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Hotels in Athens Greece

Q. = I made a reservation for a hotel in Athens Greece form a list of Athens hotels or Greek hotels a travel agent or an internet site suggested to me. After getting there to my surprise the hotel did not meet the standards which was told I will be getting. Example there is no swimming pool, no private WC, and no tennis courts. Is the Athens hotel owner or Greek hotel owner responsible?

A. = The responsibility towards the consumer is entirely the organizer’s and/or the travel agency’s, that is to say the tourist agent, from which the customer bought the organized travel package, and this is even for the services that are not produced or provided by the organizer and or travel agent directly, but by other collaborating enterprises (example, hotels, organized excursions, transportation services, etc). Therefore beware when reserving a Athens hotel from an internet site.

Q. = What is the procedure to reserve a room or an apartment in one of the Athens hotels or in the Greek hotels in general?

A. = Customers should communicate with the owner or management of Athens hotels or Greek hotels and make his reservation request by phone or fax or email or by telegraph.

Q. = What is the usual procedure to make sure that a request has been accepted?

A. = Within 3 days, owners or management of the Athens hotels or Greek hotels in general, who are interested in your reservation should send you an answer to let you know if they accept the reservation for renting any of their rooms or apartments requested by the customers. Owners should answer in writing or by telegraph or email or by fax stating that they accept the reservation requested by the clients.

Q. = I made an inquiry about a couple of reservations I need in hotels in Athens Greece. What is a fair deposit one should pay for reservations in Athens hotels or in Greek hotels in general?
A. = The owners of Athens hotels or Greek hotels can ask an advance of up to 25% of the total of price of the stay for all the days reserved. The deposit though should not be inferior to the rent of one day. The reservation is considered complete with the payment of the deposit that was determined and with the written acceptance of the reservation by the hotel owner.

Q. = I made couple of reservations for different hotels in Athens
Greece. Can I cancel the reservations I made for any or some of the Athens hotels or generally Greek hotels?

A. = When one reserves rooms or apartments part of a complex of any Athens hotels or Greek hotels, to be used for a predetermined time period and the rooms are used for part of the period, the customer has to compensate the Athens hotel owner with half the price that was agreed for the period that was not used by the customer.

Q. = What if the customer informs in writing at least 21 days before the reservation dates that he has changed his plans?
A. = If the customer informs in writing the owner of any Athens hotels at least 21 days before the reservation dates, then the customer is exempted from the compensation he has to pay. The owner of any Athens hotels is obliged to return the deposit that was collected.

Q. = Should we understand that any reservation can be cancelled
21 days prior to the time of arrival and the customers are legible for full refund?

A. = Yes, this is correct.

Q. = I stayed overnight in a hotel in Athens Greece. I really liked this place and don’t want to leave this hotel which is cheaper than the other Athens hotels or generally Greek hotels. Do I have to leave?

A. = The renting of Athens rooms or Athens apartments part of a Greek hotel complex is considered to be for one day only, unless otherwise agreed between hotel owner and customer.

Q. = Concerning hotels in Athens Greece or Greek hotels, at what time does one have to leave Athens hotels or generally Greek hotels so that extra charges don’t occur?

A. = In the case that the Athens hotel owner or the customer wants to dissolve the lease agreement, the customer is obliged to vacate the Athens rooms or Athens apartments which are part of a Greek hotel complex not later than 12 o’clock noon. By staying in the rooms or apartments beyond 12 o’clock noon and not later than 18:00 o’clock the customer is obliged to pay half the rent. If the customer stays in the premises after 18:00 o’clock, he is obliged to pay the rent for the whole day. If the customer denies paying the rent, then the owner has the right to remove from the rooms or apartments, the customer’s and his luggage and or belongings.

Q. = I made a couple of reservations for Athens hotels in Greece. I will be arriving late in some of them. Do I have to pay for the whole day for renting these Athens hotels or generally Greek hotels?

