The Formula For Running A Successful Hotel – A Case Study

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s Syndrome

By this I mean that the food at the place must be such that people travel from far and wide just to experience the culinary marvel that the Hotel can proudly boast of.

Is the food at your place so great that it becomes a sight that guests must visit to see and an experience that they wish to make that special trip for? Think Tea at the Ritz, Brunch at the floating Jumbo restaurant in Hong Kong, a once in a lifetime meal at the now closed elBulli by Ferran Adrià!

Food is, indeed, the other pivot on which your success story can rest. If you do great food then there is a lot you can get by. Guests will happily dine at your restaurants, will entertain proudly at one of your crown jewels, chat with your chefs, get enamoured by the little stories you weave around your ingredients, how they are sourced, how they blend into your majestic presentations, the appeal of your culinary craftsmen and the superlative taste most of the items on your menu promise to leave on the discerning palate.

Great set of restaurants, strong focus on food quality, plating par excellence and taste including an above-par Room Service will help in entrapping even the toughest of guests and bind them into your fold.

Rokeby Manor is proud of its food forte. It is supremely confident of both its software and hardware and happily showcases the two in its open kitchens and glass walls that spell a story of high quality equipment and produce, strong hygiene standards, excellent workmanship and most of all a bunch of happy faces laboring in a sense of bonhomie over your pizza, paella, pilaf or pastry. The promoters are quality conscious and will only source the freshest and finest available. The staff will test, try and then tempt the guests with their offerings. They will cheerfully do repeats of what you like, make enthusiastic suggestions on what they think you must try, accept a mistake and rectify with a smile and a substitute, listen acutely to guest advice and be ever eager to ensure that you enjoyed the fare and their hospitality.

Rokeby is so comfortably confident about its food & beverage that not only does it parallely-run the Clock Tower Cafe in the heart of the hill town, it also, behind its show walls, puts on grandstand its master craftsmen who work ergonomically and interestedly in a meticulously clean kitchen. If you know hotels then you know well enough that only the very courageous and secure in their good reputation can pull this through.

Sanjay Narang, the owner tells me, “Open area and glass wall to the kitchen serves as an attraction to the guests. They can merrily see what they are eating and how it is prepared. It also helps put pressure on kitchen boys to keep their turf clean.”

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Lesson – The good food crafted by trained hands and delivered by guest-oriented staff is a great strategy for winning and keeping guests. Rustle up food lores from the historical annals of the culinary fare you serve, create your irrepressible food scents around your specialities popping out of your specialized boulangerie, patisserie, delicatessen, let the guests eat out of the hands of your rocking F&B star team members, proudly present a wine list that is the talk of the town, get a mixologist to train your barmen to become blending masters. The opportunities are endless and serve to work as a sensory binding of the guest loyalty for your brand. [/message][su_spacer]
  1. The Serving Star

Could you win any combat just on the basis of a great war strategy (think Brand positioning here) and a very able General (think top leadership) if your henchmen and foot soldiers failed to toe the line with their loyalty, commitment, passion, hard work and astuteness?

Ask any well-bred hotelier and they will tell you about the million battles they must meet head-on, all in a day’s work. A hotel job is inundated with gazillion crises that must be fought and smoothened in little time. This would not be possible without enlisting the moral, physical and cerebral support of a committed and trained work force.

The winning factor of Rokeby Manor is easily it’s pleasant, guest oriented staff that is trained well to be professional at all times. They smile their shiniest and sail over if the guest makes a faux pas. They smile even brighter and get into correction mode when they commit a mistake, immediately attempting to right the wrong with humble flair. “If there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear,” Narang tries to instill this maxim in his team.

In fact, all staff, whether it is the Reservations Clerk, the Housekeeping Attendant, the Manager lording over the F&B services, the General Manager, heck even the owner are naturally tuned towards making it a memorable and pleasant stay for the guest, with their immaculate service, pleasant demeanour, ears and eyes sharpened for guest likes and dislikes and a fervor that helps them go beyond the brief.

