The Dolder Grand is one of Zurich's most renowned five-star hotels – its very name conveys grandeur and nobility.
Stefan Bürgler, Head of Security at Dolder Hotel AG, welcomed Protectas for an interview and a guided tour. As we talked, it quickly became clear that security here is discreet and personalised – not only as regards the approach adopted by Protectas, but also in keeping with the needs of a prestigious hotel that is steeped in tradition.
The hotel's main building dates from 1899. All the buildings erected after that date were demolished during the refurbishment undertaken between 2004 and 2008. This freed up space for two wings adjacent to the original building, lending a contemporary touch to the ensemble. Stefan Bürgler took us on a guided tour of the premises. As we walked, we admired contemporary paintings and other works of art displayed on historic walls. Subdued elegance is the keynote of the furnishings in the main areas.
As soon as guests make their first contact with the Dolder Grand, every attention is devoted to their requirements – and the same is true when it comes to security. The hotel focuses on prevention and intervention, on the basis of a structured and holistic concept. "We don't have one 'standard' security concept," the Head of Security explains. "All of our guests have very personal wishes, so we adapt our concept to each situation."
Any wishes that guests might have regarding security services are identified with the help of a questionnaire: does the guest want to be met at the airport, for example? By a driver who has medical skills? Is an emergency service needed on site? When an official guest visits the hotel, the municipal police become involved in addition to Protectas. In these cases, the Dolder Grand coordinates collaboration between the private and public security service providers.
Given the circumstances, it's clear that the requirements to be met by Protectas staff are more demanding than usual. All the individuals who work for the Dolder Grand are armed, and they must have exceptional skills. A good command of languages, the ability to operate independently, a high awareness of their responsibilities, good manners and above-average social skills: these are the basic qualifications for working in this luxurious setting.
This is why each member of the team is hand-picked by the line management at Protectas. Every member of staff is familiarised with the hotel and its history, and is trained on the premises before his or her first deployment.
Transparency, honesty, sincerity and trust: in Stefan Bürgler's view, these are the attributes that provide the sound basis for the long-standing partnership between the Dolder Grand and Protectas. He appreciates the continuity of Protectas' services and the enormous personal dedication of the staff with whom he has direct contact: "All of the services are impeccable: one call is all that's needed to obtain a customised solution. The heads of the various specialist departments and services are familiar with our needs and requirements. Specific cases also receive prompt attention and are dealt with to our entire satisfaction. We wouldn't find this service anywhere else. Protectas has the expert skills that are essential to operate in the luxury hotel environment."
Guests from all over the world each have their own completely different ideas about security. This calls for a highly empathetic approach. As well as overcoming language barriers, staff at the Dolder Grand have to forge links between different cultures. Stefan Bürgler emphasises that a person-to-person interview about security builds up a degree of trust with the hotel's guests. The physical presence of security agents is also an essential factor. The requirements profile is set to become even more extensive in the future and "security à la carte" will soon become a standard thanks to additional training.
To learn more about The Dolder Grand, visit: thedoldergrand.com