A. = The predetermined day of arrival is calculated entirely as for the rent, not taking into consideration the time of arrival. So if you arrive say 1:00 am or at any time, you will have to pay for the whole day. The day of departure is not calculated, unless the customer does not vacate the room. He should vacate the room not later than 12 o’clock noon.

Q. = After making a reservation from a list of Athens hotels in Athens Greece, at my surprise there was a mix-up… The owner of one of the Athens hotels informs me that I don’t have a place to stay at the specific Athens hotel or Greek hotel? What are my rights?

A. =. The Athens hotel owner owes to have the rooms or apartments which are part of a Greek hotel complex, and which the customer reserved either by means of some type of writing, telegraph, fax, or email or with a contract.

Q. = What happens if the owner of one of the Athens hotels does not have the accommodation?

A. = If the owner does not have the accommodation which is reserved, the Athens hotel owner is obliged to ensure the customers’ stay in an other Greek hotel of same at least class, in the same city, and with the same comforts and conditions as those that are advertised for his own Athens hotel. Also in this case, the owner of one of the Athens hotels owes to pay the expenses of transport and the difference in price that by any chance may exists between his own hotel and the other one. If it is not possible to find an alternative hotel, the owner is obliged to refund the customer with the total of price of the stay for the whole period. It is prohibited for the owner of any Athens hotels or Greek hotels to accept a reservation from a group where more beds are needed that the ones the hotel is licensed for. If the owner accepts a reservation for more beds than what he is permitted, a demotion of the hotel category to an inferior class for one year may take place.

Q. = After getting to the hotel which I reserved from a list of Athens hotels in Greece, in the same area I found a better and cheaper hotel down the road. Should I pay for the rest of my reservation with first Athens hotel or generally Greek hotel?

A. = If a room is leased for a certain time, the Athens hotel owner doesn’t have the right to cancel the lease before the agreed time period, unless the customer: a) violates the hotel regulations b) has a disease or illness that is contagious or is suffering from other illness or disease that may cause nuisance to the remaining customers of the hotel c) Violates the common manners.

Respectively the customer has to: a) Accept the Athens room or Athens apartment which is part of the hotel complex that was reserved by himself or by his representative, unless this is not what he reserved. b) Keep the Athens apartment or room up to the end of reservation period that was agreed, otherwise the customer is obliged to compensate the owner with the sum equal to half the rent of all the rest of the days that were reserved, where the daily rent is the agreed price of an overnight stay. All of the above may also take effect in the case where the customer did not arrive at the Greek hotel at the predetermined date of arrival, except in extreme cases such as acts of god example earth quakes etc, and which has to be proved with concrete evidence. The lease agreement between Athens hotel owner and customer is considered fair and powerful, provided that there exists relative documentation or evidence, example a written reservation confirmation.

This article is designed to help customer who have questions about Athens hotels, or hotels in Athens or Greek hotels or hotel apartments and rooms. If you think there is something fishy about your reservation you can contact, E.O.T the Greek organization of tourism or the tourist police in Athens Greece.


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Hotels in Haridwar

The hilly region of Haridwar is famous amongst adventure enthusiasts. Spread across of the town, these Haridwar hotels offer decent lodging options to the travelers.

The Haridwar Hotels are painstakingly categorized into different types like heritage hotels, premium hotels, economy hotels and budget hotels. The advantage of categorizing hotels into these types is that travelers know very well which category will serve their purpose fairly.

The name of Haridwar city is counted among the seven holy cities of India. It is very famous among those tourists who are in search of salvation. In fact there are many devotees who take dips in River Ganga in Haridwar to purge their sins. Undoubtedly it is one of the main pilgrim centers. However this definition does not stop the pleasure travelers from paying visits to this city. The pleasure tourists too haunt it very frequently to bask in its pristine beauty. Further, business travelers are also visiting this city in Uttaranachal for negotiating big deals amidst calm ambience. However to provide comforts to every type of travelers in Haridwar a good number of hotels in Haridwar have been opened.

