Walking into my favorite NY hotel on a recent weekend was so joyful.

They’d re-opened after a pandemic-driven closure of two years, and entering the lobby, I was filled with both excitement and nostalgia.

What would I find?

Would Tsering – who had always been so good to me, so helpful — still be at the front desk?

Would he even recognize or remember me?  It had been almost 3 years.

Preparing to check in, I’d pulled up the note in my phone — en route from LGA – on which rooms I prefer.

Tsering and I greeted one another immediately and chatted about the lost time, about all that had transpired.  And before I could rattle off the room numbers he said, “I think you like the 01 room, let me take a look and put you in there.”

No joke.

No notes.

3 years.

Later, toward the end of my stay, a front desk colleague of Tsering’s was helping with my late check out, and I saw the same experience unfold: A couple arrived at the front desk beaming and brimming, and exclaiming, “We’ve been coming here for 20 years and this is our first time back!”

They waited patiently to greet and check in with the front desk gentleman who was their Tsering.

New York has a lot of hotels.

And I can’t tell you why I originally chose the Omni years ago.

But I can tell you why I keep going back, and likely why that couple does.

It’s not just because the Omni has that great, old NY feel with the brass elevator panels.

Or is within perfect walking distance of shoes and fashion and MOMA and up or downtown.

Or because the windows open to let in the fresh air and sounds and smell of the city.

Or because the rooms are so peaceful upon entering, even in the heart of Midtown East.

We keep going back because to walk through the doors is to be met with recognition and reunion and return.

Are you creating that kind of customer experience?

One that generates loyalty that is unable to be deterred?

By a pandemic, by a closure of more than 2 years, by a multitude of other choices?