“The Stranger within our gates”

Hotel Common Sense
“The Stranger within our gates”


by John Hogan    from an earlier article

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet.

Attributed to Balthazar, in The Comedy of Errors,
act 3, sc. 1, l. 26.

When one travels a great deal on business, the danger is there to overlook the small, personal touches that are often present in many hotels. Regardless of the room rate, the size of the hotel or its location, many hotels around the world provide many personalized welcoming messages.  At a time when we in the industry are concerned about the danger of our hotels becoming a commodity that is only rated or selected by price, those personal touches become even more vital to keeping our individual distinctions.

The following message was placed on a pillow on a recent trip. This laminated message really made its’ point and I hope you enjoy the message.

To Our Guests“The Stranger within our gates”

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a for profit organization. We strive to ensure you will experience peace and rest while you are here.

May this room and this hotel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be conformable and happy as if you were In your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

Think Tank

Questions of the day

These questions are offered to stimulate discussion about the way we do business.  There is not necessarily only one “correct” answer – the reason for this section of the column is to promote an awareness of how we might all improve our operations.  Consider using these or similar questions at staff meetings encourage your team to THINK!


  1. What would your guests think of this kind of message expressed at your hotel?
  2. What do you do at your hotel to make each guest feel welcome?
  3. Are there any additional suggestions you could share at your hotel or with readers of this column on how to reduce the potential of our hotels becoming commodities?

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