Hotel Alpana:

Alpana, Haridwar hotel is situated near to the bathing ghat that is Har-Ki-Pauri. The best thing about this hotel in Haridwar is that you will get a complete feeling of being in Haridwar the holy city. Hotels in Haridwar which are situated near the main market have and advantage as one get to shop locally for clothes, and famous food items from Mathurawala, Brajwasi. All places of religious interest are close to this Haridwar hotel. The feeling of being in Haridwar only comes only when one stays within walking distance of the Ghat.

Hotel Classic Residency:

Haridwar Hotel Classic Residency touted as one of the best hotels in Haridwar features 44 wonderfully well furnished rooms of which one is suite type. All the guestrooms are very spacious and boast of an array of modern amenities that comprise of running hot/cold water, cable color TV, direct dialing facility, daily newspaper, purified and filtered drinking water and balconies that give direct views of the spectacular region

Haveli Hari Ganga:

Haveli Hari Ganga in Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) is a luxurious trip to the resurgence of the mind, body and soul. Ayurvedic yoga & meditation in Haridwar. The Haveli Hari Ganga, a beautiful heritage “Haveli” is situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga, a mere 500 meters walk through the Bazaar from the sacred “Har ki Pauri” at Haridwar. It stands at the gateway to the Devbhumi – the abode of the Gods and the “Char Dham Yatra”. The Haveli has been restored to recreate the old – world charm with modern day hospitality.

Hotel Alaknanda:

Hotel Alaknanda is one of the very popular economy hotels in Haridwar. Set amidst the pristine beauty of Haridwar, the hotel offers comfortable accommodations, along with an array of facilities and services. One will surely enjoy staying here.

Hotel Disney Inn

Hotel Disney Inn in Haridwar provides a cocoon of luxurious comfort for visitors to the holy town. The deluxe hotel provides guests with an ultimate stay experience, both in terms of luxury and comfort. It features state-of-the-art facilities for travellers. Visitors prefer the hotel for the impeccable service it delivers and the world-class facilities that it provides. Right elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites to dining, the hotel is second to none.

Hotel Himgiri International:

Hotel Himgiri situated in close proximity to the important tourist attractions and religious sites of Haridwar, Hotel Himgiri International, Haridwar is one of the favorite Budget Hotels in Haridwar that, is heavily thronged by tourists all throughout the year. The pocket friendly rates are a major factor for its soaring popularity.

Hotel Le Grand:

An exclusive luxury hotel in the heart of the Holy city Hardwar that offers every comfort with an easy reach. Le Grand is matched in a unique manner with the culture and ambience of the holy town. Its graceful architecture that fits in perfectly with the lovely backdrop of the hills and the greenery all around flows wonderfully into the interiors, ensuring comfort, service and relaxation to our customers.

Hotel Mansarovar International:

Hotel Mansarovar International is specially recognized for offering international standard of facilities and services. It is a very famous accommodation among the business and pleasure travelers.

Hotel Neelkanth:

Hotel Neelkanth in Haridwar is one of the famous economy hotels in Haridwar. Peeping over the Ganga canal and located very close to the Ghats and temples of Haridwar, Hotel Neelkanth is a pleasure hub for every pilgrim and tourist. It attracts them with its wide array of facilities and services that take care of their every aspect and guarantee best of time to them during stay in Haridwar. It is indeed an ideal gateway to discover the unblemished beauty of this holy place.

Hotel Pramila:

Hotel Pramila in Haridwar deserves special position among all the standard economy hotels in Haridwar. It entices all the business and pleasure travelers with its amazingly appointed guestrooms and unparalleled facilities and services. Located in the nerve center of the city, this hotel makes guests stay in Haridwar most memorable event of life. It is a cocoon of comfort in true sense.

Hotel Sachin International:

Sachin International in Haridwar features generously spaced and tastefully appointed guestrooms. Not for once will you feel you are away from the comforts of your home. The rooms are cozy and have an intimate ambience.

