Hotel Online  Special Report
Our Dream Hotel

July 2005

In March 2003 we published an article entitled “Our Favorite Hotel."  That article was prompted by the most frequent question we get from clients and friends.  Now we think it is time to address the next most frequent question: “If we could design our dream hotel, what would it look like?”  We are about to find out.

The timing of this article coincides with our latest project; we have recently begun work on a small Caribbean resort hotel.  The owner/developer has instructed us to create a “one of a kind” destination in which the tangible and the intangible elements blend to give the guest an unforgettable “once in a lifetime” experience. 

We are free to pick and choose the best features of the existing hotels and merge them into one spectacular establishment, hopefully with some new touches.   So, let’s begin. 

First is location. This is a cooperative effort so we must be open to compromise. One of us prefers mountain scenery while the other likes a beachfront setting. Our client has picked a secluded site on a scenic mountain near the beach that exceeded our requirements.

We do agree on the need for extensive recreation facilities, but we often disagree on the best type of recreation.  While one of us wants swimming, fishing, boating, spa services, etc. etc., the other prefers a cigar bar, a chaise lounge on the balcony, and cable TV.  No need to compromise here; all should be available and the guest can choose; we are making sure the guests have ample choices.

Decor is a no-brainer.  Rooms and public areas will be consistent with the property’s surroundings and overall theme.  Furnishings will complement and enhance the concept.

Food & Beverage outlets will offer a choice of fine dining and casual in separate rooms; we both dislike outlets that try to be all things to all people; they always fail.

Amenities, like decor and furnishings, will reflect the property theme and image.  We will develop a signature amenities package unique to the geographic location and cultural/historic aspects; a signature that immediately tells you where you are and clearly identifies the property.  Like maple syrup if you are in a Vermont ski resort or cactus flower soap in an Arizona spa.   The turndown treat on your pillow will definitely not be the standard piece of chocolate. 

Once we have designed the physical facilities that will assure maximum guest satisfaction, we will develop service standards and a delivery system to complete the equation.  Our services program will be grounded on simplicity and will focus on the basic rules of etiquette.  After all, consistently superior guest service is not rocket science; actually it may be even more difficult and complex.   It just looks simple and easy when truly hospitable and dedicated employees treat every guest in a very special and personal way. It becomes memorable when it happens every time guests and employees interact. 

This is why we always encourage clients to hire employees with people skills, and then teach them the required technical skills.  We believe this approach greatly improves a hotel’s chances of providing the ultimate in guest satisfying service and creating the most memorable guest experience.  The key factor is always people; caring and competent people to take care of your guests.  People really do make the difference.  Our client is already recruiting people who will the difference.

We have tried to combine the optimum mix of luxurious physical attributes and  flawless guest service into an experience that will make guests want to extend their stay, entice them to return, and ensure they tell their friends.  In few months, we will know if we have realized our dream by helping others realize their dreams.


Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs
(757) 871-5899

Also See: 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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