Heaven, by Hotel Standards | Observations from a New England Hotelier

People are drawn to hotels.  There’s something about the center of activity in a busy, full service hotel that attracts people from all walks of life globally..

The Parker House hotel in Boston Massachusetts has been open continuously since 1855, and is arguably the oldest continually operating hotel in the United States.

Mark Twain stayed here for a month  in 1877 and he is but one of literally hundreds of celebrities to have made this hotel very well known and appreciated.

Heaven, by Hotel Standards is a book about the history of the Omni Parker House, with information compiled by Susan Wilson.  On page eight of this book,  there’s a wonderful welcome letter from the current general manager, John Murtha, CHA. I had the privilege of meeting John, who is a gracious hotelier.   His letter is sincere and genuine, and  the information about the service of the general managers from 1927 until today helps to demonstrate a longevity and quality of what you seldom find in most brands or hotels today.

In addition to Mark Twain, this book identifies a Who’s Who of celebrities who have been patrons of this hotel   From the age of literature there are writers like Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorn and Longfellow.  From baseball, there are some well known names ranging from Babe Ruth to Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski to David Ortiz.  The hotel has been a center of  of activity in politics with people ranging from Ulysses S Grant, Mayor James Michael Curley, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and most recently, and former Governor Deval Patrick as guests.  Boston has a strong theatrical presence in the theater district and hosted a wide range of prominent actors including John Wilkes Booth (of Lincoln assassination infamy)  Sarah Bernhardt, as well as more contemporary entertainers as Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, James Dean, Stevie Nicks, Yo Yo Ma , Rachel Raye and Ben Affleck.

The hotel itself was built by Harvey Parker, who relocated from his family farm in Maine.  The Parker family arrived in America in the 1630s and Harvey did not want to remain in agriculture.  After number of years in Paris, he arrived in Boston and began his first venture into the hospitality business with a restaurant.  The book does a balanced review, explaining the evolution of the family from the restaurant business and to finding a location for and building what became the Parker house.

The Parker House has had a long time reputation for food and hospitality.  It is credited with creating or perfecting Boston Cream pie, lemon meringue pie, Boston Scrod and of course, the Parker House Rolls.  The book shares an anecdote about Eleanor Roosevelt looking and her request for the recipe, which had been a well kept secret until that request in 1933.

Celebrity chefs at this hotel have included television personalities Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Martha  Stewart who all wanted to link their reputation with that of the well-known Parker House.  There are stories in the book of organic farming from local farms, orchards and dairies 100 years before organic cooking became popular in the rest of the world.

The Saturday Club was a literary discussion group and included Henry David Thoreau, Henry Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, diplomat Charles Francis Adams, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and many others, who enjoyed the culinary service and hospitality of the Parker house once a month for a number of years.  Charles Dickens resided in the Parker house during his 1867-68 lecture tour.

The Parker house is located  across the street from the old Boston City Hall and  is two blocks from the state capitol.  Every US president from Grant to Clinton stayed at this hotel at some point during their presidency.  The book and movie the Last Hurrah was based on the experiences and activities of longtime mayor James Michael Curley.  The Kennedy family were regular visitors to the hotel and former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neal is pictured in the book’s preface.

There are interesting interviews with longtime staff and stories about the wonderful jazz greats who performed at this hotel over the years. Some of the staff during the  mid 20th century  included Malcolm X and Ho Chi Min, who worked in the kitchens.

The book also discusses the business aspects of the hotel.  In the chapter called Architecturally Speaking, there are detailed explanations of the transitions and how the hotel evolved and maintained its presence.  There were major changes in operations and styles, with a series of owners over a 50 year period.  Downtown Boston today is very successful for hotels, but hotels were not considered to have a good location downtown in the late 1950s through mid seventies and the Parker House suffered. It did recover with the New England Dunfey family acquisition and management, The Parker House today is an example of exceptional hotel keeping with the Omni name and ownership.

Many grand old hotels today have reputations of ghosts, and the Parker House is no exception.  There are amusing stories of possible sightings from hotel founder Harvey Parker to Charles Dickens. We will have to decide for ourselves if this is fact or fiction.

Pages 105 to 107 lists of dozens of well-known names who enjoyed the hospitality of the Parker House from Mohammed Ali to the Who.