Hotel Shiv Murit:

Hotel Shiv Murit in Haridwar deserves special position among all the standard economy hotels in Haridwar. It entices all the business and pleasure travelers with its amazingly appointed guestrooms and unparalleled facilities and services. Located in the nerve center of the city, this hotel makes guests stay in Haridwar most memorable event of life. It is a cocoon of comfort in true sense.

Hotel Teerth:

Hotel Teerth The moment you enter the room, you have divine darshan of Ganga ji. That is religious view of the river. The bedrooms, have their own shower & toilet facilities, furnished in a modern decor, lift, Telephone, color TV with cable, In house restaurant & room service available.

Hotel Trishul:

Haridwar Hotel Trishul is an ideal retreat and this can very well be corroborated by taking a sneak peek at its several brilliantly appointed guestrooms. All the guestrooms are very beautiful and impress guests with its wide range of modern amenities that comprise of television, telephone, attached baths and running hot & cold water. On staying put in any of the rooms at this hotel guests are sure to experience heavenly comforts.

Hotel Vasundhara:

Hotel Vasundhara has become the pioneer in the hotel industry in Hardwar.Beautifully decorated Reception and spacious Lobby with a fine synthesis of style and grace giving a feel of quite and calm atmosphere. Hospitality with fragrance of Indian Culture is at your service. Where you are the boss to be obliged by the hospitality matching star luxury standards to make your stay a comfortable and peaceful one.

Sagar Ganga Resort:

Sagar Ganga Resorts is one of the most popular and leading hotels in Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India). Haridwar stands at the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarakhand and has always remained as a major Shaktipeeth for the devotees.

Sagar Ganga is situated on the banks of River Ganga, the holiest of all rivers, just 1 km from the Railway Station and bus Stand, and 1.5 kms from “Har Ki Pauri”. The most sacred place in Haridway.Sagar Ganga is an exclusive heritage property, which belonged formerly to the Maharaja of Nepal. It has spacious rooms with attached balconies overlooking the Ganga and a private bathing ghat.

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The Best Hotels in Las Vegas

So what is the best hotel in Las Vegas? The truth is that such a recommendation is based on the overall opinions of many people, but in most cases the candidates are narrowed down to the top ones, as is it very rare to find one hotel that distinguishes itself, so much above the rest, that it can really be dubbed the ‘best hotel in Vegas’.

The following, according to our research, are the best top ten discount/budget package hotels in Vegas:

  1. Monte Carlo Hotel
  2. Planet Hollywood Hotel
  3. Imperial Palace Hotel
  4. Orleans Hotel
  5. MGM Grand Hotel
  6. Circus Circus Hotel
  7. Luxor Hotel
  8. Tropicana Hotel
  9. Excalibur Hotel
  10. Flamingo Hotel

According to our estimation and research, the best hotel in Vegas cannot again be determined, but when narrowed down to the top 10 most decadent, are:

  1. Skylofts at MGM
  2. Mirage Hotel
  3. Venetian Hotel
  4. Four Seasons Hotel
  5. Caesars Palace Hotel
  6. The Hotel Las Vegas
  7. Wynn Hotel
  8. Signature at MGM
  9. Bellagio Hotel
  10. Mandalay Bay Hotel

Accordingly, research and customer reviews have shown that the best hotel in Vegas again cannot be determined, but when fine-tuned down to the top 10 off the main strip hotels, they are:

  1. Rio Hotel
  2. Sunset Station
  3. Red Rock Hotel
  4. Texas Station Hotel
  5. Green Valley Ranch
  6. South Point Hotel
  7. Hard Rock Hotel
  8. JW Marriott Hotel
  9. Las Vegas Hilton
  10. Sam’s Town Hotel

The top 10 Vegas hotels, located in the downtown core, are:

