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.

——————————————————————————————————————–

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 

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HospitalityEducators.com Recommended Reading | The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service


Customer Rules

 

The author of this book has been responsible in his career for the customer service at one of the world’s best known service delivery companies -DisneyWorld. He was responsible for 40,000 people in hotels, theme parks, shopping, entertainment and sports centers.

Disney’s often been used as a training center for leadership and guest service and Lee Cockerell’s book on delivering sensational service is right on.

There are 39 chapters or rules in this 179 page book and they are all direct, common sense in approach in logical.

The introduction states simply “be nice”. He says this means being friendly, polite, pleasant, considerate and skilled. He cautions that rules and procedures will not work if you do not have the right people doing the right job. This is more common sense, but we have discovered in so many businesses that common sense is relatively unknown.

Examples of rules include:
Number 1 – customer service is not a department
Number 4 – do not get bored with the basics
Number 12- rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Number 17- listen up
Number 24- do not make promises, make guarantees
Number 38- keep doing it better

The other 33 are just as direct and understandable, yet they need to be understood.

I have been in the hospitality industry my entire career and I find this a logical, easy-to-follow set of guidelines for anyone providing service to others.

Highly 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 

Spring Training is over | Now it is time for reality checks in our life planning! Recommended reading from HospitalityEducators.com

This book is a series of contrasts.
The contrasts are an evolution of time and are generally positive and to the point.

 

41YBU6JaTfL._SS300_

I am not familiar with the career of Mike Robbins as a ballplayer, but it can be interesting to see the world from a different profession than our own. Some can say that most readers don’t really care about his ego and success in baseball, yet we all care about our life story and that is what we know about.

The author’s writings style uses an easy to read format and the chapters are short and bite sized. This is a book from Hay House publishing and one can see the values and approach that many of their authors use.

In particular, I like the following chapters
* Chapter one – focus on what really matters
* Chapter six – ask for help
* Chapter seven – don’t get caught in the trap of comparison
* Chapter 10 – don’t take yourself too seriously
* Chapter 13 – give yourself permission to make mistakes
* Chapter 17 – remember that it’s not the circumstances, it’s you
* Chapter 18 – appreciate people
* Chapter 20 – give yourself permission to cry
* Chapter 24 – practice gratitude
* Chapter 27 – remember that you are much more than what you do
* Chapter 31 – be easily amazed
* Chapter 37 – focus on what you can control
* Chapter 40 – live like you’re going to die (because you are someday)

I read two books a week, with one novel and one for something to expand my mind in a different direction. I doubt if there is much information in this book that many of us have not been exposed to previously, yet we all realize that we must keep repeating the lessons that are hard for us to learn if we are to gain from their strength.

This is a good book and a recommended reading over a two week period, in small tastes and taking time to sink in.

Dr. John Hogan, CHA CHMS CHE CHO
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

 

 John Hogan

Hospitality.jpg

HE.COM RADIO SHOW MAR 2011 100_0777John J. Hogan CHA CMHS 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 ofHoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283, John Hogan 602-799-5375 or  service@hospitalityeducators.com

Keynotes: 

Workshops Available: 

The Rules of Management | Recommended Reading by HospitalityEducators.com

A Great Resource for the Rising Professional and Mid-Level Manager of Today!

by Richard Templar

A Great Resource for the Rising Professional and Mid-Level Manager of Today!
I hope readers of this review will not take my title to mean this is only for the rising professional- it can be a great refresher for any level of manager, but I find it to be a top notch resource for those who are on their way up.

A recap
* 227 pages , divided into two main sections:

1 – Managing Your Team and

2- Managing Yourself

* 106 “rules” dealing with hiring, motivating, disciplining, training, coaching and all that a manager should be doing regularly
* “Words of Wisdom” at the end of each of the two pages of “rules” that has a reflective quote or observation

I could expand my comments but I have discovered that brevity sometimes hits the mark better. This is a 5 Star Rating recommendation and its direct and to the point messages are well crafted and of real value.

As always, comments and feedback are welcome

John Hogan, CHA CHE
HospitalityEducators
HoganHospitality

 

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CMHS 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: 

 

Becoming a Class of One

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales and Marketing
  • Hotel Guest Services
  • Hotel Operations and Business Strategies

Contact Dr. John Hogan for more information.


adqt“Adequate” is a very ordinary word and too many hospitality xptnlbusinesses accept their performance and results as adequate, rather than exceptional.  This keynote  examines key hospitality businesses that were able to transcend the ordinary and became known as industry leaders in their own “class”.

