A BUTLER who saves the day with his resourcefulness is a description that fits Mr David Devasarayan, assistant manager of the Pacific Club at the Pan Pacific Singapore, perfectly.
The Pacific Club is an exclusive room category occupying three floors in the 37-storey high hotel. Here, guests enjoy access to the dedicated lounge and are well taken care of by the Pacific Club Butler team.
"A butler must have a passion for interacting with and serving guests. He or she must have a cheerful personality and be good at multi-tasking," says Mr Devasarayan.
The 40-year-old began his career in hospitality in 1988. He started out at the Pan Pacific Singapore as a room attendant and rose through the ranks to become a team leader, then a supervisor, before assuming his current role in 1998.
Going the extra mile
At the Pacific Club, Mr Devasarayan oversees the operations and manages a team of 11 associates. Working an average of 10 hours daily, he typically starts his day by assigning tasks to the associates and briefing them on the guests' arrival and departure times.
He explains: "It is important to know the estimated time of arrival of the guests so the associates can meet and greet them at the hotel lobby. We also try to ascertain their departure time so we can make necessary transport arrangements and ensure that the guests are escorted to the driveway personally by a butler after checking out.
"My job essentially revolves around meeting guests' needs, which range from making restaurant recommendations or reservations, and packing or unpacking of luggage to pressing clothes."
"Through the conversations, I learn about a guest's preferred beverage in the mini-bar and can arrange for it accordingly in his or her subsequent stay at the hotel."
Mr Devasarayan also conducts room checks to ensure that rooms are clean, the welcome fruit platter holds the guest's preferred fruit, and flowers and chocolates are placed in the room for special occasions.
When the hotel occupancy rate is high, he and his associates pitch in to clean the facilities and ensure that the toiletries are replenished.
Mr Devasarayan goes to great lengths to provide guests with personalised service, whether it is delivering a forgotten jacket or keeping an eye on their well-being.
He has garnered countless compliments for himself and the hotel because of his meticulousness and initiative. Once, he helped a guest select a jacket for a media interview and when he realised the guest had forgotten to take it along, he had it delivered to him.
He also recalls a time when he acted on his instincts upon seeing a male guest's pallid face. He informed the guest's wife and immediately got the hotel vehicle to send the elderly guest to the hospital.
"It turned out that he had developed pneumonia during the flight, and had to be hospitalised for a month."
The guest and his family continue to shower him with praises each time they meet.
Mr Devasarayan recently attended the Professional Butler course, where he learnt about service excellence standards set by the International Guild of Butlers and Household Managers. Equipped with additional tips, he looks set to make more guests happier.