Q&A: Donald Crossley, Concierge of the Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago

Donald Crossley, Concierge of the Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago can tell you are story or two after 26 years in the luxury hotel business. From helping an NBA player propose to his beloved during the Chicago Bulls championship run or falling into a recycle bin while getting a newspaper for a guest, he’s done it all. Don’t ask him for anything extremely outrageous though, he has been known to politely refuse to fulfill these kind of requests for celebrity guests.

I believe that you have been nicknamed the “Mayor of the Hyatt”. Where did you get that term of endearment?

In the early 90’s I was given that nickname while working at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The General Manager, Jerry Lewin, saw that I was getting a lot of positive comments & feedback from guests and Hyatt Spirit awards from the associates. I was also assisting the Executive Committee and employees with various requests. Mr. Lewin gave me the nickname. I was so proud of that name. I had some great mentors at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

How do you think guest experience has changed over the last few years? How has this impacted your service style?

A lot of requests now are more like demands. They say they can get better service at Hotel XYZ. We can never let a guest believe we can’t accommodate their request unless it is illegal. My service style has remained the same for more than 20 years which is why I am still in the business.

What do you think guests are expecting from luxury hotels and their staff? 

The word “luxury” says it all. They want top notch service from the management down to the laundry staff. They expect larger rooms and better upkeep of the hotel. They want business center services assisted by an actual person, not just computers.

How has technology made your life easier? And more difficult?

I am from the old school of service, technology helped speed the process of assisting a guest with restaurants, booking various activities within the city and getting directions quickly. The difficult part is making sure the information that technology is giving is accurate and correct because everyone always checks the internet!

Tell us a story we would not believe…

A couple was getting married and it was November (the weather was absolutely terrible). The friend who was their witness couldn’t get to Chicago due to the weather. I took an early lunch that day and went to City Hall to be their witness.

Did you also help guests get a dog from a shelter?

An international couple had just recently moved to Chicago and I had been helping them with various requests. I went with them to the Animal Welfare League on LaSalle and helped them get a puppy. There was a language barrier and they needed assistance with communicating, I was glad to help.