There is a reason for the recent silence on this blog. Distraction. Not the normal sort of social media distraction. This was an important distraction: Marilyn’s 60th birthday. Which to cut a long story short is how we came to discover that the Cardiff Hilton is indeed the friendliest hotel in the world.IMG_1728
There were contributory factors to my choice of hotel. Cardiff was one due to its proximity to our home and the fact that no.2 son Michael and his son live in Cardiff. Another factor was a decent supply of Hilton points that enabled the booking of a junior suite at absolutely no cost whatsoever for the room. Then there was the location of the hotel in the centre of Cardiff overlooking the castle and the city hall; plus proximity to one of the nicest shopping centres for miles.
IMG_1709Marilyn did not expect to be staying at the Cardiff Hilton on her birthday. She thought we were popping down to Cardiff for the day and would lunch on meatballs at IKEA (as you do to celebrate a 60th birthday!). But we went to IKEA, then on to Michael’s. Once at Michael’s I confessed that there was a room waiting for us at the Hilton. I had also arranged for No.4 son/no.5 child John to come down on the train after school and stay with Michael, so that on the Saturday we could enjoy a birthday lunch together in Cardiff Bay.
IMG_1788But back to the Cardiff Hilton. I stay in hotels all over the world, but I have never ever stayed in a hotel as friendly as this one. Every employee from the old chap at the entrance, to the reception staff, lounge staff, restaurant staff, etc., made us feel welcome and treated us like old friends instead of just another punter. I can’t begin to describe how this made us feel. The staff of the Cardiff Hilton made our stay and Marilyn’s birthday memorable. I cannot praise them enough.
IMG_1703Now I know that all hotels are in the business of attracting customers and hopefully making a few bob out of them. So why aren’t staff at other hotels like the staff at the Cardiff Hilton who provided an excellent example of a great team working together to provide a genuine welcome and an unforgettable experience for all their guests. All it really took was a few smiles, a willingness to listen and engage with guests, and a general demeanour that made us feel that they enjoyed our company. And they did it all well. There is a lesson for the church in there somewhere.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12: 6-10 NLT)