The BLLA Team sits down with Union Club Hotel, Winner of the Best Boutique Hotel of 2021 Over 100 Rooms Award!
Hear what General Manager, Vicki Wicks, has to say!
BLLA: What is your hotel’s mission statement?
VW: “Celebrate the Legacy with a New Era of Hospitality”
BLLA: How do you stay authentic to the boutique essence?
VW: “Authenticity starts with the thoughtful and authentic design of the hotel, which is inspired by Purdue University’s classic colors, icons and history. When guests walk through the doors of the Union Club Hotel, they know they’ve arrived somewhere special. The furnishings and attention to detail are modern, sophisticated interpretations of the nearly 100-year-old hotel.
“The design can’t deliver on the boutique essence alone, the genuine service of our staff, curated moments and inspired culinary offerings bring the bespoke experience to life from the moment they walk through the door.”
BLLA: How does your team operate as a family?
VW: “We have a unique place in the boutique hotel world as more than 60 percent of our associates are university students. In addition to a luxury hotel, we are a hands-on learning laboratory for students enrolled in Purdue University’s White Lodging-J.W. Marriott Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“Our team first bonded together as a family during the reopening process in 2020. Due to the pandemic, we could not bring in additional support, and we moved the entire 182-room hotel as a team. We lifted every box and placed every item. This helped our team understand each area of the property and cross train in multiple areas. It is not unusual to find the housekeeping manager assisting in banquets or the restaurant manager helping in housekeeping.
“From sales to housekeeping and every department in between, we work together to create a unique experience for our guests and associates. We also take the time to know each other as individuals not just as professionals. Our staff takes this focus to a personal level by giving each other individualized birthday gifts – from our favorite snacks to mementos of our favorite sports team.”
BLLA: Why does your hotel and team believe in the boutique movement?
VW: “Travelers and guests of all types look for experiences when they travel, and boutique hotels have always delivered on this desire. Boutique hotels like the Union Club Hotel are timeless and unique in design and service; this creates an environment where you can truly experience and live the brand and the location at every moment – as a guest and an associate.”