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Lesson – Your dedicated team comprised of happy, satisfied and trained staff are the biggest reason that will make your hotel stand out and above the competition when most other parameters are more or less the same – you know the set of services, the offerings, the linen, crockery, bathrobe, technology, even the plush airport pick-ups.
As an Owner / Manager, always endeavour to keep your team happy, satisfied, motivated, committed, enthusiastic, conscientious and yes, crisis-ready.
Ensure this and you have a dreamboat to navigate. [/message][su_spacer]


L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhir is a Hospitality & Feature Writer and Columnist for some of the world’s highest-ranked Hospitality publications. Her industry writings are syndicated to the finest global hospitality bodies and used as references in case studies and hotel schools. Aruna runs an exclusive channel on the award-winning media digest, BizCatalyst 360° called “Hospitality Matters” based on her hospitality industry insight and commentary. Aruna is a recognized and national-poll winning Corporate Communications Specialist, PR Strategist, and Writer. A seasoned hotelier, Aruna loves to present hospitality industry watch, insights, case studies, and analysis to her ever-increasing base of global readership. Aruna has over two decades of experience in Hospitality Communications and Brand Management and has worked with some of the best global hotel companies. In her last corporate role, Aruna was the Director – Public Relations at The Imperial New Delhi, where she was part of the core group and was responsible for re-launching The Imperial as one of the finest hotels in India and Asia. Aruna’s hotel experience includes leading the Marketing Communications and Public Relations portfolio for flagship properties at The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International. She also helped launch the Vilases as the uber-luxury experiences from the Oberoi stable. As an industry expert, Aruna has launched brands, developed training modules, created standardization dockets on business communication, written manuals, conducted Image Study & Positioning Analysis, and led media campaigns of Australian Ministers in India. Aruna Dhir’s successful work tenure with Australia’s Diplomatic Mission in India in the capacity of Media Relations Officer, saw her working on a host of never-done-before exciting projects including the hugely rewarding organisation of Australia-India New Horizons – Australia’s largest ever Country Promotion. Aruna Dhir is the first-ever Creative Writer for the Indian greeting cards giant – ARCHIES Greetings and Gifts Ltd. The milestone puts her in the league of Helen Steiner Rice and Amanda Bradley. While with the company she came out with several series of cards sold under her byline – an unprecedented feat that has not been repeated since. L. Aruna Dhir also dabbles in poetry and has to her credit two titles of Anthologies published and marketed by Archies G&G Ltd. Aruna serves on the Board of Association of Emerging Leaders Dialogues (AELD), a front-running Commonwealth Body that works towards developing leaders and influencers of tomorrow, with Princess Anne as its international President. Aruna has been engaged in freelance work for Doordarshan – the Indian National Television, All India Radio, and Times FM. Academically, L. Aruna Dhir topped at the All-India level in her PG Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising. Aruna has been a Ph.D. scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, akin to an Ivy League in India. She has earned a Senior Management Course Certification from the Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; V Dimension Management Company, London & Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines. Aruna Dhir has represented India to a select group of opinion-makers in the United States, as a Cultural Ambassador under the GSE Program of Rotary International. She has also participated in the IXth Commonwealth Study Conference held in Australia and chaired by Princess Anne. Aruna is a Life Member of the Public Relations Society of India A Freelance Writer since 1987, with articles that have appeared in India’s topmost newspapers and magazines, Aruna is also a blogger, a memoirist with works published on platforms like Medium and a Book reviewer on Goodreads. In her official and personal capacity L. Aruna Dhir has and continues to work on several social awareness projects – People for Animals, Earthquake Relief, National Blind Association, PETA, WSPA,, Friendicoes to name a few. Born at Allahabad (now Prayagraj), one of the world’s oldest known cities, L. Aruna Dhir grew up and did her schooling in Dehradun, regarded as a prominent seat of academia and literature. After being brought up in the sylvan surroundings of the verdant Doon valley, Aruna chose to make the Capital City of Delhi her second home.

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  1. Ah, Aruna, you make it sound so easy. Hire good people that are each better at something than you, train them well and constantly. Learn from them. Know your guests and their deepest desires and motivate the team to fulfill those. Maintain a clean and well kept property where everything works all the time. Handle the dozens of crisis that crop up daily without the guests being aware of them. Offer only the finest food and drink expertly presented and served with a smile. Out think, out plan, out perform all competitors all the time.

    Simple. After 40 odd years I came to realize that a hotelier must be a jack of all trades while being a master on none. A calling that one never masters.