Hotel Online  Special Report
Bell Staff Mistakes & 
How to Correct Them

Harry Nobles,  July 2001

During my many years of inspecting and evaluating hundreds of hotels and restaurants and dealing with  thousands of employees,  I sometimes think I have experienced every possible example of service delivery.  I hope I am wrong because that might lessen my enthusiastic anticipation at visiting and shopping the next property.
Over the years I have acquired some pet peeves about service and some mistakes that employees make when providing these services.   I have also developed  some simple remedies to correct most of these infractions.  Some examples that come to mind have to do with bellmen.  For some reason, I find it very 
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annoying when a bellman uses my luggage to prop open the guestroom door.  The more prestigious the property, and the better the bellman’s other services,  the more I am put off by this small point.  Am I the only guest with this reaction?  I think not. 

I have suggested a simple, effective, and inexpensive solution to several clients; many of whom have adopted my suggestion.  A small wooden or rubber wedge does the job very well.  Each bellman carries a wedge and thus avoids the need to employ the guests’ luggage in what I consider an unprofessional manner.

Another of my quirks involves my garment bag..  I have devised a “bellman  test” that I use consistently.  I always place my garment bag in the trunk, fully extended,  and with the hook plainly visible.  The bellman or doorman who folds the bag flunks; those who handle it properly  pass.  The way the bag is handled in the room can also be part of the test.  Proper handling at the door and hanging the bag on the luggage cart can be totally negated by the failure to hang my bag in the closet.

I also dislike having a suitcase placed on the luggage rack with the handle facing the wall;  the handle should always face outward. 

Is this too demanding?  Is it too picky?  I think not, particularly at a highly rated full service hotel that takes pride in delivering the highest level of service.

All these flaws can be avoided, or at least reduced in frequency by proper training, on the spot correction, and constant follow up.

Over the next few weeks, I will discuss common service flaws and suggest some solutions.  As always, I welcome your feedback.  I would be particularly interested to hear about any similar service mistakes you have encountered.   Next time, some food and beverage service items.


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: Food & Beverage 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 
To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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