The Best Boutique Hotels In _______ / Are you getting tired of this heading?


I use a google search that uses the term “Boutique Hotel” because I have been retained to complete some research in recent months for a number of clients for a range of reasons. The number of “news” articles that lead off with this heading seems to be growing at an incredible pace. In reality, most of them are essentially PR promos.

My question is this- what do you at your property to make it special? Unique? Memorable?

Feel free to contact me if you could use an independent, 3rd party resource.

Comments and suggestions for future articles are always welcome 



Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

The Need for Clearly Defined and Understood Mission, Values and Principles| Part 1 – Consulting Insights from

The Need for Clearly Defined and Understood Mission, Values and Principles|

Consulting Insights from

The most recent global recession set another wave of ownership changes, lender foreclosures, brand mergers (or disappearances) and the final outcome will not likely settle until mid-2012 when global economies are predicted to be more stable.

In my career as a hotelier and hospitality educator. I have had the opportunity to see many different kinds of business models. As a consultant and workshop leader, I have interacted with literally hundreds (if not thousands) of organizations ranging from Bed & Breakfasts to Conference Centers to huge Convention Centers and hotels, as well as many Convention & Visitors’ Bureaus and regional and national hospitality associations. While almost all have the best intentions, I have come to realize the ones that have the best ongoing track record are the ones who regularly look at themselves on who they, who they serve, why they exist and how they will evolve going forward.


I have also learned that we sometimes can better view the benefits of using consultants or external resources when we observe their interactions and impact on businesses other than their own.

With that in mind, let me share an example. My daughter and her family enjoy the natural surroundings and ongoing improvements in the Cincinnati Nature Center. When I recently visited them, I noted that the Center’s Newsletter had a very succinct one page recap of their Mission, their values and their Principles.

The Center, founded in the mid 1960s, is considered a “top 10 nature center” in the US, with more than a dozen miles of trails and 1600 acres, serving thousands of members and school children every year. Their mission is to inspire passion for nature and promote environmentally responsible choices through experience, education, and stewardship to ensure a sustainable future.

The Cincinnati Nature Center challenged its Board of Trustees Education Committee to clarify its strategic direction in fall 2009. The new approach placed strong emphasis on the nature center community and on an ethic of mentorship and social influence among three key audiences: CNC adult members, children and school teachers/community mentors.

Online research showed that creating another three-year strategic plan was not enough to move ahead as they were inspired to do. This research showed the Board that they still lacked the clarity of exactly who they serve and where they could be best. The online narratives relate that the Nature Center initially worked on the plan themselves and discovered that the input of qualified outside resources would greatly assist their efforts to both focus on the future while serving people today..

My research stated the outside resource selected began leveraging the good work already completed by the internal group and the ongoing collaborations allowed the Nature Center to drill down into what really mattered to their mission. Together they refined their Strategy Map identifying key goals and priorities, which led to a Balanced Scorecard to keep the team focused on the right activities. The team was then able to focus on what was really important, and align people to take action to intentionally further the organization’s mission. The web site for the outside resource said the work they and the Nature Center did together didn’t fundamentally change the mission of the organization, but that it did transform how effective they are in delivering that mission. The new focus is a constant reminder to the team of their goal to engage members.

I will share the specifics of their Mission, Values and Principles in my next blog, but you can immediately access some of the information mentioned above in their web site.

The bottom line message to you is this:

Are you prepared to become a “Top Ten” Player in Your Hospitality Marketplace or are you going to continue to be one of the “other” statistics?


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, which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  2. Customer Service
  3. Making Cultural Diversity Real
  4. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  5. Medical Lodging Consulting
  6. Sales Management and training
  7. Turn-around and revenue management

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention. 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.

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


John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS

United States – Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375 Email: