|Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Griggs, March
We hear this question frequently. We hear it from clients, from
colleagues, and from guests. We are always pleased to be asked for
several reasons. First, it gives us the opportunity to reminisce
and remember enjoyable experiences; it also causes us to reflect on the
things that make a hotel memorable. It is also a chance to share
our thoughts with others, something we very much enjoy.
A plush resort on the tip of a sun drenched peninsular in Mexico with a panoramic view of both the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez ranks very high on our list. At the other end of the spectrum is a large resort in the Canadian Rockies that offers a breathtaking view of remote mountain splendor.
Also on the “favorite” list is a sprawling hotel complex in the heart of Bangkok. Surrounded by spacious grounds, lush tropical landscaping, and temple-like towers, one is mentally transported to a jungle environment.
We must not omit the classic hotels and resorts that abound all over the U.S. These include the large urban properties ranging from the historic to the ultra modern and world class ski and beach resorts with extensive recreation facilities. We have also visited many excellent smaller country inns and B&B’s, historic and modern, and some merit inclusion on our list. Some are famous while others are obscure; some are luxurious and some are elegantly simple.
Despite the very wide variety of locations, types, sizes, and styles of hotels we considered in the quest for our favorite, there is one common denominator: people. Every hotel on our favorite list is characterized by a very special atmosphere or ambience. Ambience is not created by location, architecture, or any other physical attribute. Although physical things can add to the effect, people alone create ambience.
One of our favorite places, albeit an unlikely example, is an 8-room roadside motel in West Texas. This ultimate “mom and pop” operation has large but simply furnished rooms, a gravel parking lot, and registration in the owner’s living room The 8 rooms are spotlessly and personally cleaned every day by the owners; there are no employees.
There are no phones in the rooms. Each guest is asked two questions at check in: “What time do you want to wake up, and how do you like your coffee”. Your wake-up call is the owner knocking at your door with hot coffee. When I asked the owners why only 8 rooms, the told me they built only as many as they were sure they could personally handle at their standard of housekeeping, maintenance, and service. They have succeed in creating a very special place and are firmly positioned on our list.
So, what is our favorite hotel? The jury is still out on that but you can be sure the final winner will be an immaculate facility run by genuinely hospitable people providing impeccable personalized service surrounded by breathtaking natural vistas, and giving guests everything they need for a truly special experience.
Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Griggs
|Also See:||The Current Value of AAA Hotel Ratings / Feb 2003|
|Stars and Diamonds; Some Similarities and Some Differences / January 2003|
|AAA's Delay: Good or Bad? / July 2002|
|Timing Is Everything, Or Is It? / July 2002|
|Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far / May 2002|
|People Really Do Make the Difference / Jan 2002|
|What Is a Boutique Hotel? / Dec 2001|
|The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001|
|How Important is Service? / Sept 2001|
|Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001|
|Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001|
|Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001|
|Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001|
|Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001|
|Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001|
|Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001|
|AAA Standards vs Guests' Expectations / May 2001|
|Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001|
|Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001|
|The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001|
|Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001|
|How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000|
|Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000|
|Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000|
|The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000|
|What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000|
|If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000|
|Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000|
|Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000|
|What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999|
|Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999|
|Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999|
|Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999|
|Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999|
|Who Should Train Your Employees / Aug 2000|
|Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998|
|Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000|
|The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999|