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I began my career as a New England hotelier, working in Vermont and Massachusetts, including at the 1500 room Sheraton Boston.   I worked for the Dunfey Hotels when they owned the Parker House and was interviewed for the #2 manager position.   A crisis at the Dunfey Hotel I was managing in Atlanta prevented that transfer, but I do recall the elegance and history of this fine hotel.  I would have enjoyed being part of the history of this fine hotel.

The title of the book is Heaven, By Hotel Standards, and it is certainly an interesting snapshot of successful and innovative Boston hotel keeping over three centuries

Strongly recommended.

John J Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO

HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan  MBA CHO are the  co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283,

John Hogan

602-799-5375 or service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available include: 

From the Chalkboard to the Front Line

What They Don’t Teach You at Hotel School

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales
  • Marketing Ideas
  • Hotel Operations

There will always be an ongoing debate on the comparative merits of experience versus the knowledge acquired in formal educational settings.   The best lessons anyone can learn from hotel schools include an awareness of what really occurs on the front line in the actual hospitality setting.  This keynote transitions the academic message to the real world of running a profitable hospitality business.

 Click    here   for Keynotes and Workshops Available 

The Practical Side of SWOT : HospitalityEducators.com changes Business Model #1 | A statement of teaching philosophy

HospitalityEducators.com changes Business Model #1

  A statement of teaching philosophy

HospitalityEducators.com was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The original business model we used was that of a membership organization, and our success included readers and members from all six continents and more than 50 countries.   When we evaluated our progress in our business plan mid -year, we realized that our business model was becoming more like a magazine which had never been our intent.

The annual SWOT analysis showed us that we were not focusing on what had been our passion and goals, so we elected to move our business model from the membership site to a resource for both hospitality and other service businesses.

This is the 1st of 3 explanations of how our business model is evolving over the next several months.

Our strengths include a network of professionals who have interacted with and assisted a number of service businesses through teaching and training.  To that end, we are pleased to share

A statement of teaching philosophy for HospitalityEducators.com

tech

 

Our philosophy of teaching includes fostering self-instruction, formulating questions rather than just giving answers and establishing high expectations. Professors have limited capacity to teach students anything – they primarily motivate students to teach themselves. Our principal pedagogical role is to help students learn how to search for a complete answer as we work through the question-and-answer process of real world scenarios. Our goal is to stimulate active learning and acceptance with the idea that being “wrong” is part of learning. 

teach“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Peter Drucker (1909-2005),  Author  

Our role as the instructor is not only a source of knowledge, but also a source of support and an avenue for other resources. Students can expect that we are approachable, available to answer questions, and genuinely invested in their academic success.

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

Roy Disney, American Film Writer

We are firm believers in active learning, and we try to maintain a very interactive classroom. Teaching is not about lecturing to students; it is about presenting theories, concepts, and questions to students in ways they can incorporate into their own life experience or goals.teaching

It should be the goal of every student and professor to increase knowledge and understanding in both the classroom and the real world. Group interaction is an important part of learning, so that all parties share ideas, argue or validate them with others and practice teamwork as an important link in social and mental development.

real world 

“A company culture cannot be imposed or training classmandated. It must grow from within over a long period.”

Isadore Sharp, Founder Four Seasons Hotels

 

Teaching is an opportunity to inspire and empower.  Our teaching philosophy is based around concepts that bridge and link academic programs to real world situations.

 

  1. Strategic planning

continuos learning

  1. Continuous Learning

 

  1. Individualization      Achievement  in       “Real World” applications These real world scenarios offer solid and practical links to the academic work in      the class.

 Corporate Teaching Philosophy phi symbol

 “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”      

Malcolm S. Forbes, Publisher, Entrepreneur (1919-1990)

The global community is changing at a record pace and recognizing and responding to emerging opportunities is critical.  Keeping focused on achieving agreed upon results requires open, honest, consistent and transparent communication.silver puzzle

The Founders of HospitalityEducators.com careers have always had strong ties to academic integrity, including service as an adjunct professor at different institutions.  Additional commitment to learning was delivered to other Institutes and Universities through research and recommendations on curriculum and program specifications for hospitality programs. 

Our role as corporate and academic educators in the business world has provided us with individuals who continuously challenge us to seek better and more effective ways to reach the desired goals.  We want to challenge others to likewise achieve more from themselves and from others.

