News for the Hospitality Executive
by Harry Nobles
August 25, 2010
During my 27years in this business I have met hundreds of interesting people managing and working in hotels. The more memorable ones have a common denominator; they are very ambitious and very enthusiastic. They also know that success doesn’t come overnight and is not free. They are willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to meet a General Manager whom I had first encountered when he or she was a young desk clerk or server just beginning their first hotel job. It doesn’t happen every day, but it is worth waiting for.
I met an enthusiastic, ambitious, and articulate young lady for whom these words seem barely adequate. Her excitement is obvious, as is her commitment to success. Her enthusiasm is genuine and contagious; more so what this phone call led to was totally unexpected.
She introduced herself as Dinka Bojanova, calling from Los Angeles, and mentioned something about being in the hotel business, I think.
She talked about the chaos in the lodging rating world, and how no one understood the ratings anymore and how the word “boutique” as a type of hotel has been abused by the media and hotel owners.
There have been attempts to unify the classification system so that it is internationally recognized, but large differences exist in the quality of the accommodations and the food within one category of hotel. Simply put, the star system has flaws. It has also become obvious that the approach of the star system does not effectively set apart the top hotels from the rest.
Here is what the history shows in terms of the appearance of new types of hotels. In an effort to create a remedy to the homogeneous ‘big hotels', typified by the Hilton and Marriott empires, Anoushka Hempel's 51-room Blakes Hotel in London and Bill Kimpton’s Bedford Hotel in San Francisco broke the mold of hotels.
The term ‘boutique hotel’ was initially used to describe Ian Schager’s first hotel, in collaboration with Andre Putman, the Morgans Hotel opened in 1984 in New York City. Along with Philippe Starck, Schrager’s concept introduced groundbreaking design to the hospitality world.
Unfortunately, two major mistakes were made in the process:
Ms Bojanova posed some of the most important questions that the luxury hotel industry is facing today:
I tried to get the answers out of her on the phone, unsuccessfully, and then I mentioned that I was involved in the initial project to compile, finalize, and implement the original AAA manual of standards, the AAA Diamond Rating Guidelines.
It was only then that she asked to meet with me in person and arrange for my trip to Los Angeles. I hesitated, remembering that I was preparing to depart for Thailand and Singapore to testify in court involving a high-end resort in Phuket. Bojanova, not willing to take “no” for an answer, she immediately offered to fly to Virginia to meet with me. Two days later we were sitting face to face discussing my potential involvement in the concept.
This is how the manual of standards for this new type of hotel was born, which represents my 27 years of experience in the industry and the fresh view of the new generation expressed through her ideas.
Determined to avoid the mistakes of the “boutique concept”, Dinka had acquired the rights to the new type of hotel, the concept, and manual of standards and currently is talking to several luxury hotel companies in search of the best partner for Luxutique®.
I can only reveal for now that the new type of hotel is called “Luxutique” which by definition takes only the best of luxury and the best of boutique hotels.
Later, as our collaboration continued she shared with me that she met with the creator of the Ritz-Carlton hotels, the brilliant hotelier Horst Schulze, who now has his own brand - Capella Hotels. Mr. Schulze was so pleased with the model that he endorsed the Luxutique concept in writing.
Ms. Bojanova is a licensed real estate broker in the state of California and received her education at UCLA. Currently working with Financial Capital Investment Company she is involved in the company’s hotel acquisitions, due-diligence, branding, and hotel management.
Her ability to determine the unsatisfied demands in the market has triggered the commencement of the company’s unique hotel projects. Ms. Bojanova’s distinctive way of looking at new ideas has earned her the label of entrepreneur.
I am pleased to be part of this not only exiting, but also very much needed project; my promise to the reader is to reveal more details in our next article.
is the Right Time to Worry About Your AAA or Forbes Rating? / Harry
Nobles / July 2010
'Mega Boutique Hotel' an Oxymoron? / Harry Nobles / April 2010
Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far? / Harry Nobles & Lisa Jackson /
AAA Approval Help? / Harry Nobles / November 2009
Training Plan is Right for You? / Harry Nobles / June 2009
Hospitality For Hotels Only? / Harry Nobles / June 2009
Important is Service? Very! / Harry Nobles / May 2009
to Do? Improve Guest Services or Upgrade Facilities / Harry Nobles
/ December 2008
|My Dream Hotel? / Harry Nobles, October 2008|
|Hurricane Ike: Challenges and Opportunities? / September 2008|
|Who Should Train Your Employees?/ Harry Nobles / September 2008|
|Designing for the Future a Key to Earning 4 or 5 Star/Diamond Rating / Harry Nobles / February 2008|
|Look for the Ducks / Harry Nobles / April 2007|
|How Should Casino-Hotels Be Rated? / Harry Nobles / April 2007|
|Is 'Mega Boutique Hotel' an Oxymoron / Harry Nobles/ December 2006|
|Hotel People I Have Know / Harry Nobles / October 2006|
|Now I’ve Seen Everything - “Food Servers Employing the Internet to Divulge Names of Customers Who Tip Less than 17%”/ Harry Nobles / September 2006|
|Does Hotel Room Size Matter? / Harry Nobles / September 2006|
|If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating / Harry Nobles/ May 2006|
|AAA Evaluation Procedure: Is It Fair? / Harry Nobles/ May 2006|
|Four Star vs Mobil Four Star / Harry Nobles/ February 2006|
|Rating Condominiums / Harry Nobles / January 2006|
|AAA Five Diamond Lodgings; Chain vs Independent / November 2005|
|Katrina & Rita: Silver Lining or Opportunity? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / October 2005|
|Our Dream Hotel / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / July 2005|
|Losing a Diamond or Star / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / March 2005|
|Ratings vs Guest Satisfaction / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2005|
|Our "Pick of the Month" / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004|
|5 Star vs 5 Diamond: What’s the Difference? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004|
|Strategic Alliance Announced, Committed to Hospitality Excellence / August 2004|
|Family Resorts: Suggested Strategies / Cheryl Griggs / July 2004|
|Are Small Resorts Unfairly Treated by the AAA and Mobil Rating Criteria / July 2004|
|Designing For Optimum Global Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / June 2004|
|QualAsia Formed to Provide Authoritative Organization to Inspect and Evaluate Hotels Across Asia; Harry Nobles Appointed Chairman of New Asian Hotel Rating Service / May 2004|
|Validity of Online Hotel Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / April 2004|
|Resorts Ratings Redux / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2004|
|Are Your Trainers Trained? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Grigg / January 2004|
|The Language of Service / Cheryl Griggs / October 2003|
|Hotel Renovation Ideas vs AAA Ratings Criteria / Harry Nobles / October 2003|
|New Employee Orientation: Necessity or Luxury? / July 2003|
|Save the Best - Replace the Rest / July 2003|
|AAA and Mobil Ratings As a Sales Tool / May 2003|
|How Well Do You Know Your Competitor? / May 2003|
|Our Favorite Hotel? / March 2003|
|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|
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