  1. Golden Gate Hotel
  2. Golden Nugget Hotel
  3. Binion’s Hotel
  4. Vegas Club Hotel
  5. Fitzgerald’s Hotel
  6. Plaza Casino Hotel
  7. Fremont Hotel
  8. Four Queens Hotel
  9. California Hotel
  10. Main Street Station

Our recommendations, for the best hotel in Vegas for non-gamers, have been narrowed down to the top 10:

  1. Embassy Suites
  2. Alexis Park Resort
  3. Marriott Suites
  4. Courtyard Summerlin
  5. Residence Inn
  6. AmeriSuites Las Vegas
  7. Platinum Hotel
  8. Carriage House Hotel
  9. Renaissance Hotel
  10. Atrium Suites Hotel

The top 10 best hotels in the Las Vegas area, located along the main Boulder Highway, near Nellis Air Force Base, Lake Las Vegas, the Airport and close to the state line, are just a short drive from the main strip, including:

  1. Arizona Charlie’s Boulder Casino Hotel
  2. Americas Best Value Inn – Speedway, near Nellis A.F.B.
  3. Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort
  4. MonteLago Village Resort
  5. Knights Inn (McCarran)
  6. Blue Moon Resort
  7. Buffalo Bills Hotel & Casino
  8. Whiskey Pete’s Hotel & Casino
  9. Primm Valley Hotel & Casino
  10. Gold Strike Hotel & Gambling Hall


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The Boutique Hotel Manager

Boutique Hotel. Just the words get the imagination going. Even before I dog eared the pages of Herbert Ypma’s first Hip Hotels book I was fascinated by the world of boutique hotel properties. “How cool would it be to be the general manager of a cool boutique hotel?” I often found asking myself as I flipped through the pages of his magnificent photos. Working hard to make a career out of the hotel industry, I was convinced that I just had to be involved with a boutique hotel someday.

That someday came true, when in 2004 I was invited to be the general manager of what was and still is one of Palm Springs most hip boutique hotels. I left another huge opportunity just to be a part of this amazing world. The art, the design, the vibe. I had never really worked anywhere with a “vibe”. A year later and I knew, I knew what many in the hotel business do not…what it is really like to be the gm of a hip, cool boutique hotel. It’s not for everyone and amazing for many.

There is a mini storm brewing in the boutique hotel world, one I don’t think most involved in this industry are aware of. With more and more boutique hotel operators entering the playground, more and more bad hiring decisions are being made. The right General Mangers are working at the wrong hotels. Like a square peg and a round hole, some things just do not work. Who is to blame and what can be done?

The Boutique Hotel

First let me first tell you that I have a very narrow view of what really constitutes a boutique hotel. I think that the term “Boutique” when used to describe a hotel is often misapplied. A boutique hotel is not defined by simply a hot design, as many would argue.
In my opinion, a boutique hotel is a property that is uniquely significant in four ways:

1. Architecture and Design.

2. A high level of service. A property must not exceed 150 guest rooms, enhancing the guest to staff ratio.

3. Sell to a specific demographic.

4. Are independently owned and operated (this is where some will disagree with me).

A boutique hotel must be an independent operation. The hotel must not be part of a collection that is more than say, 10 properties. Beyond this you get into having a corporate hierarchical management style that is required in running a large company and maintaining brand consistency. Take W Hotels for example. In my opinion these are not boutique hotels. They look like a boutique hotel, even feel like one. Many boutique hotels would strive to be as great as a W. But a W Hotel is run and managed by a massive corporation. The property level management makes very few decisions about what services are offered and how the property is run. A boutique hotel must be operated as close to the actual physical operation as possible. W’s and the like are amazing, but in my opinion don’t fit the definition of a boutique hotel. Boutique hotels are also constantly re-inventing themselves, making sure that their fickle guest never get bored and look to stay at the latest new, hip and cool property.

