Small Details Spell Success for Hotel Chief: Guests and Employees Get Priority with Stan Bromley

By Geracimos, Ann | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 30, 1996 | Go to article overview

Small Details Spell Success for Hotel Chief: Guests and Employees Get Priority with Stan Bromley


Geracimos, Ann, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The butler knows best. But when the hotel's self-styled "butler" also happens to be its regional vice president and general manager, the perspective changes.

A butler heeds the call of master, mistress or guest. A general manager knows nearly everything about the care and feeding of guests in advance. Or tries to. Stan Bromley of the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown is both. Hotel publicity materials dub him, affectionately, "the ultimate Jewish mother" - a sign of status in the profession.

His act is convincing for a butler who lives in Potomac and is on a first-name basis with many of the famous people he serves. He estimates he is in regular contact with some five dozen people of greater or lesser celebrity for whom he does special favors -TV's Larry King, for instance, whom he considers a friend - and from whom he may receive favors in return.

"If I can provide comfort, I have power," he says in his charmingly direct manner, which hides a wealth of discretion and tact. He is a juggler of roles who calls himself "a combination of country club and condo manager - businessman, butler, rabbi, priest, psychiatrist, taskmaster and worrywart." And no wonder, since in addition to the property here, he oversees two hotels in New York, and one each in Boston and Palm Beach, Fla.

The current week provides rare downtime in Mr. Bromley's life, a break before the new Congress comes to town and inaugural festivities get under way in January. It marks an abrupt change from a two-week period earlier this month when the hotel was the site of some 35 parties in addition to "hosting" the Crown Prince of Morocco, in town for the National Symphony Ball; a former U.S. president traveling under a pseudonym; and Lebanon's head of state, all with separate security details.

Also present: movie star Laura Dern, diplomat-banker Richard Holbrooke and NBC-TV honcho Bob Wright. The hotel's owner came through at the same time employees were holding their annual children's Christmas party, which cut back considerably on staff. After a party for the Helen Hayes Awards committee held there this month, so many people were lined up to retrieve valet-parked cars that the head of housekeeping was called upon to schmooze impatient patrons crowding the lobby.

Staff moved 180 cars in an hour that night, probably setting some kind of Guinness Book record. Another time, the head of housekeeping got to baby-sit the dog belonging to a groom in a wedding taking place on the premises; the dog, of course, was part of the ceremony.

Efficiency! Industry! Diplomacy! The need to be ever considerate, ever humble. To be the last word in service in order to be first. Awards, praise, persistence. The latter is paramount above all.

Born Stanley Bloomberg in Johnstown, Pa., Mr. Bromley, 52, was the son of an innkeeper who died when Mr. Bromley was 14. During high school, he worked summers in an uncle's hotel in Lake Placid, N.Y., and soon after graduation took himself to Switzerland to enter the Ecole Hotelier Lausanne and later worked his way up from dishwasher at the Orly Hilton outside Paris to food and beverage director at the Stanford Court in San Francisco. He joined the Four Seasons in 1989.

His center of operations is a windowless room below ground in a warren of executive offices near the front of the hotel. Upstairs are 196 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites behind a stern brick facade heralded by a clock tower at 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Built in 1979, the building originally was going to be part of a moderately priced motel chain. Its square lines since have been softened by bountiful greenery and soothing decor, making the interior into something resembling a well-lit stage set.

As middleman in the ever-changing world of guests and 400 full- and part-time staff, he alternates sweet talk with the sour, taking two to three pages of reminder notes each day: anything from the taste of the coffee in the dining room to expressions on employees' faces.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Small Details Spell Success for Hotel Chief: Guests and Employees Get Priority with Stan Bromley
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.