Case ID: 803069     Solution ID: 36695     Words: 1461 Price $ 45

Four Seasons Goes to Paris Case Solution


The case study is pivoted on a worldwide titan, Four Seasons. It is one of the main inn network, working in 24 nations. Aggregate number of lodging branches that the organization claims is 54, and it utilizes one and only reasoning to work the entire framework. The hidden purpose behind organization's prosperity is it flexibility to national society of the zone, in which it works. The second reason is its HR it contributes vigorously on it workers. The organization has made an interpretation of the brilliant standard into its human asset administration arrangements and its client relationship administration strategies. The organization has set seven administration society guidelines, which rotate around the brilliant tenet.

Steps from the Champs-Elysées, with private terraces that command  views of all Paris and

vibrant facilities accented by 17th-century tapestries and floral mastery, Four Seasons Hotel

George V Paris has come to define fine service in the City of Light and around the world.

A Paris landmark since 1928, this historic building has been lovingly restored to reflect the very

highest Four Seasons standards of comfort and convenience. Of the Hotel's 244 spacious guest

rooms, including 59 suites, 30 feature a private city-view terrace. Fine dining at the Michelin-

starred Le Cinq restaurant is a coveted occasion. La Galerie and its summer seating in the

courtyard terrace offer elegant places to share a meal or afternoon tea. Le Bar is a destination for

Parisians and visitors alike. 

Four Seasons gives guests access to the most luxurious hotel spa in Paris, with a full treatment

menu offering everything from massages and body treatments to salon services. Adjacent is an

extensive health club, encompassing training facilities, saunas, and steam rooms. The swimming

pool and whirlpool are wrapped in trompe l'oeil murals of the gardens of Versailles.  For

business and social gatherings, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris presents the finest selection

of its kind in Paris, with 1,269 square meters (13,596 square feet) of meeting and function

spaces - including one of the most beautiful ballrooms in the city.

Observers of the Paris hotel scene noted that by the 1980s and 1990s, the George V, like some

of its peers, was coasting on its reputation. In December 1996, H.R.H. Prince Al Waleed Bin

Talal Bin Abdulaziz al Saud purchased the hotel for $170 million. In November 1997, Four

Seasons agreed to manage the hotel. They explained "We needed to be in Paris. We had looked

at a new development.

Four Seasons closed the hotel for what ended up being a two-year,   $125 million total

renovation. Since the building was a landmark, the façade had to be maintained. The interior of

the hotel, however, was gutted. Skilled craftsmen restored the façade's art déco windows and

balconies, extensive wood paneling, gilding, artwork, and 17th-century Flanders tapestries that

had long adorned the hotel's public and private spaces. The new Four Seasons Hotel George V

Paris opened on December 18, 1999, at 100% effective occupancy of rooms ready for use. The

opening was particularly challenging because Four Seasons only took formal control of

operations on December 1, in part due to French regulations.

The Four Seasons Hotels faced a big challenge since they were entering a new country, new

market and facing a completely different mentality and environment. Thus, the main problem of

Four Seasons  Hotels was to find solutions for overcoming cultural gaps and satisfying the

customers' needs in a new service environment. They had to be able to preserve the legacy of

the George V Hotel.

In terms of labor management, firing people had to be a thorough process and required counseling, especially in Paris they had to

have a very good cause for it and document everything carefully.

Adapting to manage differing perceptions of time was also challenging for North Americans in

France. North Americans have a "monochromic" culture based on high degree of scheduling

and code of behavior built around promptness in meetings and appointments whereas the French

are   more   "polychromic"   valuing   human   relationships   and   interactions.

The Four Seasons Hotel had to also adhere to local laws, which affected work and design

patterns. For example according to a French hygiene law food and trash had to be separately

carried down. Employees also had the "right to light", which is the right to work near a window

for a couple of hours a day. Thus, several windows had to be programmed into the design. There

were also several French regulations such as fire regulations that needed attending.


Four Seasons' general approach to internationalization is based on a mix of standardization and

localization. It has seven universal service culture standards, which are the same across all

countries,   and   270   core operating standards,   which   may be adapted to local needs and

peculiarities. By following this approach, Four Seasons can flexibly adjust to local customer

needs, while still maintaining a high global standard. Four Seasons' competitive advantage is

providing exceptional, personal service. Hence, the key of their success are the employees who

provide this service to customers. 

In dealing with employees, Four Seasons applies the "Golden Rule", which is to treat others as

one would wish to be treated, to motivate its employees to provide the exceptional standard of


Because of different cultures, Four Seasons has to adopt this approach to local culturesin order to have employees that identify with Four Seasons while being able to adapt to local standards, as in the case of France.

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Excel Calculations

Questions Covered

1. What it is like to stay at a Four Seasons?

2. What has made Four Seasons successful over the last 30 years?

3. Does corporate culture play a role in Four Seasons’ success? If so, how and why?

4. Do human resource strategies play a role in Four Seasons’ success? If so, how and why?

5. How do you feel about the way Four Seasons entered the Paris/French market? What wasgood and/pr bad about the entry strategy? Why?

6. Do the lessons from this case study apply to firms entering markets other than France? Ifnow, why? If so, how, and to what types of markets?