Name: Robert Schofield
Title: General manager
Company, city: The Langham, Chicago; Chicago, Ill.
Number of employees: 300
Recent project: As our hotel is only a little more than a year old, we are just in the process of refining and fine-tuning.
First job: A trainee accountant
Little-known fact about you: I am a chartered accountant.
Essential business philosophy: Keep a clear vision. To begin, you have to have the product. I believe in the cascade methodology — progress flows from the top to the bottom, and I live that philosophy day after day.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Never take your foot off the pedal. In addition to staying up to date with the trends, you must pay attention to details and key aspects of your business.
Yardstick of success: At the hotel, we measure our success by the guests and their feedback. Also, I judge by our return on investment and by comparing ourselves to our competitors. Can we produce, sell and promote while controlling our costs and expenses?
Robert Schofield as a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling? My cellphone; it keeps me in constant communication and allows me to use my time fruitfully.
How do you spend your time on board? Reading; I like to read about business trends in the Harvard Business Journal and think about ways we can use those business models in the hospitality industry.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? More my favorite meal — breakfast at Hotel Danieli in Venice
What is your favorite destination in the world? Venice, Italy; it’s so different from anywhere else.
About The Langham, Chicago
What amenities at The Langham, Chicago make travel easier for business and leisure guests?
The Club Lounge, our concept that combines butler service with the hotel club lounge service model. Butlers add a gracious touch, offering booking and concierge services. It’s less self-service for the guests and an upgraded product. It’s open to families. The 1865 frequent-guest program offers business travelers upgrades and perks across the Langham brand. It’s all about the personalized service.
Our meeting spaces boast large windows and bright sunlight. The Kid’s Suite on the eighth floor is a great escape filled with toys and activities. We host Friday and Saturday family-friendly films in our Cinema Suite.
Our fourth-floor wellness offerings are exceptional; it’s great to get away and enjoy spa treatments or a workout. Our swimming pool’s size is unique for the city and perfect for families. Residents of Chicago can also get spa memberships. The Pavilion Tea Room serves the best afternoon tea in Chicago, and Travelle, our on-site restaurant, attracts a hip, young, eclectic crowd. This summer, we debuted Elle on the River, our alfresco dining concept on the Chicago River. The more casual option serves Mediterranean tacos and small bites.
Tell our readers about your brand-new, modern guestrooms.
Our guestrooms are among the largest in Chicago, around 500 square feet. The windows open up the rooms. We’ve received a positive response to the opaque screen for the shower and the amenities, including a toothbrush, combs and more in our own brand. Our 55-inch televisions are also among the biggest in town, and our technology is state-of-theart. A true differentiator here are our service stylists, dressed in pink Chanel, who are found in the public areas of the hotel to serve our guests.
Why was this property the ideal location to begin expanding the Langham brand in North America?
There is a strong desire to spread the brand, and the Chicago opportunity was too good to turn down — a Mies van der Rohe design in an unbeatable location. The city is spending a $100 million grant to expand along the river, and we are the cusp of what is sure to be the new Chicago. At The Langham, Chicago, the brand’s U.S. flagship, we worked the building’s history into the design. We couldn’t make exterior changes, but our modern luxury interior design changes the feel of an office building.
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