October 01, 2021
By Kim Campbell

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of hospitality, it's no secret that things can get overwhelming. Whether you're bogged down by an operations checklist, anxious about meeting revenue goals, or anything in between, hospitality industry professionals, like everyone else, may need a pick-me-up from time to time. Being so, we compiled a list of 42 of the most powerful, inspirational, and even humorous hospitality quotes we could find.

From Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou to Bill Gates and Bill Kimpton, keep reading to discover some of the best hospitality quotes the internet has to offer.

Explore 42 relatable and inspirational hospitality quotes

1. “True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

2. “Hospitality should have no other nature than love.” - Henrietta Mears

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3. “Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.” - Henri J.M. Nouwen

4. “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” - James Cash Penney

5. "The reason for our success is no secret. It comes down to one single principle that transcends time and geography, religion and culture. It’s the Golden Rule – the simple idea that if you treat people well, the way you would like to be treated, they will do the same.” - Isadore Sharpe

6. “The key is to set realistic customer expectations and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” - Sir Richard Branson

7. “True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person.” - Kathleen Norris

8. “To put it rather bluntly, I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel.” - Fran Lebowitz

9. “My definition of a good hotel is a place I’d stay at.” - Robert De Niro

10. “The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.” - George Bernard Shaw

11. “Entertaining doesn’t need to be a difficult or daunting process. Throwing an unforgettable party doesn’t require a ton of time or money; it just requires a little thought, creativity, and heart.” - Maury Ankrum

12. “Intelligent luxury is all about thinking about what really is special for our guests, what's different, and to give them a surprise that they are not used to.” - Sonu Shivdasani

13. "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” - Unknown

14. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” - Bill Gates


15. “Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.” - Justine Vogt

16. “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” - Mark Twain

17. “I still enjoy traveling a lot. I mean, it amazes me that I still get excited in hotel rooms just to see what kind of shampoo they’ve left me.” - Bill Bryson

18. “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

19. “The heart of hospitality, for me, is the ability to focus completely and totally on one person, even if only for a matter of seconds, yet long enough that you've got a clear connection, a channel between the two of you.” - Micah Solomon

20. “Consumers are statistics. Customers are people." - Stanley Marcus

21. “Hospitality is the smell of my food; service is the taste of my food.” - Hamed Suleiman

22. “There is no hospitality like understanding.” - Vanna Bonta

23. “A hotel should relieve travelers of their insecurity and loneliness. It should make them feel warm and cozy.” - Bill Kimpton

24. “Nothing inspires cleanliness more than an unexpected guest.” - Radhika Mundra

25. “Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.” - Samuel Pepys

26. “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford

27. “Hospitality is almost impossible to teach. It’s all about hiring the right people.” - Danny Meyer

28. "You can excuse an ugly building if the staff deliver the right service (it's much nicer to have a combination of both things), but the staff at the end of the day are the service.” - Rocco Forte

29. “The important thing is to engage guests in the hotel. Don’t go in saying you know this and you know that, and this is the way it will be. Listening is critical to leadership, and so is staying authentic. You do that and you will get loyalty, and then your role as a leader will be easy.” - Mark Hoplamazian

30. “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” - Richard Branson

31. “In hospitality, there's always more to learn, and you're dealing with so many different types of people from all over the world every single day. You'll never know it all, and that can be humbling, but it's also a great opportunity to develop a coach mentality in your management staff.” - Dwight Zahringer

32. "I tell our people all the time (that) 'success is never final,' and it isn't. It's a lot easier sometimes to get to the top than it is to stay there." - J. Willard Marriott

33. “True hospitality is a delicate balance of warmth and form.” - Sheila Ostrander

34. “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of an intelligent effort.” - John Ruskin

35. “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” - Tony Allesandra

36. “Never say no when a client asks for something, even if it is the moon. You can always try, and anyhow there is plenty of time afterwards to explain that it was not possible.” - Cesar Ritz

37. “People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

38. “A soul of hospitality and a heart of humanity is a house of love, peace, freedom, liberty, and justice.” - Auliq Ice

39. “Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends.” - Samuel Pepys

40. “Hospitality is the key to new ideas, new friends, new possibilities. What we take into our lives changes us. Without new people and new ideas, we are imprisoned inside ourselves.” - Joan Chittister

41. “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” - Roger Staubach

42. “Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality; we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way.” - Alice Waters

Frequently asked questions about hospitality quotes

What quotes encourage hospitality?

Quotes that encourage hospitality don’t have to be about hotels specifically. At its core, hospitality is really all about welcoming strangers, providing a safe haven for travelers, and showing kindness to others. Well-known hotel greats have provided many encouraging quotes over the years, but writers, philosophers, activists, and  athletes alike have also promoted the power of hospitality.

What writers can inspire hoteliers?

There are tons of different authors who focus on hotels, hospitality, and the tourism industry specifically. Some of our favorite must-read hospitality books are Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience, Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, and The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets.

What hospitality quotes are the most powerful?

Some of the most powerful hospitality quotes inspire, encourage empathy, and capture the heart of the industry: Service. Whether you’re looking to inspire yourself, a fellow hotel manager, your staff, your guests, or create a new attention-grabbing slogan for your next marketing campaign, powerful hospitality quotes can make a positive and lasting impact.

Put these hospitality quotes to use today!

Whether you bookmark them for later, write them on a sticky note to leave at your desk, or just store a couple in the back of your mind, we hope this list of hospitality quotes helps you in one way or another. 

Up next, take the importance of customer service a step further with our complete guide to what guests want from a hotel

How can we help?

Headshot of Cvent writer Kimberly Campbell

Kim Campbell

Kim is a full-time copy and content writer with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. She entered the hotel world in 2013 as a housekeeping team member and worked her way through various departments before being appointed to Director of Sales. Kim has championed numerous successful sales efforts, revenue strategies, and marketing campaigns — all of which landed her a spot on Hotel Management Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” list. Don’t be fooled though; she’s not all business! An avid forest forager, post-apocalyptic fiction fan, and free-sample-fiend, Kim prides herself on being well-rounded.
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