I've probably said "A brand is not a picture... it's a promise..." a few hundred times in presentations and capability briefings, all in an effort to break the stigma that a logo is not, in itself, a brand.
Well, for those wanting to rest a brand promise (literally and figuratively,) and actually experience an organization making good on it promise -- I invite you to visit a Weston Hotel near you (book your stay at www.starwoodhotels.com.) The Weston is a recent winner of the 2009 Traveler's Choice Award, and when you visit, you'll understand why.
I recently stayed at the Weston Boston Waterfront and it was among the finest hotels I've ever stayed (U.S. or European.) From check-in -- where the Weston has done away with the high counters that have served as a wall of separation between hotel staff and guests, to the sleek, comfy, and modern lobbies that -- despite their huge expanse -- feel like an old friend's study, beautiful but lived in. One of their slogans is "every touch works together." At the Weston, it does indeed. And, the greatest physical distinction I found -- a bed with pillows that feel like clouds -- no kidding.
Weston's corporate web site says, "(The Westin is) a haven of serenity and a distinctive alternative for those who appreciate a higher standard." I've stayed in near a dozen hotels since that trip, and none has compared. The aesthetics are notably high, but the service is equally impressive. Oh, that this was the standard instead of the exception in hospitality, the world would no doubt be a kinder place.
Sadly, you can't package good "brand execution," but if you want to take a little bit of your experience home with you, the Starwood Group sells their beds and linens online. Don't believe me? Just ask me why I'm sleeping a little better these days... It's refreshing to rest on a reliable brand.