London Hotels – Staff Training Secrets

Here’s a review of findings from a set of personal interviews conducted with leading London hoteliers:

Rocco Forte Collection (including Brown’s in London). Sir Rocco Forte’s hotels have high staff retention rates but there is “no magic answer” to achieving this. The emphasis is on training and providing clear and direct communication to people about what is expected of them. Rocco Forte Hotels also invest a lot of time and effort in creating an attractive working environment.

Intercontinental Hotels Group. This company has a creative approach to training its staff. For example they use “Learning Maps” to help staff empathise with customers by walking through the hotel from the customer’s perspective. Because staff need to follow the tone and style of each brand, training is brand-driven – it is quite different for Holiday Inn as compared to Intercontinental for example. The company also runs an “Employee Room Benefit Programme” to let staff use any of their hotels worldwide at cheap rates.

Claridge’s (Maybourne Hotel Group). At this company’s ultra-deluxe hotels, they pride themselves on their ability to recognise you when you return to stay there and to offer you extremely personalised service. There is plenty of hard work behind this and the training is usually driven by mystery shopping feedback. They use their most experienced team members as “role models” to act as mentors for new hires.

The Lanesborough. This is an exclusive, ultra-luxurious hotel near Hyde Park with a managing director who is one of the most respected hoteliers in London. He passionately believes in leading by example and has a pragmatic approach to staff training: learning on the job is reinforced by regular meetings in which new ideas are encouraged.

Red Carnation Hotel Collection. All of this group’s hotels are currently at or near the very pinnacle of the London hotel rankings on TripAdvisor. Comments from previous guests highlight the friendly staff and the service philosophy based on “tiny noticeable touches”. The Group’s CEO believes in recruiting people who have lovely personalities who are then given continuous professional training.The management team is stable and this also helps to provide a very solid example to staff.

Malmaison (a 4 star chain of boutique hotels). At Malmaison they like to emphasise a sense of fun in everything they do. As the CEO himself puts it: “If it’s not fun we’ll make it fun!” This results in a company culture where staff are given ways to find enjoyment and fun in their day to day jobs. The company also puts an emphasis on product-based training by partnering with its suppliers: this is quite an unusual approach but reflected in the service that guests receive in Malmaison’s London hotel.

One Aldwych (iconic 5 star hotel). The legendary founder of One Aldwych, Mr Campbell-Gray, told London Hotels Insight that his core belief in managing hotels is: “love your staff”. He wants all One Aldwych staff to provide great service in a natural way “from the heart” and they ban the use of “service scripts” which are sometimes used at other hotels. The hotel has a down-to-earth service style which leads to it being “a snob-free zone” as the management put it.

Hilton. Hilton is famous for being consistent wherever you are in the world and a large part of this is down to its online “Hilton University”. This is the company’s global training resource centre and it emphasises the shared Hilton values, wherever in the world you happen to be working. Do check out the review of the best Hiltons in London at London Hotels Insight.

You’re bound to enjoy staying in one of the above top London hotels even more, now that you know a bit more about the staff who work in them.

Homemade Baby Food: What Equipment Is Required?

Making homemade baby food is really a very simple process and requires very little in terms of kitchen equipment. Additionally, the benefits of preparing food for your baby at home using organic produce are clear. It has been shown that children fed organic foods have one sixth the level of pesticide by-products versus children who eat conventional foods. Add to this the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what your baby is eating and the extra effort in preparing homemade baby food seems minimal indeed.

There really are only four items that are needed to prepare and store homemade baby food, namely a good food mill, a steamer, air-tight storage containers, and a microwave oven.

Baby Food Mill

A food mill is a food preparation utensil for mashing soft foods, and a baby food mill is really the only absolutely essential piece of equipment required for making homemade baby food. This can be either a manual device or an electric device.

The hand-operated mills typically have a hand-operated crank and a strainer for separating seeds and skins from the puree for a smooth end product. In reality the manual mills don’t make food really smooth, although they can do a great job of quickly mashing foods provided they are cooked well to begin with. Additionally, the separation of skins from the puree isn’t perfect and it is better to remove the skins first. Otherwise, you will likely have to strain the puree afterwards.

A far better choice is to invest in an electric food mill. These devices consist of a bowl to hold the food, an electric motor, and a blade which purees the food. There is no strainer and so again you will want to remove any skin from the produce beforehand or you will have to strain the puree afterwards. Preparing homemade baby food with an electric food mill is very simple and these devices are highly recommended.


A food steamer is a kitchen appliance used to prepare foods in a sealed vessel that limits the escape of air below a preset pressure. With steaming, fewer nutrients are lost relative to other cooking techniques, where most of the nutrients are discarded after cooking. The steamer is used to soften up vegetables and other foods so that they can be pureed in the food mill.

Air-Tight Storage Containers

When preparing homemade baby food, it may be desirable to make enough food at once for several meals. In this case, it is necessary to store the food in air-tight containers to prevent spoilage. Tupperware or similar containers in appropriate sizes for single baby meals are available and are nice because your baby can be fed directly out of the container. You never want to feed out of a container and then save unused food from that same container because of the contamination risk.

Microwave Oven

A microwave oven cooks or heats food by using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food. Nowadays they are found in virtually every kitchen. They are useful for heating single portions of food that have been prepared previously and stored in the fridge. It is extremely important to take great care to stir the food after heating and then test the temperature to insure that there is no risk of burns since a microwave oven can heat food very quickly to a very high temperature. It may require no more than 15 seconds to heat a single portion of baby food. Be careful!

