Aria Hotel Budapest Rooftop

With more than 200,000 hotels in the world, how do you distinguish one from another? On the surface there’s location and price, of course. However, beyond your destination and budget, some of the more intrinsic factors to consider are aesthetic and experience. In an industry like hospitality, the guest experience from check-in until check-out should be exceptional. At the really standout properties, service goes way beyond “service with a smile” and “the customer is always right” to “the customer is the center of our universe.”

Aria Hotel Prague and Vrtba Gardens

At one point in time, luxury was simply a measure of how grand and lavish the lobby was. In today’s era, it’s all about personal preference. One brand that’s setting the standard and continually raising the bar is the Library Hotel Collection. For the second year in a row, it has been recognized by the Luxury Brand Report as the hotel brand with the highest guest satisfaction rating in the world. The survey, conducted by ReviewPro, scrutinized more than 2.7 million online reviews of 2,690 properties across 159 brands. Many of those had much stronger brand recognition with dozens of hotel and resort operations around the globe. The Library Hotel Collection's top honor is a prime example that bigger isn’t always better. Boutique hotels excel by tailoring each visit to the individual’s tastes — and it shows.

Toasting at the Casablanca

How They Do It

The Library Hotel Collection has a very particular philosophy about whom they choose to hire. According to Owner and President, Henry Kallan, they look for employees who may not have any hotel experience but are happy, kind and authentic individuals. You can train someone to bring more towels, but you can’t train them to be the type of person who strives to raise guests’ spirits with each and every interaction, and finding those genuine people is imperative to the success of the brand. Their job isn’t simply to dole out keys. Sure, that’s one task, but at the core, every staff member’s role is to ensure each guest is having the best possible travel experience. Adele Gutman, VP of Sales, Marketing and Revenue, explains "We remind our staff that we hired them for their personality, and we encourage them to let their personalities shine through with each and every guest encounter."

Rooftop of Hotel Elysee

Beyond the staff, they want each and every person that walks through the door to feel like a celebrity. It’s not about the hotel being great; it’s about the guest feeling great. There’s a luxury associated with white glove service when you can request anything you want and know that each and every whim and wish will be delivered. However, in the back of your mind, you may be wondering how much that request will cost you. The Library Collection never wants its guests to feel nickel and dimed and to know anything and everything on the spread is for you without having to ask. Each property has its own amenities, but there is always breakfast, wine and cheese receptions in the evening (with the exception of Prague which has afternoon tea), complimentary Wi-Fi, coffee, water, and snacks. Each of the NYC properties also offers access to the New York Sports Club. Prague boasts private access to the UNESCO Vrtbovska Gardens. Similarly to the Aria Hotel Prague, the Aria Hotel Budapest is equipped with a full audio library curated by a Musical Director who will can help travelers connect with local music and cultural experiences and assist in enjoying the intelligent in-room multimedia system. To add to the charm, both European properties have gorgeous rooftop dining experiences, which is just one reason why they rate among the best in their respective cities.

About the Properties

To give you a sample of some of its unique offerings, the Library Hotel Collection distinguishes itself with boutique properties dedicated to bibliophiles, audiophiles and classical studies. Staying there is a cultural and educational experience as much as an extravagant one. Its New York hotels have been ranked in the top 10 on TripAdvisor for more than ten years. At one point all four hotels were in the top four spots in the ultra-competitive NYC market, an achievement unmatched by any other company to date. The Casablanca Hotel is just steps from Times Square and was inspired by the Moroccan glamour of the namesake movie, while Hotel Elysée is where actors, artists and writers go to hideout. The chic Hotel Giraffe is softly contemporary and is the most group and family friendly of the bunch with nearly half the rooms comprised of suites or deluxe accommodations. For sophisticated travelers seeking a thought-provoking experience, the Library Hotel is home to over 6,000 books, each floor dedicated to one of the major classifications in the Dewey Decimal System. All four of the NYC properties offer a clubroom concept with complimentary coffee, tea, cookies, and fruit all day, continental breakfast in the morning, and a wine and cheese reception in evening. In early 2017, the Library Hotel Collection will open their newest endeavor, Hotel X Toronto, a lakefront urban resort at Exhibition Place.

While travel doesn’t offer much in terms of guarantees anymore, one thing’s for sure: If you’re visiting a city with a member of the Library Hotel Collection in the vicinity, you are guaranteed one of the best hotel experiences of your life.