If you have read me for some time now, you know I fall in love with the most creative, innovative brands around the world. But, after a while, it looks like you’ve seen… well, everything. Of course, that’s not true, but just a feeling of linearity.
Yes, I love hotels more than anything in this world. Yes, you can get bored from time to time and take things for granted. Yes, you can feel tired of luxury or too much attention, to say the blunt truth.
After fifty 5-star hotels in less than a year, the images in my head started to get fuzzy. Of course, I remember moments and feelings. But the lines are merely confusing.
This was not the case with The Ritz-Carlton. In fact, I was so blown away by some things, that I talked about these hotels till I made everybody crazy.
Yes, it was a dream come true (who in the world wouldn’t want to stay at The Ritz?!). Yes, my ego played a huge role. But the after taste was very different. I felt humble and powerful at the same time.
And for the first time, I am ready to share what I’ve learned from The Ritz-Carlton team:
1. Hospitality is a state of mind.
Every hotel I’ve visited offers comfort, wonderful design, and great services.
The Ritz-Carlton plays in another league.
They have the best beds in the world – so good that when I got home, I was interested in buying a mattress like that. They work with an amazing brand from the USA and sell those beds, pillows, and blankets. And yes, a $2000 mattress like that it’s worth every penny!
The design of the rooms is not flamboyant, nor has too many details. Everything is created for pleasure, for fun, for a good life inside and for you to feel like home.
There is nothing you could want and the Ritz-Carlton team couldn’t do it.
The food is out-of-this-world.
And the people are the most important!
2. Collaboration is the most powerful instrument of the new world.
They are all great communicators, they know how to do it with awesomeness and ease.
I’ve been a witness in an intense scene (at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC): a very difficult, demanding client, wanting more and more special attention. And a smart and relaxed team member, with just one compliment and a smile made that client dancing in the club, and walking very satisfied and happy.
3. Diversity is not a rule or a necessity, but the normality of a life well lived.
They can hire anybody – there are a lot of very talented people everywhere in this world. But they create stories and emotions, hiring people so different in cultures, beliefs, races, religions, orientations, and traditions – that you can feel an entire cultural Universe opens in front of you.
I’ve met in Dubai people from UK, UAE, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Italy, and USA, in the same team. And the glue between them: kindness, openness, acceptance, respect, and love.
4. Vulnerability is an asset, not a liability.
I’ve never met hotels’ employees so vulnerable and open to share their personal stories, their moments of doubt, their pleasures and preferences, their strong opinions about anything. Of course, with smiles, kindness, and respect. They make you feel included, relaxed and very welcome. I’ve met a beautiful young woman at the club, with a perfectchocolate skin and a sweet smile, and we were both looking at the full moon. She told me that she sees a playful rabbit shape on the moon. I loved her for that!
I was blown away by every single member of the Ritz-Carlton team. No small talk in there, but smart, warm conversations that melted my heart.
5. The good energy is real.
Have you ever entered a space and instantly felt good? This powerful energy may come from many places and in different shapes: from nature (flowers, water everywhere), from the people (acceptance, kindness, goodwill), from the power of a soul business and from the management. Peace, joy, and frankness make the rules.
6. The world of my dreams.
For the first time in my life, I’ve seen the world of my dreamsin front of me, a world where I want to thrive.
And it’s not enough to dream of this world, but to create it. And these people already made a step forward. They understand that change starts with just one smile.
This is the world I want to live in: diversity, possibilities, respect, kindness, open-minds, collaborations, energy, expansion, vulnerability, love, ease, and joy.
* Even Steve Jobs was inspired by the amazing Ritz-Carlton:
And I will visit The Ritz-Carlton hotels all over the world, to learn more, to be a part of this powerful change.