenities is also a huge factor. A few of those include: complimentary Wi Fi and transportation within a 5-mile radius in one of our Tesla vehicles.
What makes the Palo Alto area so dynamic and how those in the hospitality side of the aisle need to respond and deliver?
Palo Alto is an affluent, fast paced and safe community, with an ever-changing landscape of new startups. Our challenge is to meet their constant expectation of service and highly efficient technology in order to execute their jobs while staying with us.
Your biggest pet peeve relating to the hospitality industry and the guests being served is what?
Guests are our number one priority. We rely on our staff (associates) to execute our mission statement flawlessly and if by chance we fall short, my expectation is that they will feel empowered to follow through with our service promises and resolve any complaint in a timely manner.
You have a guest coming to Creekside and they have a keen interest in the golf side. How would you go about handling their interest?
In the past we’ve called the golf course and arranged tee times as requested by the guest; if they are playing at a nearby course within a five mile radius of the hotel we provide complimentary
The hospitality industry is keen to speak about the critical dimension of customer service. Define the term and the approach you and your staff take for guests staying at the property?
At Greystone Hotels the term is defined as providing exceptional service to each and every guest. All of our associates are trained to listen, empathize and act on problem resolution. Empowerment is the norm.
What differences are there in expectations for guests from the Baby Boomer generation and those from the ascending Millennial generation?
Despite their perceived differences, at the core I believe that both Millennials and Baby Boomers most expect a clean, updated, quiet and problem free room. Additionally, the requirement of multiple outlets to charge all devices is a necessity along with fast, efficient, problem free Wi Fi.
What is the biggest challenge facing the hospitality industry — short and long term?
Finding a happy, competent and qualified work force along with an oversupply of inventory in the marketplace.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
A good supervisor in the past told me, “If you do not take care of family, who are you going to take care of?” I have always followed this principle when associates need help or ask for a favor.