Boutique Hotel Guest

Travelers chose to stay at a boutique hotel because of the story, or the experience. The experience is very important and must be unique and somewhat cutting edge. The general demographics are individuals 20 to 50 years of age, work in more creative fields like advertising or entertainment and appreciate a higher level of service. When Ian Schrager entered the market with what many consider to be the first boutique hotel, this demographic discovered that they could use their travel budget get them a room at a cool, hip hotel rather than a generic mid-level branded property. And the boom started.
Boutique hotel guests enjoy experiences, unique architecture, cutting edge interior design and in some cases an urban location. The market is expanding and the demographic model explained earlier is beginning to bleed into others. You might very well find a Fortune 500 CEO staying at a boutique hotel. It is hard to ignore the hype.

Brands vs. Boutiques

Luxury hotel operators are scrambling to avoid losing market share to the boutique world. Some hotels are actually taking the “brand” off their marketing and streamlining their operations so that their properties are authentically boutique. Take the Kahala Mandarin Oriental for example. This famous luxury property recently took Mandarin Oriental away so that they could operate and compete in the new marketplace of more independent hotels. They are now simply “The Kahala” and are working hard to be authentically local and independent of a major brand identification. I think others will follow.

The Boutique Hotel General Manager

For the sake of this publication, I will use the luxury hotel as the comparison to the boutique since most closely associate a boutique hotel with luxury travel. So what is so different about being a general manager at a luxury hotel versus a boutique hotel? Can it really be that different? The basics are the same. The general manager is responsible for the entire day to day operation, hiring decisions, marketing, budgets, forecasting, rate strategy, facility maintenance etc… The key for both types of properties is guest service and guest interaction. The guest at a high end luxury hotel expects to be able to interact with the hotel general manager, as do the guests at a boutique property. It is all high touch.

The difference is that a boutique hotel general manager wears just a few more hats than the luxury general manager. A boutique general manager might be preparing complex budget forecasting spreadsheets at 10am and at 10:30 am be clearing the pool towels from around the hotel’s salt water plunge. When was the last time you saw the general manager of the Peninsula Beverly Hills with an arm full of towels? Don’t get me wrong, I know that the general manager of the Peninsula would do this in a second, if they had to. The general manager of a boutique hotel HAS to, because there is nobody else. The one server working the restaurant is also probably responsible for taking care of the pool, taking room service orders, delivering the orders and on and on…. The general manager of a boutique hotel is sometimes also the HR director and breaks the front desk agents. If the gm is in California then the gm might find themselves breaking just about every position just to avoid getting sued and fined!

Take this example; you are the GM of a hot boutique property in the desert. The temperature is pushing 118 degrees. Since occupancy during the summer is very low, you encourage a lot of your team to take their vacations so you can get that vacation accrual off your books. One of those who takes you up on this is your chief engineer, one of two engineers for your entire five acre property. He goes home to the motherland, Germany for a week. Now just because it’s hot does not mean that you don’t have customers. Some tourists seem to love the heat, and so it was with this particular steamy day in August. As the sun begins to set, your guests make their way from the pool to their bungalows. Dusk and 100 degrees, everyone turns on their aged air conditioners full blast so they can cool down. Your only other engineer has gone home for the day. It is at about this time that the calls start coming in. The ac units are freezing up. The old units freeze up when they are turned on full blast. Many blow the circuit breakers. So there you are, in your office doing the forecast for your weekly corporate status report call when the front desk calls you in a panic, “the guests are flipping out” cries your new front desk agent. You check out the calls and see that you need your engineer back on property, but his pre-paid cell phone (you cant afford to pay for a cell phone for him) is out of time -you cant reach him! So what do you do? You head to the rooms to see if you can fix them. Room by room you tackle the challenge of explaining to your sweaty and angry guests why they cant turn their ac on full and that it will take at least two hours for the ice built up around the coils to melt. Then you start looking for the circuit breakers, which are scattered all over the 60 year old property. By the time you reach the last room the guest who answers the door almost screams at the sight of the sweaty, dirty general manager holding a tool box with a dazed look on his face. “Wasn’t this the same guy who was pouring us Mimosas at the pool this morning honey?” asks the guest as you begin your repairs. Once the craziness is over you get a call on your cell phone. Yes, it is your engineer returning your call. “You trying to reach me boss?”. The next day, while on your conference call you listen to a speech about how general managers need to spend more time with their guests rather than in their offices. Duh, you think as you try to scrub the grit out from under your fingernails.

