Hospitality – getting down to the basics

I attended a conference recently where a very senior and seasoned hotelier was speaking.  He had been around the block a few times and so his advice was sage and frank.  It was so refreshing!!

After many years working with different hotels and brands, he said, it really boils down to 5 key things.  If you get those right, you are golden.  No secrets here…just the basics:  great location, good product, cleanliness, good value and excellent service.   Save yourself all that time sitting in a room trying to determine your edge, or what your unique identity or brand will be.  Strive to do all 5 really well and do them consistently and you will come out a winner.

It was so refreshing to hear this.  Recently, we met with one of our bellmen at our sales meeting who has worked at many hotels.  He said the best part of working at the Elgin was that he felt he was not constrained under the corporate ‘speak’ and that he could get back to good old hospitality.   Guests like the warmth and friendly ways that his team showed.  He enjoyed being more himself and felt it made a difference and he does!

Hospitality is not always easy to get right, but it’s also not rocket science.  It takes a lot of people to like working together really well and all being on the same page.  As one of our bellmen said today – you have to be able to let me carry it – trust me!!  and he was not talking about bags, he was talking about helping us sell the hotel.  We need to trust each other.  Not much different than when you have a big dinner party.  Lots of moving parts, but its beautiful when it comes together.  Preparation is key… and working together well.

I love entertaining, so no wonder I love this business and the people in it.  Never a dull moment and so beautiful when you get it right!