They said ...
Above: Oscar Wilde meets actress Sarah Bernhardt on a platform at Paddington Station (London)
This is our growing collection of remarkable hospitality related remarks.
"Vor dem Genuß von Austern sei dringend gewarnt!" ('The consumption of oysters should be urgently advised against!')
K. Baedeker, Italien — Von den Alpen bis Neapel, 1903, about restaurants in Venice in general;
‘The customer is always right!’ and: ‘See all without looking; hear all without listening; be attentive without being servile; anticipate without being presumptuous. If a diner complains about a dish or the wine, immediately remove it and replace it, no questions asked.’
No guest or member of the family, except a small child, should ever be introduced to the employee. "This is my husband, Norah;" or "This is my daughter, Miss Rosaly, Hardy," is impossibly wrong.
Vogue's Book of Etiquette, by Millicent Fenwick, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1948
"In the mind of some venerable ladies and gentlemen, the sale of the Plaza Hotel in New York several years ago could only be associated with the fall of the Bastille, the decapitation of Charles the First, and the fourth inaugural of Roosevelt. It was regarded as a disaster comparable with the San Francisco earthquake or the Johnstown flood."
"The Man Who Bought The Waldorf: The Life of Conrad N. Hilton"
"Anyone who wants to know the hotel business thoroughly must start at the lower back door where the packages and the food come in and the trash and garbage go out. He must work his way up carefully from that back door through the kitchen to the dining room, from the cheapest bedroom to the finest suites. I entered my profession through the back door of the Hoffman House, literally."
Oscar Tschirky, Oscar of the Waldorf
'They say: "It used to be a good hotel", but that proves nothing.
I used to be a good boy. Both of us have lost character of late years.'
Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad
'Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.'
"This wallpaper will be the death of me: one of us will have to go."
Oscar Wilde's second last statement (30 November 1900) made at the Hôtel d'Alsace, where he spent his last days in room 16, famously remarking "I am dying beyond my means".
'My wife and I tried two or three times in the last forty years to have breakfast together but it was so disagreeable that we had to stop.'
(although that's totally overrated:)