A literal definition of hospitality seems easy enough to follow. In the industry, each brand strives for a unique realization of the word. Most individuals would like to claim they possess “amazing hospitality”, but in truth it is a difficult accomplishment.
I was at a party once where the hostess was so caught up in ensuring the perfection of her itinerary, her dishes, and her presentation that she was quite rude to many of the guests and even had a few of them in tears. Later in the evening, during the toasts, she proceeded to tell a story of her mother’s gift for hospitality and claim how grateful she was that this talent was passed down to her. I was in shock, wondering how in the world she considered herself to be a hospitable person when most of her guests were squirming in their seats, anxious for the earliest appropriate moment to make their exit. It occurred to me later that the beautiful décor, delicious food, and wonderful entertainment were what she was equating with “hospitality.”
On an industrial scale, it is easy enough to make this same assumption. A weary traveler can find much comfort in being surrounded by beauty and good food, but all is lost without the basics: friendly and generous reception. A courteous staff, eye contact, and active listening bring an intuitive nature to providing comfort for your guests. All the “extras” in the world will fall short if they stand alone. When layered on a solid foundation of basic hospitality, the extra amenities are what makes your brand unique and keeps guests coming back. In short, amazing hospitality is a unique experience grown from the basics. What does it mean to your brand?