The financial realities of a boutique hotel are unique. The appearance of three to five star service with a two star budget is the norm, and the gm’s get caught in the middle. The boutique hotel just does not have the budget to staff like a true luxury property and everyone has to pull their weight. The gm who does not will not be there long and hate every second of their lives.

Along with the additional sweat and frustration of being a boutique hotel gm are the rewards. For the right individual, they will find that the entrepreneurial management style required of them is highly empowering. The gm can make a lot of decisions on their own, decisions that in a larger corporate hotel would require an approval or worse….committee discussion! The fact that some towels need to be picked up and maybe a drink or two be mixed and served is actually fun to them. The rewards of always being in front of your guests are what most gm’s want anyway, but many are not really ready for it when they are tasked to make that happen every day.

So what kind of person would do well as a general manager of a boutique hotel? Answer these questions, if you can say yes to each answer then you will probably really like the challenge. Please note that I am assuming that you are already an experienced manager and qualified to be a general manager.

The 51 Questions

1. You do not need routines to feel successful at work.

2. You can delegate without concern.

3. You can make decisions without committee recommendation.

4. You can spend long hours at work. By long I mean sometimes up to 14 hours at a time.

5. You have no problem spending the night at the property to make sure everything is ok.

6. You don’t have a problem delivering luggage to guest rooms (you probably wont have a bellman to do this for you).

7. You can valet park a car.

8. You can re-program guest keys using the key card system.

9. You really enjoy speaking with your guests….REALLY.

10. You can mix a drink and you know who Mr. Boston is.

11. You can run a commercial washing machine.

12. You can re-set a circuit breaker.

13. You can change a flat tire, jump start a car.

14. You can re-set your router. If you don’t know what a router is then stop now and re-think any thoughts you have of being a boutique hotel gm. You will not have an on site IT manager to help you!

15. You can check in/ out a guest using the front office system.

16. You can process credit cards and split payments to various folios.

17. You can run the switchboard at the front desk.

18. You can ring in an order using the restaurants POS.

19. You can re-set the restaurant POS.

20. You can program a digital surveillance system.

21. You can type your own memos, send your own e-mails and answer your own phones (this should be true of ANY gm nowadays).

22. You can jump from one project to the next without hesitation.

23. You know what to do when someone has a heart attack in your lobby.

24. You know what to do when someone chokes in your restaurant.

25. You can explain your restaurant menu items as well or better than your servers.

26. You can brew coffee using a commercial coffee machine.

27. You can draw a good cup of espresso.

28. You know the difference between a latte and a cappuccino.

29. You know the temperature requirements for your walk-in and refrigerators. If you don’t know what a walk-in is, stop here and think about your career choice.

30. You know what to do when the health inspector shows up. Hint, it is not to grab a handful of cash!

31. You know who to call if your phone system suddenly stops working.

32. You know how to read the history off an electronic guest room lock.

33. You know how to make a bed as well as your best housekeeper.

34. You know what the ph level should be in your wash rinse.

35. You know how to check the chemicals in you pool and Jacuzzi.

36. You know what the interfaces are for each of your hotel software systems.

37. You know how to get guests online using your wireless internet service.

38. You know the difference between an p&l and a balance sheet.

39. You can run a commercial dishwasher.

40. You know your receivables and payables.

41. You know where your housekeeper buys their supplies.

42. You know local city ordinances as they apply to your property.

43. You can deliver a room service order.

44. You can clean a bathroom to 5 star standards.

45. You can fold a towel like your housekeepers.

46. You know where the water and gas mains are, and how to shut them off.

47. You know each of your guest room types.

48. You have no problem befriending your neighboring business and residents.

49. You can write a well researched and accurate month end report.

50. You know how to calculate flow through.

51. Have a number two person who can answer these questions as well.

I task the many boutique hotel companies to ask these questions to gm candidates during the interview process. I know that you will save a lot of time, frustration and lower your turnover rates (higher for general manager positions in boutique hotels).

