Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy

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Overview

How did a child of immigrants, starting with no background in the hotel business, create the world’s most admired and successful hotel brand? And how has Four Seasons grown so dramatically, over nearly half a century, without losing its focus on exceptional quality and unparalleled service?
 
Isadore Sharp answers these questions in his inspiring memoir. He started out in Toronto, the son of a modest builder from Poland, but ambition and fate rapidly took him beyond his father’s three-man construction business.
 
Sharp learned the hotel business by trial and error. His breakthrough was a vision for a new kind of hotel, featuring superior design, top-quality amenities, and, above all, a deep commitment to service. Today, Four Seasons is widely recognized as the world leader in comfort and luxury—in fact, it sets the standard by which every luxury hotel is measured.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sharp shares the story of his astonishing rise out of the Toronto ghettos to founder, chairman and CEO of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the largest group of five-star hotels in the world. Born to Polish-Jewish immigrants, Sharp began his career building apartment buildings and entered the hotel-building business in 1961. With his wife, Rosalie, the interior designer for the hotels, he decided to differentiate his brand by focusing on midsize and luxury hotels where employees are expected to deliver the best service. As the business grew, Sharp shifted his attention to charitable pursuits, including founding the Terry Fox marathon to benefit cancer research. While his story is impressive and inspiring-the company was named one of Fortune 's 100 Best Companies to Work for in America, and weathered 9/11 and the SARS outbreak with aplomb-it is bogged down with pedestrian details of the deals and process of opening many of the empire's 150 hotels in 40 countries. While rabid fans of the hotels and of a good rags-to-riches story may cheer, other readers might be left unsatisfied. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Laura Landro
An appealing memoir and an instructive attempt to sum up [Mr. Sharp's] business philosophy.
—The Wall Street Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591845645
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 241,871
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Isadore Sharp is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels, Inc. He opened the first Four Seasons in Toronto in 1961, and the company now operates eighty-two luxury hotels and resorts around the world, with more than forty additional properties under development. He and his wife, Rosalie, are prominent philanthropists. They divide their time between Toronto and Palm Springs, California.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Strongly recommend

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the relationship between creating and running a business and value systems. Mr. Sharpe's lessons and principles apply to all businesses and enterprises.

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