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16 best hotel management books to take your hotel to the next level

Lana Cook

By Lana Cook

From managing employees to coordinating hotel services and creating the structure to deliver exceptional guest experiences, a hotel manager’s role encompasses a wide variety of tasks.

In order to master the skills required to successfully manage your hotel business, you should look to leaders who have been in your shoes before. By listening to other hoteliers and hotel industry experts, you can avoid common pitfalls and perfect your management skills in record time.

Check out 16 must-read hospitality books from the world’s top hospitality experts.

 

1. More Reservations, Happier Guests: The Ultimate Guide for the Modern Hotelier

Author: Cloudbeds, Adam Harris, Richard Castle, Rafael Blanes, Chad Brubaker, Kristy Espat, and more.

Goodreads Rating: N/A – newly published!

Published: 2022

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

There has never been a more exciting time to be in the hospitality industry. Travelers are eager to experience the world in new and unique ways in 2022 and beyond.

Today’s lodging businesses are not bound by traditional hotel models – in some cases, they’re not even bound by walls. Cloudbeds wrote this book with these modern hoteliers in mind, putting together their collective knowledge of hundreds of years in hospitality and technology to help properties of all sizes and types to succeed.

Why should I read it?

This book was created for owners and operators of all types of lodging businesses to develop the knowledge and skills they need to leverage technology to achieve their business objectives. Learn from an array of hospitality experts on strategies, ideas, fundamentals, and best practices to drive performance across departments, implement smart revenue strategies and build guest satisfaction.

Reviews are in:

“More Reservations, Happier Guests builds on the collective hospitality experience in one of the fastest-growing hotel tech startups of all time: Cloudbeds. With thousands of properties using its platform, Cloudbeds has gleaned insights from working with hospitality businesses of all sizes and types, all around the world. The book distills this collective wisdom into the key concepts hoteliers need to understand in order to build successful businesses.” – Jordan Hollander, CEO at Hotel Tech Report

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2. Revenue Management Made Easy

Author: Ira Vouk

Goodreads Rating: 4.00 (4 ratings)

Published: 2018

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

From the originator of the ARPAR performance index. This book brings a fresh view on revenue management and describes the tools that are relevant and effective today. It contains both theoretical knowledge and practical advice on how to revenue manage your hotel and significantly grow your RevPAR and bottom line.

Why should I read it?

Ira Vouk is a tech innovator, consultant, and educator with nearly 20 years of practical experience in the hospitality industry. She developed the Adjusted RevPAR hospitality performance metric for profit maximization and brings a modern look at revenue management and the tools relevant today. In less than 100 pages, Ira gives practical advice on how to significantly grow your RevPar and bottom line.

Reviews are in: 

“The best you can find, if you’re interested in Revenue Management 101 in Tourism and Hospitality. Solid, profound, practical. Read it, open an excel sheet and start.” – Dr. Hans Vettiger, Senior Lecturer at Swiss Universities

 

3. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service

Author: Walt Disney Company, Theodore Kinni, Michael D. Eisner

Goodreads Rating: 3.95 (2,693 ratings)

Published: 2001

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

The Disney Institute specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace. This book reveals the behind-the-scenes strategies, principles, and processes of the Disney approach to exceptional customer service, which emphasizes the best ways to provide quality service to one’s customers.

Why should I read it?

Exceeding expectations is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. “Be Our Guest” shares best practices that have helped make Disney the brand they are today. This book is great for any hotel looking to improve their guest experience and deliver consistent, quality service.

Reviews are in: 

“This book is an essential read for anyone interested in getting to grips with how Disney consistently delivers top-quality service. The methods are easily transferrable to any organization – you don’t have to be running a theme park to get something out of this. Probably the most useful business book I have ever read.” – Amazon Reviews

 

4. Without Reservations: How a Family Root Beer Stand Grew into a Global Hotel Company

Author: J.W “Bill” Marriot Jr.

Goodreads Rating: 3.83 (227 ratings)

Published: 2012

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

In “Without Reservations,” global business leader and hotel industry icon J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., shares both the story of and the recipe for the success of Marriott International, one of the world’s leading hotel companies. The company began with one family-run root beer stand and grew over eight decades, through his leadership, into a global corporation that is widely respected for the way it does business.

Why should I read it?

Bill Marriot deep dives into the success and failures that he’s faced while leading one of the world’s leading hotels. He emphasizes the importance of culture within your business and provides readers tips on decision making and how to deal with difficult situations.

Reviews are in: 

“Bill Marriott is one of the best entrepreneurial minds in the business. He knows what it takes to build brands, relationships, and a winning corporate culture. ‘Without Reservations’ is a compelling story of how best-in-class service, integrity, loyalty, and leadership turned a small, family business into one of the world’s most respected companies.” – Ken Chenault, CEO, and Chairman at American Express

 

5. The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company 

Author: Joseph A. Michelli

Goodreads Rating: 3.93 (768 ratings)

Published: 2008

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

When it comes to refined service and exquisite hospitality, one name stands high above the rest: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. With ceaseless attention to every luxurious detail, the company has set the bar for creating memorable customer experiences in world-class settings. Now, for the first time, the leadership secrets behind the company’s extraordinary success are revealed.