As a teacher and as a business professional, one lesson learned from mentors was critical thinking.  In a world changing at incredible speeds, this competency is invaluable.   Interdisciplinary study lends itself to more creative thought development. 

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”                   

 Colin Powell, American Secretary of State

Defining Successsuccess

  1. Successful graduates of balanced programs learn certain academics but also have embraced the need to learn certain life lessons, such as the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.
  2. Successful innovators and professionals need to develop strong competencies as a leader, a relationship builder, a problem solver and eventually a mentor.

As faculty members , the range of experience and exposure to the industry can be huge, especially if dealing with introductory courses. We set different learning objectives for the level of the course and the student likely to be taking it.

  1. to fully explore the range of career options available in the field of business
  2. to provide the appropriate level of information and tools needed to help in the student’s understanding of this class to the options available in business and/or hospitality
  3. to share real world experiences and examples by a professional who is passionate about what he does

‘It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Bill Gates ,  Founder of Microsoft)

Blended Learning

Learning occurs as a progression but that process is not uniform with each student.  In our careers, we have come to the realization that students learn from us and from each other, but that we also learn from them in this fast-paced world. By sharing with them my teaching objectives and experience, students know that we are genuinely interested in them.

 

Expert professional training and consulting services for hotel owners.

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE Oct 2010 MinneapolisJohn Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

HospitalityEducators.com Salutes: America’s Promise Alliance + Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s “Succeed Through Service”

America’s Promise Alliance : Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s “Succeed Through Service”

Ritz-Carlton’s  Succeed through Service program, in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance, is focused on helping children better prepare for college, work and life. At Ritz-Carlton properties across the U.S. and around the world, our employees are mentoring young students in necessary life skills and engaging them in service-learning and career exploration.Employees are inspiring the children to embrace concepts, such as teamwork and environmental responsibility, and introducing them to necessary life-skills, such as social skills & etiquette. Partnered in service-learning projects to benefit the local community, together they are tackling challenging issues including hunger and homelessness, child literacy and environmental conservation.

http://corporate.ritzcarlton.com/en/About/SucceedThroughService.htm

“We thank you so much because you’re not only investing in kids, you are investing in the future of our country and the other countries where you are located – and you’re investing in the future of Ritz-Carlton.”

General Colin Powell
Founding Chairman, America’s Promise Alliance

http://www.americaspromise.org/

The record of The Ritz-Carlton “Succeed Through Service” program can be seen in comments from youngsters who have participated in workshops, listened to life skills discussions from hotel mentors, and now look forward to reaching their potential with encouragement from this volunteer outreach campaign. “Working with The Ritz-Carlton was an amazing experience because I learned how to make a presentation in a clean and sharp fashion. I also learned the proper skills of social etiquette and how to behave in public,” said Dominiqe Thian, 8th grader at Kenmore Middle School, Arlington, Virginia. Jack Henderson, 8th grader at Sutton Middle School, Atlanta, Georgia added “The Ritz-Carlton has been teaching us many life skills to help us when we’re older. Many kids don’t get this opportunity to learn this stuff. It’s great – these are life skills that will keep us going through our whole life.”

Not only students, but teachers and principals have extolled the impact “Succeed Through Service” has made on their students. From Queens Satellite High School for Opportunity in New York, Mark Melkonian, Principal, where staff from The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park are frequent visitors: “The Ritz-Carlton investment in our students change their position as academic failures to achieving academic and personal service. Their service to better the lives of young people endows them with hope and a new solid foundation for future accomplishments.” At Supai Middle School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sia Chamberlain, Guidance Counselor shared her perspective of the last semester: “It was an experience our students and staff will never forget. All the presenters were excellent in sharing their roles and planting seeds in our students to not be afraid to dream outside their own world. We look forward to the next step in this partnership. The Ritz-Carlton Succeed Through Service program is already impacting and becoming life changing for our students.”

 

Ritz-Carlton President and COO Herve Humler Attends The White House Educational Roundtable Hosted by President Obama

The record of The Ritz-Carlton “Succeed Through Service” program can be seen in comments from youngsters who have participated in workshops, listened to life skills discussions from hotel mentors, and now look forward to reaching their potential with encouragement from this volunteer outreach campaign.

————————————————————————-

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 1,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my 2011-2012 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


   John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.