January 23, 2018
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It is January 2018 and we are working remotely for the month.  Because the Wi-Fi connection at our Airbnb was not immediately ready,  we decided to put the top down and head toward Diamond Head. A Leading Hotel of the World. Meeting the restaurant hostess downstairs, she immediately asks for my room number. I explain that I am not staying at the hotel but came to enjoy their outstanding buffet breakfast, a potential revenue upward of $90. It is 10.30am mid-week and the dining room was at this point deserted. As I am being seated, I ask for the Wi-Fi password for the hotel. Once again, I am asked for my room number. Once again I say I am not staying at the hotel. “I am sorry sir, access to Wi-Fi is reserved to hotel guests only. “Charge me for it, I do not mind.” “No Sir, these are our rules.” We head over to the Front Desk and explain our situation. Same flat “NO” and that only paying guests staying at the hotel may have access to the hotel Wi-Fi. I used to stay in that hotel: I love the location. I stopped a few years ago because of  the threadbare beach towels, “no smoking” rooms reeking of smoke, and towel boys with their hands outstretched at all times. We headed to the valet to retrieve our car that was just barely taken for us moments ago.

A few days later we are at another Leading Hotel of The World, this one in the heart of Waikiki. When I call to reserve a table for lunch, as I am asked to spell my name, I am interrupted at the fifth letter and asked: “You do not mean as Mister Benoit Gateau-Cumin?  I will make sure your favorite table is ready.” And indeed it is. Perfect service, as usual. The beer list includes the Roman Peroni, which I order, half expecting that the demand for it is so limited, that they may not have it in stock. They do, and it comes perfectly refrigerated in a traditional Pilsner glass. I remember a very special crab sandwich, that was on the menu for over 60 years, which I do not see on the menu. I am not in the habit of ordering “off menu” but I ask our waiter if there is any possibility to get it. After warmly asking what my second choice would be, he simply says. “I will check with the chef what can be done for you.” 15 minutes later, our order is delivered, including my very special crab sandwich. As I effusively thank our server, he plays it down saying the Chef asked the Sous Chef of their other restaurant to make one for me, as it is on their menu. In the meantime, just to try, we have asked the hostess what the WiFI information is. It is given instantly. When we mention that we are not staying in house, the hostess replies: “Wi-Fi here is available to everyone, not only hotel guests”.



  1. Robert Cohn January 24, 2018 4:49 am

    Obviously the House of Yes would be the choice. Check out my site for some interesting viewpoints about the business, and a book, that reflectie more of the House of Yes, than the one of No.

  2. Tim Thuell January 24, 2018 9:10 am

    It seems so simple doesn’t it? But it’s a mind set. Once you have worked in a positive service environment, it is a no brainer, to keep on saying yes, as much as possible….even in life. Add value to your services with a bunch of small touches: you will be rewarded many times over.

  3. Jenny Ng January 24, 2018 10:26 am

    I think that from country to country, the service and level of service varies. People/staff are in the hospitality business and sometimes ‘so-called’ 5 star but do not understand the basics of hospitality and true meaning of service.
    Experience the same mainly when ‘we’ are frequent travelers and are from the industry.

  4. Peter Nowotny January 27, 2018 3:19 am

    Positive or negative service experience always is and will be the reflection how management views the customer.

  5. T.W. Hughes October 18, 2018 5:52 am

    Hospitality….the art of making strangers feel welcome.

    Yet, so many in the hospitality business just don’t get it.

    Wanting to be hospitality based or rules based???


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