Hotel Online  Special Report
Attitude Can Make the Difference

January 2001

Please take a minute and try to recall your most memorable hotel stay; now try to remember exactly what made it so memorable. By the way, to be truly objective, I suggest you exclude honeymoons and similar experiences. 

What made the greatest impression?  Was it the view, the architecture, the decor, or some other physical attribute?  Was it the quality and variety of dining options or menu choices?  While all of these things no doubt made some impression and contributed to your overall sense of satisfaction, I would suggest that the staff’s attitude, conduct, and job performance were also major factors.

Over the years,  I have had the  pleasure and the privilege to stay in many of the world’s finest hotels.  I have seen outstanding examples of luxurious design, architecture, and decor located in some of the most scenic places on earth.  I have sampled creative and exotic cuisine prepared by world class chefs.  While these things have certainly influenced my opinions regarding hotel experiences,  my favorite memories of hotels always involve employees and the services they perform.   I have never left a hotel awed by the variety of bathroom amenities.  I have often left a hotel profoundly impressed by the staff.

What distinguishes one hotel from another?  What makes some employees more memorable than others?  I suggest it is the attitude exhibited and the manner in which service is delivered.  I believe there is much truth in the axiom:   “An employee with a negative attitude will rarely deliver superior service; an employee with a positive attitude will rarely deliver poor service."

I do not believe that a positive attitude can be created or taught; I believe it can be encouraged and nurtured.  I have observed that many hotel employees are hired because they appear to have the requisite technical skills.  Managers then expend enormous resources trying unsuccessfully to instill a positive guest-oriented attitude. I would suggest the obvious alternative: hire employees with people skills and teach them the technical things.  

As a guest, I am far more tolerant of a technical mishap committed by a cordial and caring employee than of an unsmiling and efficient robot who is capable of correctly performing all the clerical  functions.  Guest research data indicates that many others share this feeling. 

Next time, some thoughts on fostering a positive attitude among your employees.


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076

  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association
Also See: 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 
To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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