If you are a boutique hotel company I would also ask you to make sure that you do the following for your hotel general managers, ensuring their success and lowering your gm turnover:

1. Don’t hire an experience luxury (non-boutique hotel) general manger unless they can answer yes or actually commit to learning the answer to each of the prior 51 questions.

2. Train, train and train your new gm’s on the property they are going to. Make sure they know everything before you “turn them loose”.

3. Pay them a fair wage, maybe even a bit more than fair. Boutique hotel companies seem to think they can attract new gm’s who maybe were a number two at a larger property, convince them that it is “cool” to be a part of your company and pay them less than the industry standard. This just makes your new gm start listening to those headhunter calls (they call hotel gm’s a lot!) with offers of much higher salaries back in the “comfort” zone of a branded hotel.

4. Understand what goes on in the life of a boutique hotel gm. Most boutique hotel corporate staff have never been a gm at a real boutique hotel and have no idea what it is like. Get to know what happens on property.

5. Insist that your gm’s take time off. It is easy for your gm to get wrapped up in the operation and start working 7 days a week. This will just burn them out. Figure out a way to get them the time with their families they need to stay sane, married etc…

6. Don’t call them on their day off unless it is an emergency. If you don’t know what days your gm’s are off then shame on you.

7. Don’t be double minded. Don’t show up one day and berate the gm for the pool deck needing re-surfacing and then two days later come down on them for requesting the funds to make property repairs.

8. Give them realistic budgets, and if you sell a bonus during the interview process, make sure it is realistic.

9. Give them the same “perks” that gm’s in large hotel properties get. You can skip the car allowance, but at least offer dry cleaning and travel privileges at your other properties.

10. Talk to them often. Really talk to them, don’t talk at them. Listen to what is going on.

11. If you tell them that “we are an entrepreneurial company” and that gm’s can “make their own decisions” and then second guess every decision they make you need to re-think your message.

12. Make sure you give them the ability to hire a strong #2. One of the reasons your gm’s leave for other companies is because most boutique hotel companies don’t give their properties the budgets to have a number two, so they have nobody to take their place if other in-company opportunities come up. This is the old and very tired “to move up you have to move out” dynamic that kills us in the hotel industry.

13. That takes me to this point—set out to develop bench strength. Have leaders waiting in the wings to take positions as you grow. If you don’t you will end up “borrowing” leaders from each of your properties to open your newest. This leaves your existing properties, already running lean on management with an over worked and stressed out group of leaders and staff. Make this a priority.

14. Thank your gm’s. This is a no-brainer but a much forgot important task as a hotel company. THANK YOUR GM’s. This goes for any hotel company. Your general managers get beat up a lot. By unhappy staff, guests and you. You hit them with constant “notes” on how to perform better. Make sure to balance the coaching with praise.

The point?

So what is the point to all of this? The boutique hotel general manager, in my opinion is a completely different job than a general manager at a full service luxury property. But unfortunately the two are muddled together in a basket full of un-attainable expectations.

I think that the boutique hotel general manager should have a new title– I leave this up to the boutique hotel companies and the creative genius that drives their brands.
At the end of the day, a title is really not important, but the expectations are. Make sure you understand your role as a boutique hotel general manager or the role your general managers play at your boutique hotels. Make certain that as you take a job or when hire them, they know what a boutique hotel manager really is.

The author, Kurt Bjorkman is the CEO of över5, a hotel consulting firm based in La Quinta California. Kurt has 20 years of front line hospitality experience in both full service branded and boutique properties.


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