Recommended Reading from Hospitality Educators | Nothing Changes Until You Do: A Guide to Self-Compassion and Getting Out of Your Own Way 

Good lessons – recommended reading over a two week period, with small tastes and taking time to sink in. 
 Nothing WIll Change Until
This book is a series of contrasts.
The contrasts are an evolution of time and are generally positive and to the point.I am not familiar with the career of Mike Robbins as a ballplayer, but it can be interesting to see the world from a different profession than our own.  Some can say that most readers don’t really care about his ego and success in baseball, yet we all care about our life story and that is what we know about.The author’s writings style uses an easy to read format and the chapters are short and bite sized. This is a book from Hay House publishing and one can see the values and approach that many of their authors use.

 

In particular, I like the following chapters
• Chapter one – focus on what really matters
• Chapter six – ask for help
• Chapter seven – don’t get caught in the trap of comparison
• Chapter 10 – don’t take yourself too seriously
• Chapter 13 – give yourself permission to make mistakes
• Chapter 17 – remember that it’s not the circumstances, it’s you
• Chapter 18 – appreciate people
• Chapter 20 – give yourself permission to cry
• Chapter 24 – practice gratitude
• Chapter 27 – remember that your much more than what you do
• Chapter 31 – be easily amazed
• Chapter 37 – focus on what you can control
• Chapter 40 – live like you’re going to die (because you are someday)

I read two books a week, with one novel and one for something to expand my mind in a different direction. I doubt if there is much information in this book that many of us have not been exposed to previously, yet we all realize that we must keep repeating the lessons that are hard for us to learn if we are to gain from their strength.

This is a good book and a recommended reading over a two week period, with small tastes and taking time to sink in.

Dr. John Hogan, CHA CHMS CHE CHO
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

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!

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,


 

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 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

Expert professional services for hotel owners.

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

Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com| The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service

The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service
 
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service
by Lee Cockerell
 
 
 
 

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy-to-follow guidelines,
   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What’s this?)

The author of this book has been responsible in his career for the customer service at one of the world’s best known service delivery companies -DisneyWorld. He was responsible for 40,000 people in hotels, theme parks, shopping, entertainment and sports centers.

Disney’s often been used as a training center for leadership and guest service and Lee Cockerell’s book on delivering sensational service is right on.

There are 39 chapters or rules in this 179 page book and they are all direct, common sense in approach in logical.

The introduction states simply “be nice”. He says this means being friendly, polite, pleasant, considerate and skilled. He cautions that rules and procedures will not work if you do not have the right people doing the right job. This is more common sense, but we have discovered in so many businesses that common sense is relatively unknown.

Examples of rules include:
Number 1 – customer service is not a department
Number 4 – do not get bored with the basics
Number 12- rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Number 17- listen up
Number 24- do not make promises, make guarantees
Number 38- keep doing a better

The other 33 are just as direct and understandable, yet they need to be understood.

I have been in the hospitality industry my entire career and I find this a logical, easy-to-follow set of guidelines for anyone providing service to others.

Highly recommended!

Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CHO
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

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 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,


 

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 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.

The lessons of the five balls

This might have been a recommended reading, but in fact, it is mainly commenting on one small section in a 2001 book by James Patterson.  I discovered an important observation and a learning lesson on page 20 in a diary entry of Suzanne’s Journal for Nicholas, where a main character describes life.

The character says life is a game in which people must juggle five balls. The balls are called:
1. work
2. family
3. health
4. friends
5. integrity

You keep them all in the air and one day you come to realize that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

The other four balls are made of glass and if you drop one of them, it will be changed. The balls representing family, health, friends and integrity if not handled properly can become scuffed, nicked or perhaps even shattered.

Over the past 5 years or so, I have had many people reach out to me in many ways.   The tough global economy,  the indecision of both government and business on how to respond and the ever increasing pace of life in the information overload we now experience all contribute to how we deal with those five balls.

Once one really understands the lessons of the five balls, you have the beginnings of balance in your life.

I encourage anyone reading this to slow down for just a bit, take the time to think and  appreciate the lessons of those five balls and what they represent to you.

Dr.John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

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 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 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.