Ah, the rain has gone! Still cloudy, but much much much nicer than yesterday. Also, because now more things can be done, I've also managed to enjoy more of the resort's services, scenery, and uniqueness. I've only been to two other resorts: Amari Palm Reef — the one I stayed one night before moving to this one, and Pimalai — which was in 2006. Of course, they're not comparable because of the vast price difference, and since you get what you pay for... naturally the standards are way higher in The Banyan Tree. Nevertheless, customer service is something that has to be thought out carefully as well, and the staff have to be well trained.
To begin, because the resort is very big (it's surrounding an entire lagoon with very steep sides), and there it's on the side of a hill, to get from one end to another quickly, it's best to use a buggy. The resort provides this service on call. If you ring the main desk, within 1 minute or so, there will be a buggy waiting outside your villa. They do this by having a comms network of walkie talkies throughout the entire resort, and drivers spread out around the whole resort.
The walkways are narrow enough in most areas that only one buggy can pass through at one time. To prevent situations where you have to "face-off" another buggy, there are "marshalls" at every big intersection with walkie talkies to control and halt traffic if there's another buggy approaching the intersection. Mind you, traffic is not heavy at all! If you walk around the resort (which you can of course), you'll probably see one buggy around 15mins or so? During "peak", like mealtimes or something. Maybe one every 2-3mins. I'm talking about that kind of frequency. Yet, these marshalls are there throughout the whole day and even after sunset. Latest I've seen is around 2100? I haven't gone out of the room later than that yet.
Then let me talk about this morning's breakfast. Apart from the usual clearing of plates fast, helping you with your napkin, and pushing your chair in as you sit down, as the sun rose, some of the customers sitting further away from the building got the full blaze of the morning sun. This is the tropics still, so while early morning sun is good, sun around 9am+ starts to get rather hot. The staff started moving in those standing umbrellas to shade those who were under the sun. And they weren't even asked to.
We went down to town after that because my mum wanted to, but dinner was still back at the resort. Meals in the resort's restaurants require reservation (ok not require, but we are strongly encouraged to). We saw why pretty easily. It's for better customer service. I guess it's mostly for staff management so that they're never under-staffed. When we got there, there was a table with a leaf with my mum's name written on it. Small things like that matter too. And when all our main dishes arrived, before we could start eating, one of the staff brought out a digital camera and took a family photo for us, followed by printing it out, and placing it in a special card that said "We enjoyed having you with us and hope this brings back fond memories".