Secrets of How a Hotel Earns a Leadership Position

It doesn’t seem like much of a secret—except that few hotels even do this so perhaps it is hidden behind the corporate veil I had come to Boston to speak at the 35th annual Simmons Leadership Conference. The Seaport at Boston Harbor, across from the World Trade Center, served as the conference hotel. Unlike other high-end hotels, Seaport doesn’t nickel and dime the guest for services like Internet and the health club. In fact, you don’t even need a password to log on and the health club is state-of-the-art. But wait!  There’s more: No tipping is permitted. Period. Does it impact an employee’s performance? Not on your life. In fact, in the Boston Business Journal’s 2010 list of "Best Places to Work" the hotel was there for the fourth year, taking second place in the large company category. But wait! There’s more: Attention to detail abounds. A single black washcloth is embroidered with the word “makeup”. A Keurig coffee maker brews a perfect cup of java from a selection of coffees lined up in the bathroom. Gilchrist & Soames hair care products are dispensed from a stainless steel container in the shower. No more little bottles to waste and recycle. A discreet trash bin encourages you to recycle paper on one side and glass and plastic on the other. But wait! There’s more: A large-sized umbrella hangs in the closet for the guest’s use on rainy days. The TV remote control is by far the most simple device I have ever handled. AND—not be outdone by electrical gadgets, a tent card invites the guest to call for the Seaport Pillow Library. Yes—a library of nine different kinds of pillows to make a good night’s sleep assured.  (I didn’t even know there were nine kinds of pillows ranging from Swedish memory to buckwheat and water-filled. I wanted to stay for nine nights so I could sample the difference.) But wait! There’s more: You don’t have to mortgage your first born for food or a good glass of wine. You find employees eager to help and ready with a smile.  And with Logan Airport just a quick ten minutes away, you have access to the world as well as the bounty of a marvelous historic city. I can’t wait to go back!

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