Why should I read it? 

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the most infamous hotel brands in the world. This book explores all levels of leadership within the company and looks at what principles have helped them deliver such a unique customer experience. It’s perfect for hoteliers looking for practical advice and processes to implement into their own properties.

Reviews are in:

“The Ritz Carlton is the best hotel chain in the world because of the unique experience it offers. This book shows you how to install the same customer-focused attitude toward service that makes a world leader.” – Brian Tracy, author of The Way to Wealth

 

6. The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets

Author: Micah Solomon

Goodreads Rating: 4.23 (134 ratings)

Published: 2016

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

Success in today’s rapidly changing hospitality industry depends on understanding the desires of guests of all ages, from seniors and boomers to the newly dominant millennial generation of travelers. This book delivers insights into these groups and how to run a successful business.

Why should I read it? 

With a great balance of practical concepts and examples, “The Heart of Hospitality” is an important read for any property owner looking to develop a unique and memorable service experience that their guests will never forget. This book includes first-hand stories and wisdom from top industry professionals including Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons Chairman, Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group CEO, and more.

Reviews are in: 

“Micah Solomon is one of today’s preeminent thought leaders on where hospitality, customer service, and customers themselves are heading. In ‘The Heart of Hospitality,’ Micah has put together the only book of its kind: a spectacularly useful, intelligent, and wry look at what determines success in the hospitality industry, packed throughout with his own insights and the insights of an extraordinary roster of great leaders and practitioners from our industry today.” – Herve Humler, President and COO, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

 

7. The Cornell School of Hotel Administration on Hospitality: Cutting Edge Thinking and Practice

Author: Jack B. Corgel, Michael C. Sturman

Goodreads Rating: 4.33 (33 ratings)

Published: 2011

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

This cutting-edge and comprehensive book, with contributions from the star faculty of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, offers the latest thinking on the best practices and strategies for hospitality management.

Why should I read it?

This book is an important read for any professionals looking to enter into or expand their reach within the hospitality industry. It includes information on how to maximize profits from contracts and agreements, predict customer choices, and motivate staff to provide exceptional service.

Reviews are in:

“The Cornell School of Hotel Administration on Hospitality is the most comprehensive work to date on how to compete in the hospitality industry and beyond.” – Michael D. Johnson, Dean at Cornell School of Hotell Administration

Guest reading in a hotel room

 

8. Check-In Check-Out: Managing Hotel Operations

Author: Gary K. Vallen, Jerome J. Vallen

Goodreads Rating: 4.39 (23 ratings)

Published: 2008

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

This book provides coverage of the hotel’s front office and all of the supporting positions that make it work. Organized to reflect how a guest moves through the hotel, this book provides a broad view of lodging management and covers topics such as corporate housing and destination elevators.

Why should I read it?

An extremely helpful guide for both new and old hoteliers, this book helps provide a detailed look into the guest experience flow and important details to be aware of within your own property. It has been recently updated to include topics such as cancellation policies for major OTAs, leading-edge technology, global distribution, and more.

Reviews are in:

“I rotated through several departments in a 5-star Asian hotel, working for housekeeping, banquets, reservations, front desk, bell desk, and marketing. This book is especially valuable for those who work the front desk. This department is covered thoroughly and after reading the book you will have a good understanding of how things really work and why.” – Goodreads Reviews

 

9. 100 Tips for Hoteliers: What Every Successful Hotel Professional Needs to Know and Do

Author: Peter Venison

Goodreads Rating: 3.75 (103 ratings)

Published: 2008

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

“100 Tips for Hoteliers” guides you from the inception of a hotel to its opening and operation, offering practical tips for each stage of the journey.

Why should I read it?

A great book for practicing hotel owners and managers to understand responsibilities that may be overlooked or undervalued at their properties. It provides real-world advice to help improve your operations and is a great read for smaller independent properties.

Reviews are in:

“This is an amazing book containing invaluable operating advice from each stage of property development or acquisition through opening day and beyond.” – Amazon Reviews

 

10. Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism

Author: Elizabeth Becker

Goodreads Rating: 3.80 (752 ratings)

Published: 2013

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

The largest global business in the world today is tourism. Employing one out of twelve people and producing $6.5 trillion of the world’s economy, it is the main source of income for many countries. Elizabeth Becker describes the dimensions of this industry and its effect on the world economy, the environment, and our culture.

Why should I read it? 

This book shines a light on the tourism industry that we don’t often see and it’s an important read for anyone who travels or who works in hospitality. It highlights the successes and failures of modern-day tourism and how travel impacts our world.

Reviews are in: 

“The definitive account of the rise of the modern tourism industry, from its beginnings as a small, fanciful pastime among elites, to its explosive growth after World War II, to its present as an economic engine valued at $7 trillion.” – Bloomberg BusinessWeek

 

11. 7 EASY Ways to Show Your Employees YOU Care! 

Author: Jokima Hiller

Goodreads Rating: 4.44 (9 ratings)

Published: 2015

Learn more here.

What’s it about? 

