Last October (2019), we stayed at Raffles Jakarta for 7 days, and it was a business trip. The hotel was fantastic and exceeded our expectations.

On the third day, we had a business lunch arranged by the hotel (a buffet). One of my colleagues, who is allergic to seafood, had some prawns, accidentally causing him a severe allergic reaction which required an immediate medical intervention which was arranged by the hotel very quickly.

Two hours later my colleague was fine. He was able to go back to his room, which was on the 5th floor, while the whole action was on the second floor if I remember correctly. On the way to his room, almost every staff member he met asked him if he was OK! At first, he thought the staff witnessed the accident somehow, but the story does not end.

Literally, wherever he was moving inside the hotel for the two days following the accident, regardless of the floor, the staff would approach him nicely and ask him if he was OK and if he needs anything. I am talking about all kinds of staff, room service, housekeeping, maintenance, pool staff, etc.

The funny thing is, the business trip was about "service excellence" as I work in the hospitality business (airlines, not hotels). In one of the seminars on that trip, we actually included this story as an example, yet we didn't know how was the staff all over the hotel briefed about my colleague, how they approach him every time they see him, and ensured that he forgets this bad experience in a magical way.

How did the staff know? There were hundreds of guests at the time staying at the hotel, and I would understand that this would be easy if my colleague had green or blue skin, but he looks like any other guest! Was his photo sent to the staff? Perhaps from the passport copy they had? What was actually going on?

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    The staff talk to each other? Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 18:25
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    The staff are good at what they do. And, your friends experience is not unusual for a high class establishment. Good staff make a habit of remembering things about their guests and passing on information to the other staff. I have experienced this in hotels and resorts around the world. They remember food and drink preferences, children’s names, hometowns, local sights and activities you may like. Hospitality is an art. Your friends situation just made that art a little more pressing than how I take my Bourbon Old Fashion (yes, bourbon with extra bitters & seared orange peel zest, please).
    – Dean F.
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 18:48
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    I’m voting to close this question there’s no way for anybody here to know how the hotel did this. OP already has one reasonably plausible guess in the question, any answers provided can only take the form of additional speculation.
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 19:09
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    @ChrisH a person with enough hotel management experience would know, all kinds of experts are here.. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 19:09
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    I find it interesting that what I would experience as creepy and intrusive is apparently "excellent service" for you. :) Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


It's a high-end hotel that apparently prides itself on the personal touch.

The staff knew because the hotel distributed info about your colleague and what happened, and encouraged staff's personal enquiries about your colleague's well-being.

Most guests are generic, but some — like your colleague — have something unusual or distinguishing or concerning happen during their stay. The hotel pays attention to these guests and occurrences, for a very good reason: both you and your colleague are impressed and grateful, and have shared your experience with others.

This is good for the hotel's reputation, and good for its business.

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    They pay attention. People can distinguish between individuals. The guest named "x" staying in Room Y would help too. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 18:50
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    @NeanDerThal It's not uncommon in luxury hotels (and especially resorts) for staff to have photos of guests and try to memorize as many guest names as possible along with other pertinent information, sometimes with guest photos even hanging in the kitchen or other staff areas. A large hotel can't have every employee know every guest, but they can be sure to know guests of particular importance, such as VIPs, repeat guests and guests who may influence business to the hotel, those celebrating special occasions, and other guests of note, which could easily include your colleague. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:37
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    The person in question wasn't a "generic" guest. It was a guest that had a serious medical emergency. I'll be damned if the hotel isn't busting chops to make sure a guest doesn't outright DIE in their hotel. I'm pretty sure every staff probably had this special guest memorized and mentioned in their daily meetings, and to make sure he doesn't touch seafood again.
    – Nelson
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 8:44
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    @ZachLipton That comment actually sounds like it would work fine as an answer, and might address the OP's question of how exactly their colleague was identified. Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 9:54
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    In addition to "a great hotel staff will remember as much about guests as possible", don't forget one thing: you and your friends were at Raffles for a CONFERENCE on SERVICE EXCELLENCE. Even the local Motel 6 would go the extra mile for this kind of word-of-mouth! Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 1:59

One possibility is that the hotel has security camera video of the accident, and showed it in an employee meeting. It would help reinforce being careful about allergies, and demonstrate the benefit of prompt medical intervention.

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