that they are being looked after by people
who genuinely care for them. That is at the
heart of our mission, to delight and satisfy
each and every guest.”
What that means in practice is an in-
tense focus on personalized experiences
and services, Snyder says. Having roots
and an extensive portfolio of properties
in Asia gives the brand more immediate
access to the latest in service
technology as well as
deeper experience and
insight into the ways
amplify the guest
to the Mandarin
Oriental Las Vegas
as a leading example of the brand’s
technology to create a
Ritz-Carlton was the first modern hotel
brand to focus exclusively on the luxury
market. The company’s often-quoted
motto, “Ladies and gentlemen serving
ladies and gentlemen,” set expectations
for generations of meeting attendees
and planners that still exist today.
“We are all about guest engagement,
how do we engage with the guest, which
ultimately creates a memory that outlasts
the event,” says John Harper, Ritz-Carl-
ton's vice president of sales. “We are
basically in the memory business. Every-
thing we do, every event, every meeting
room, every meal, is about engaging the
guest in order to create the memory that
stays with you long after you have left the
hotel. That’s what planners want to do
and, more to the point, that’s what meet-
ing sponsors want, too. They are putting
on events to create specific experienc-
es and memories intended to engage,
inspire and reward attendees long after
they have gone back to the office.”
The company is known for distinc-
tive facilities, from repurposed historic
buildings to startling new construction.
Th physical plant matters, Harper says,
because planners, sponsors and attend-
ees expect a certain level of functionality
and decor. But employees matter more.
“Our meeting customers don’t want
a transaction, they want to come at an
event from a different angle,” he says.
“They want to inspire their attendees. It
is our people who create those inspira-
tional memories for attendees.
Harper named the Ritz-Carlton
Naples, Fla., as a standout example of
employees pushing the attendee experience envelope.
Other luxury brands have
been working just as
hard to boost their
own product lines to
serve growing de-
mand in the luxury
Four Seasons is
pushing hard to
expand its luxury
the globe. There are
now 96 Four Seasons
hotels and resorts in 41
countries with more than
50 new projects in the pipe-
line. What holds the enterprise
together is a mission statement based on
the Golden Rule: To treat others as we’d
wish to be treated ourselves.
“The Golden Rule guides our interactions with our guests, our business partners and investors, but most importantly,
with each other,” says Four Seasons’
founder and chairman, Isadore Sharp.
“We also believe in investing in our
employees and promoting from within.
Many of our senior managers began their
careers with Four Seasons and continue
to be culture ambassadors.”
One of the newest names in the luxury
arena, St. Regis, has gone from zero to
more than 50 properties since 1998.
Hotel in New
York City. High
and financier John
Jacob Astor IV opened the
original St. Regis in 1904 after building
the Astoria section of the original Wal-dorf-Astoria Hotel.
Astor’s first pass at luxury, the Wal-dorf-Astoria, resurfaced as the flagship
of Hilton’s newest luxury brand, Waldorf
Astoria. Twenty-six Waldorf Astoria
properties include a growing list of iconic
names such as The Trianon Palace in
Versailles, France, Hotel Cavalieri in
Rome, The Roosevelt in New Orleans,
The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix and the
brand’s namesake in New York City.
Hilton’s first foray into the luxury
segment, Conrad, was named for Hilton
founder Conrad Hilton. Conrad emerged
in 1982 and has grown to 24 properties
across 18 countries. Recent notable efforts here include the impending launch
of the Conrad Chicago, slated for a spring
opening along the Magnificent Mile.
TRIANON PALACE HOTEL, VERSAILLE, FRANCE
THE RITZ-CARLTON, NAPLES, FLA.
WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL, NEW YORK