How to Use Ideas To Bring Satisfaction to Your Life – Ideas As Doorways to Future Destinations

We live our lives at the edges of the threshold of the emerging future and the vanishing point to the past. The future is continuously unraveling. In the transience of the moments, it is as we were traveling from place to place in our experiences. And this continuation of the transient moments forms a trajectory of our existence. A trajectory that is based on our actions. To cause and effect. Like were advancing in a stream of emerging and vanishing experiences. Constantly renewing, never returning. And we count these qualities together, we will also find how ideas can serve us like doorways to our future destinations.

So, ideas are doorways to your future destinations. What does this mean? When you get an idea, you do not get all the details of what will lead you to the future destination you have seen in the idea. You do not instantly see what must take place before you reach your destination. But as soon as you begin to use your mind to consider what you must do, you are in essence forming a trajectory of actions that must take place in order for you to reach your aim.

This event is like you were making a ritual that will bring you that what you want, but without magic. You want something to be in the present. You want to bring an experience to the domain of your consciousness. And you begin to perform your ritual. The harder that what you want is to be brought to your reality as an actualization, the longer the ritual takes, since you must perform more actions. But the idea is there, you have found the chain of events that will causally bring that what you want for you, and you begin your magic.

In essence, with the power of your own thoughts, you can bring wanted outcomes to your life. By influencing that what produces the emergence of the wanted outcome, you will receive it. For as long as you know what causes will produce the emergence of the wanted outcome or an experience you want to live through. And in this form of mounting of actions, there cannot be nothing wrong, as they are for bringing you satisfaction. In the timeline of twenty thousand years, the mortality of our existence loses its transparency. And instead we feel how short it is. Countless of generations are to be born to this world. And therefore, use ideas as doorways of your future destinations to bring yourself the satisfaction you deserve.

Exploring Mexico’s Cultural Diversity in the Northern and Central Area

An activity that can be enjoyed by the traveler who is exploring Mexico is to meet the people from different regions and ethnic backgrounds. Mexico’s cultural diversity is huge, with over 62 different languages spoken across the country; it counts with countless varieties of different traditions and customs. In this article, I will try to give a brief overview of some of the most relevant ethnicities in the country, particularly in the Northern and central part.

The human environment in North Mexico is extremely rich and distinctive. The creole and mestizo population are dedicated to cattle-ranching, mining and agriculture. In Sonora, a visit to the ancient mines of Cananea can be an interesting cultural experience. Cananea occupies a crucial point in Mexican history, due to the fact that its copper mines gave rise the events that set the motion for the 1910 revolution.

Among the noteworthy ethnic groups of the Northwest are the Seri Indians. These groups of nomadic fishermen move up and down the coast from Guaymas to Desemboque. Their beliefs about marine beings are immortalized in their famous wooden sculptures. Another ethnic group found in this region are the Cucapás, who inhabit the desert of San Felipe in Baja California, and the Opatas, who are found in the mountain region of Oputo, very close to the border of Sonora and Chihuahua. The Yaquis, inhabitants of the region of Ciudad Obregón, are famous for their Deer Dance, a preparatory ritual for the deer hunt.

The center of Mexico has been, from prehispanic times, the most densely inhabited and dynamic region in terms of the florescence of cultures and human activities. Creole and Mestizo culture is particularly rich and its ethnic manifestations are astonishing. Towards the western part of the country, in the states of Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima, activities are highly varied, but what stands out is the culture of ranchers and the production of Mezcal made from the blue agave, which is internationally known as tequila.

In the highlands of Michoacán, the syncretism of the colorful Purépecha culture predominates and culminates in the ceremony of the day of the dead on the island of Janitzio. Towards the basin of the Balsas river, in the states of Mexico, Morelos and Guerrero, different indigenous groups live side by side, including the Malinalcas, Tlahuicas and Cohuixcas, who are mixed with mestizo an creole groups. These cultures are expressed in dances such as “The Chinelos” or the Holy week rites in the mining city of Taxco.

The eastern-central part of the country is extraordinarily rich in cultural diversity. In the eastern State of Guanajuato, Querétaro, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí the last remains of the Chichimec nation, Otomí culture, the nahuas of Meztitilán, the Rio Verde Area and the Huastec region, are included in a rich syncretic collection of creole and mestizo cultures. Most of the cities and towns are beautiful colonial jewels of the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries. Agricultural communities such as San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo, Jalpan, Meztitlán and many others are dispersed in the region, as well as mining towns such as Xichú, Cadereyta, Pozos, San Miguel Regla, Huasca and Pachuca.

The ethnic groups of the central part of the country are countless. Among those that stand out for their rich tradition are the Purepechas of the Tarascan Plateau, the Nahuas of Meztitlan, and the Huastecs, whi preserve a very ancient kinship with the Mayas. The totonacs of Veracruz and Puebla preserve the ritual performance tradition known as the flyers of Papantla. Other ethnic groups found in this region are the Tlahuicas of Morelos, the Matlazincas and Malinalcas of the state of Mexico and the Cohuixcas of Taxco who do some fabulous stone work.

The music of the central part of the country preserves a complex evolutionary process. From the pre-hispanic period survive syncretic dances such as that of the “Concheros”, who use the percusive wealth of the huéhuetl and the teponaztle (A pre-hispanic percussion instrument), along with curious guitars made with armadillo shells as resonance boxes. A similar dance, the “Chinelos” uses a band of wind instruments of European origin. Some other different dances that persist are “The flyers of Papantla” and the “Quetzals”, preserved in the Totonac zone of Veracruz and Puebla.