Hotel Online  Special Report
Look for the Ducks

If you mention ducks and hotels together, I believe that most people, hotel employees or the public, will think of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.  There are many thousands of guests and other visitors who have actually seen the legendary ducks; there is probably an equal number who have never been to the Peabody, or even to Memphis yet are familiar with this 75-year old tradition.

The Peabody is one of hundreds of historic hotels that have been faithfully and lovingly restored to the original 19th or 20th elegance and grandeur.  Many of these “grand dames” are internationally famous and have blended the elegant physical facilities and consistently superior personalized service to create a nostalgic and genteel ambience much appreciated by a large segment of the public.  Unfortunately, some others have restored the physical but not the service.  I find this ironic since the physical renovation is often more expensive than improving the service delivery. 

Too bad, because together they make for a very memorable even unique experience.  

That is exactly what the Peabody ducks do; they create a unique experience.  To my knowledge, no other hotel has this attraction.  If you just want to see an elegant historic hotel lobby, there are several around the world.  To see ducks marching thru an elegant hotel lobby to the music of John Phillip Sousa, you have to go to the Peabody in Memphis.

We always encourage our clients to look for a “signature” that can add uniqueness to the guest experience. Your signature can be tangible or intangible; actually a seamless combination of the two is an excellent goal to set for your property.  You can challenge your staff to come up with ideas.  We have suggested to some clients to make it fun with a “Look for the Ducks” contest.  

Your employees will no doubt put forth a lot of ideas; some may be crazy, silly, or even dumb, but I assure that some will be great. You may be pleasantly surprised where you find your “ducks”.

It will involve your staff in a fun project that will ultimately benefit all concerned.  Among the beneficiaries will be your guests, who will be delighted with your unique signature.  They will return and tell others, and this is really the ultimate goal of everything you do.  

Whether your property is a 3-room B&B, a 4000-room resort/casino, or anything in between, a unique signature can set it apart from the competition, and “wow” your guests

By the way, if you have any “duck” ideas please tell me; but I warn you that I will probably share them with a client and take all the credit.



Harry Nobles
Direct line: (757) 564-3761 
800.750.5666 Toll-Free 
757.564.0076 Fax

Also See: 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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