"53 Properties, 24 Countries, 1 Philosophy"
November 27, 2005
Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts (FSH) always prided itself on being the choice for a luxury hotel experience. Since its inception date in 1960, FSH expanded its renowned services to include the current number of 67 hotels in 30 different countries with continued expansion in progress. FSH attributed its success to its organizational culture, which did, and continues to embody, the dedication to great service and luxury hospitality. Part of this culture is to recognize that the employees are the key to success, and that in following the "Golden Rule", do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, an atmosphere of fairness, respect, and consistency is established. The success of their philosophy on how to treat employees was, and continues to be, evident in their consistent run on Fortune Magazine's list of the "Top 100 Best Companies to Work For". Furthermore, ingrained into the mission statement was the firm's need for profitable financial planning so that the longevity of its existence and continued service to employees, customers, and shareholders was and is ensured. In the case presented, we look back at FSH's expansion into the French luxury hotel market. The opportunity for this expansion came about with the management and renovation of the historic Parisian Palace, the Hotel George V, one of the six category palace hotels in Paris. Along with the opportunity to expand its European market and support its growth policy around the world, the opening of FSH Hotel George V Paris (hereafter, FS George V), also provided the challenges of incorporating the existing organizational culture with the French culture, laws, and regulations. Although FSH had experience in the global market, French culture and laws provided unique issues to be resolved, particularly in their management of Human Resources. During the development process of FS George V, the