Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt and Oscar of the Waldorf
About the Book
The word “maven” is defined by Wikipedia as a “trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others.” Since the 1980s it has become more common when the New York Times columnist William Safire adapted it to describe himself as “the language maven.” The word from Hebrew is mainly confined to American English and was included in the Oxford English Dictionary second edition (1989).
My three hotel mavens are:
1) Lucius M. Boomer, one of the most famous hoteliers of his time, was chairman of the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria Corporation. In a career of over half a century, he directed such celebrated hotels as the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia, the Taft in New Haven, the Lenox in Boston, and the McAlpin, Claridge, Sherry-Netherland and the original as well as the current Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
2) George C. Boldt who was the genius of the original Waldorf-Astoria. It was said of him that he made innkeeping a profession and, more than any man, was responsible for the modern American hotel.
3) Oscar of the Waldorf who was described in 1898 by the New York Sun:
“In only one New York hotel, however, is there a personage deserving to be called a maître d’hotel. Anyone who studies him closely will soon arrive at a firm conviction that he might quite as appropriately have been called General or Admiral, if circumstances had not led him into the hotel business. Oscar knows everybody.”
Oscar was a superstar of his time and one of the stalwarts who managed both the original and the current Waldorf-Astoria. Among his many duties, Oscar commanded a staff of 1,000 persons bedsides conducting a school for waiters, at the time the only one of its kind in the United States. In 1896, Oscar wrote one of the greatest cookbooks of its time: “The Cook Book by ‘Oscar of the Waldorf’. It contains 907 pages and 3,455 recipes.
About the Author
Stanley Turkel is a recognized authority and consultant in the hotel industry. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, and providing asset management and hotel franchising consultation.
Prior to forming his hotel consulting firm, Turkel was the Product Line Manager of Hotel/Motel Operations at the International Telephone & Telegraph Co. overseeing the Sheraton Corporation of America. Before joining IT&T, he was the General Manager of the Summit Hotel (762 Rooms), General Manager of the Drake Hotel (680 Rooms) and Resident Manager of the Americana Hotel (1842 Rooms), all in New York City.
Turkel serves as a Friend of the Tisch Center and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He served for eleven years as Chairman of the Board of the Trustees of the City Club of New York and is now the Honorary Chairman.
Stanley Turkel is one of the most widely-published authors in the hospitality field. More than 275 articles on various hotel subjects have been published in the leading hotel magazines and posted on the Hotel-Online, BlueMauMau, HotelNewsResource and eTurboNews websites. Two of his hotel books have been promoted, distributed and sold by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. A third hotel book was called “passionate and informative” by the New York Times.
In 2014, he was presented with a special award, Historian of the Year by the Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.