Annapolis, MDPI Midlantic client, Salamander Resort & Spa, the luxe Virginia property owned by Sheila Johnson, has been awarded the prestigious Five-Star Rating by the Forbes Travel Guide for the first time. This places the Middleburg, Va., resort and spa among the world’s most sought-after elite luxury hotels and resorts. 

The gold standard in the hospitality industry since 1958, the Forbes Five-Star ratings are based on professional, anonymous inspections. In other words, secret shoppers visit and inspect the hotels and resorts. Only 210 properties worldwide achieved the Five-Star rating, with just 79 recognized in the United States.

“The Salamander Resort & Spa is one of only two new properties in the U.S. to earn this international honor and recognition for its exceptional surroundings, design, quality and customer service,” said Steve Picarde, Jr, President, PI Midlantic. “We are extremely pleased to see Salamander Resort & Spa win this highly coveted award distinguishing it as one of the best global hotel and resort properties.”

Salamander Resort & Spa has been a client of PI Midlantic for several years. Through the use of the Predictive Index® Behavioral and Job Assessments (BA and JA), PI Midlantic helps companies improve overall workforce performance and culture by using the BA to identify the right people for the right job.

“This type of pinnacle award and recognition is years in the making,” said Picarde. “We have worked with Salamander over the long-term to help them identify truly service-oriented, outgoing and engaging people who will deliver top-tier service with aplomb in each and every guest interaction.”

“The PI BA was one part of an overall team effort by Salamander Resort & Spa to enhance service and culture. Our General Manager held directors accountable, we made training a major focus with two new trainers in operations, and we conducted daily team audits. All of this helped heighten our processes so we could make important changes as needed,” said Salamander Resort & Spa’s Director of Human Resources, Mike Hain.

Hain uses the PI assessment in three ways. First, it is used as part of the interview process with each candidate required to complete the brief behavioral survey. Secondly, the results are used to help understand each other and how individuals communicate with others. And lastly, the PI assessment aids in staff development efforts by focusing on people’s strengths, ensuring they are placed in positions where they and their skillsets can shine.

“The BA is accurate 99 percent of the time. This is proven when I asked candidates to read the results and they find them to be true descriptions of their work style,” said Hain.

“By focusing on people’s strengths, we create more motivated and engaged employees who are happier and committed to providing the high standard and level of service expected at a world-class hotel and resort,” said Picarde. “We take great pride in talent optimization, helping our clients align their talent with their business strategy.”

With this new honor and recognition, Salamander becomes the first destination resort in the Washington, D.C. region to achieve the Forbes Five-Star designation.

For more information about PI Midlantic and Talent Optimization, please contact Stephanie McGuinn, steph@creative2.com

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