This is not a cliché.

February 2014

01 February 2014

A thought or two from the Dolomites

At times when guests first arrive in the hotel they are tired after a long journey, not too bright in the face, and often a bit stressed after having passed months in the office trying to resolve problems and find solutions, and with the economic climate as it is, and time available never enough, it is not a pretty picture – many are tired of planning and deciding, deflatedby the constant need to meet objectives, to produce results, to make something of their job. As for ourselves we must not be too quick to judge nor too distressed by the sad faces we see. It is only after the days that follow that our visitors are able to give a more balanced response to the important things in life. Usually it only takes a few days of relative calm to lead guests to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the energy of the mountains, and the true spirit of their holiday. Such reaction on their part makes us happy: we strive to ensure that our guests return home happy and satisfied and that their experience here will long last in their memories. This is the gratification we have for being involved in the best profession in the world!
24th January 2014

If there is one thing I cannot stand it is these mobile phones which take photographs, which film all, which to all effects have become an extension of our personality. It is not that I do not use a mobile phone, on the contrary I send many tens if not hundreds of sms. However I certainly do not send an sms whilst someone is talking to me, and I do not check to see if messages have arrived whilst I am chatting to a friend, or to a guest or a supplier of ours. To tell the truth I find it really disconcerting that there are so many persons who constantly have their eyes glued to their smartphone, even when they are eating, or worse still when they are reading a newspaper. I ask myself if they are never afraid of losing contact with what is happening around them. Of course it is all to do with progress and the modern day life, but surely good manners and a bit of civility should always have their place too. I certainly have no intention to change my old mobile phone, it, to the despair of our management team, not even having the capacity to receive emails! I am sorry to say it but the fact is that I am not able to be a multitasker, and I certainly do not want to be always and constantly online. I might be old-fashioned but that’s the way I am and that’s the way it is.
11th January 2014

In keeping with the Common Welfare Economy, an approach which our organisation has now embraced for several years, it is no longer the Costa family which takes decisions, even less myself, but the heads of the various departments. A few days ago we met to consider an important question, so important in fact that several of those involved, myself included, abstained when it came to voting on the matter. At times it is necessary to look inside oneself and follow the inspiration you find. Decisions cannot always be rational and not everything is foreseeable and mathematically calcuable. It is not wise to focus all on the short-term result but to consider our overall growth. At a certain point it is important to decide things as otherwise one risks meeting the same end as Buridano’s donkey, it standing between two bales of hay and not knowing which one to eat died of starvation due to its indecision..
8th January 2014

I refer to a meeting had the other day with some of the staff responsible for serving our clients in the restaurant and bar area. I am certainly a person that welcomes new challenges, interpreting them as new opportunities, and I like trying to bring change and growth to our organisation. However I also realise that even the smallest changes can be difficult to absorb for the majority of persons. Yet I am certain that changes help us flourish, give us new opportunities, bring cheer, and energise us inside = just like the fresh snow which springs up from our snowshoes as we walk through the woods. At times I have the impression that many of us risk becoming prisoners of our desire for certainty, of the very constraints of the area around us, and of a certain mental rigidity which we ourselves create. Living in too methodical and uninquistive manner can limit us. Perhaps what is more needed to take forward an organisation such as ours is simply equilibrium: tradition and innovation, passion and intelligence, courage and prudence. Such reasoning is fine but only if you know that the map never represents the reality of the territory because everything is in a state of change – always!
30th December 2013

michil costa

We are involved in a profession which is extraordinarily wonderful. It is varied in its content, gives us the opportunity to live in a beautiful area, and it gives also the chance to meet on a daily basis persons whose greatest wish is to spend happy days here with us. It is wonderful also because we see how our kitchen staff dedicate themselves to what they do and take great satisfacion from what they achieve, we see how the staff who ‘wait on’ our clients in the bar and restaurants go about their business with a ready smile, we see the house staff gossiping away and telling their tales, and we know that our handyman Arthur is always angry with the whole world but that really he is a fine and considerate chap, and we know that our group is a happy one sticking together and supporting each other ever so well.
I think this is all true because we have understood that there is always a solution or more to every situation which arises. Taking our mission forward together means navigating the waters as a team standing side by side with each other so as to always reach our port of destination, and this whatever the conditions we have to contend with, be they of kind or unkind circumstance, and this for me and for us is the greatest of satisfactions.
27th December 2013

A hotelier should pass more time with his or her staff than with the guests, for when all is said and done it is they who are the multiplicators of smiles, and again they who are able to transmit to the clients the philosophy behind the organisation. A good hotelier should keep the words of Goethe in mind: "Treat persons as if they are as they should be and help them to become that which they are capable of becoming”. A hotel is not a static structure. On the contrary it is a living organism. A hotel s not a mechanical invention. On the contrary it is a place in which the prevailing thought needs to be defined and spread accordingly. A hotelier need not transform him or herself in an unnatural way to identify entirely with the role but needs to perform the function to his or her best ability. A hotel is a place where one should think not only in terms of competition, for it is the skill of cooperation which should be at the fore. I believe that a good hotelier should work on him or herself so as to be better than the others. I say this because the main goal a hotelier sets is not all to do with profit but is to do with the welfare of all persons and things which have to do with the organisation, just as is the case with the common Welfare Economy. We believe in such and this is why we do the most wonderful job in the world.
13th December 2013