Employees are very important to the success of any business, however, feeling unappreciated is the number one reason why employees leave their jobs. Caring for someone is an action and as a manager, you must put in the effort to connect with your team to exhibit your thoughtfulness, concern, and compassion.

Why should I read it?

With the hospitality industry struggling to fill roles, it’s important for hotel owners and managers to understand the best ways to attract and retain employees. This book provides readers with practical and inexpensive ways to increase work satisfaction and productivity.

Reviews are in:

“What is most special about this booklet is that the topic of caring for people transcends cultural, racial, language, and other barriers to relationships. The outcome is that people’s performance will be enhanced and reinforce that they belong to something larger than themselves.” – John Szczepanski, Senior Director of Association Relations and Risk Management at White Lodging Services

 

12. 12 Golden Keys to Hospitality Excellence

Author: F.H. Benzakour

Goodreads Rating: 4.33 (15 ratings)

Published: 2018

Learn more here.

What’s it about? 

In the “12 Golden Keys to Hospitality Excellence,” author F. H. Benzakour, Cornell graduate and Professor of Contemporary Club Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University, shares his insights and expertise on superior management.

Why should I read it?

Designed for hotel managers, this book provides a strategic 12-step approach to creating and running a successful business. It looks at how to create demand, where you should invest your time, and the importance of a business strategy.

Reviews are in:
“A thoughtful compilation of core concepts every hospitality leader should know and be reminded of regularly. Packed with tools of the trade and storytelling bring it all together in an impactful read from one of the most decorated hospitality operators in the industry.” – Ryan Doerr, President at Strategic Club Solutions and The Spire Group

 

13. The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues

Author: Patrick Lencioni

Goodreads Rating: 4.09 (9,096 ratings)

Published: 2016

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

In “The Ideal Team Player,” Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle’s company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues.

Why should I read it?

Hiring the right people committed to delivering exceptional guest experiences is critical to the success of any hotel. This book provides management teams with easy-to-use tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players.

Reviews are in: 

“In his signature storytelling style, Lencioni brings to life the three foundational virtues of a real team player. Let everyone in your organization read this book and watch your results soar.” – Verne Harnish, founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO); author, Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

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14. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Author: Marshall Goldsmith

Goodreads Rating: 3.95 (26,273 ratings)

Published: 2008

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

The corporate world is filled with executives who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. They’re intelligent, skilled, and even charismatic, but only a handful of them will ever reach the pinnacle – and as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shows in this book, subtle nuances make all the difference.

Why should I read it?

Considered one of the world’s most respected executive coaches, Goldsmith provides invaluable advice in this book on how to overcome habits that may be holding you back from success. A helpful read for anyone looking to improve their communication skills with employees and guests at work.

Reviews are in:

“Marshall’s proven improvement process ROCKS!” – Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company

 

15. A Wealth of Insight: The World’s Best Luxury Hoteliers on Leadership, Management, and the Future of 5-Star Hospitality

Author: Rahim B. Kanani

Goodreads Rating: 4.31 (13 ratings)

Published: 2017

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

A “Wealth of Insight” profiles more than thirty-five of the world’s best luxury hoteliers on exactly what it takes to lead and manage some of the most legendary hotels and resorts.

Why should I read it?

Considered essential reading for current and future hotel managers, this book provides real-world case studies on recruiting, culture, technology, marketing, branding, and more to provide a comprehensive view of how to run an effective hospitality organization.

Reviews are in:

“A Wealth of Insights is a study in hard-earned leadership lessons from luxury hoteliers around the world. Mr. Kanani’s interviews take us behind the scenes of a complex industry – revealing the needs, behaviors, and demands of both guests and colleagues.” – Philip M. Barnes, Regional Vice President and Managing Director at the Savoy Hotel, London

 

16. Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

Author: Danny Meyer

Goodreads Rating: 4.03 (5,920 ratings)

Published: 2006

Learn more here.

What’s it about?

In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he learned while developing the dynamic philosophy he calls Enlightened Hospitality. The tenets of that philosophy, which emphasize strong in-house relationships as well as customer satisfaction, are applicable to anyone who works in any business.

Why should I read it?

While this book is geared toward restaurant management, it provides invaluable advice for all hospitality professionals on how to create meaningful connections with both customers and employees.

Reviews are in:

“A landmark, bestselling business book and a fascinating behind-the-scenes history of the creation of Danny’s most famous eating establishments, ‘Setting the Table’ is a treasure trove of valuable, innovative insights applicable to any business or organization.” – Time Magazine

 

These hotel management books are a great resource for hotel managers and owners to discover new ways of thinking to apply to their own properties. Constantly seeking out advice and knowledge from other leaders will not only help improve your business but will make you a better leader. Don’t hesitate to utilize outside resources such as the books in this list, technology partners, or other property owners to find inspiration on ways to continually improve your property.

Interested to see how Cloudbeds can supercharge your property?
Published on 17 May, 2022
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About Lana Cook

Lana Cook

Lana Cook is a Content Writer at Cloudbeds where she is able to combine her love of writing and passion for travel. She has spent the last few years writing about all things technology and the ways in which it can be used to help businesses thrive. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her checking out the latest movie or searching for a new TV show to binge.

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