Behind the Scenes with Adele Gutman at Library Hotel Collection: Sparkling Sunshine Drives Marketing and Revenue

Florence Quinn, president of Quinn PR and a member of HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board, got Adele Gutman, VP Sales, Marketing and Revenue, Library Hotel Collection, to dish on how she produces the raving fans other brands would die for.

Florence Quinn:  Adele, how the heck do you keep your hotels rated consistently high on TripAdvisor and other guest-satisfaction platforms?

Adele Gutman:  About 13 years ago we realized TripAdvisor was gaining in power and that the demand for reservations jumped every time one of our hotels showed up on the first page. We loved that this kind of “billboard effect” was free; we knew we just had to earn it.  Embracing this as a priceless opportunity allowed us to grow our business.  We created a program focused on phenomenal guest satisfaction and called it the Sparkling Sunshine Method.

Florence:  Sounds brilliant.  What exactly is Sparkling Sunshine?

Adele:  Sparkling Sunshine is an internal mindset to “sparkle sunshine” on guests – to put them first, look them in the eye, and not just accommodate their needs, but lift their spirits, make them feel cared for.  We committed that every time we touched a guest, whether it was face-to-face, by phone, or online, we would sparkle a little “sunshine.”  We discovered that making our guests feel great, cared for, appreciated, and respected at every encounter made us feel good too.


Florence:  How do the operations and marketing teams work together to sparkle sunshine?

Adele:  While ops and marketing have different tasks, we share a common goal — to make guests happy. Since we are all focused on the same objective, we work as one to identify issues that might conflict with our goal and look for opportunities for continuous improvement.  Uniting around a strong, simple goal is powerful stuff. 

Everyone is encouraged to be a creative problem solver. If a solution doesn’t work and the staffer’s intentions were in the right place, it’s seen as a learning experience, which is shared throughout the company and documented so we don’t make the same mistake again.


Florence:  How has this strategy helped shape the brand?

Adele:  Our commitment to guest satisfaction is at the core of who we are, guiding every action, decision, and investment we make.  This core principle helped our brand received the highest index rating of 96.1% of all luxury hotel brands for a second year in a row in the Global Review Index which surveys 2.7 million online reviews. Additionally, our properties are highly ranked on TripAdvisor which will help us gain recognition as we expand into Toronto with the opening of Hotel X Toronto in 2017.

About Florence & Adele

Florence Quinn has nurtured and shaped Quinn into a strategic powerhouse of brand storytelling. Her near-clairvoyant ability to anticipate trends and cut to what is important has sparked some of the most effective PR ideas and campaigns of our time. An artist at heart, Florence believes that great work has simplicity, inspiration and form. “Like the grid beneath a Jackson Pollack painting.” As a heavily decorated winner of nearly every award available to PR professionals, she coaches and inspires her team to find the best strategic and creative solutions then measure them against the client’s brand and goals. Shark Tank-shark and business-mogul Barbara Corcoran agrees: “The amazing thing about Florence is that she’s an extremely creative individual, and on top of that she’s able to transfer that inspiration to the people who work with her so she’s able to build a giant creative team. Do you know how unusual that is in the PR business?” A Connecticut native, Florence keeps letters received from Katharine Hepburn while at Smith College in her office as a reminder to be an independent thinker. She resides in Westport with her son and two dogs.


Adele Gutman Milne has over 30 years of experience in all areas of hospitality marketing and has worked for Henry Kallan for over 16 years. Adele oversees the revenue generation for seven hotels including sales, marketing, revenue management, public relations, new hotel concept strategies and launches at Library Hotel Collection including brand initiatives, online marketing efforts, social media, electronic distribution and, most importantly, the unique Library Hotel Collection guest experience which makes success in all other areas possible. Adele has served on the TripAdvisor Industry Leadership Council and the HSMAI Digital Marketing Council as well as the Greater New York Chapter Advisory Board. Adele has also served on the boards of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association’s New York, Dallas, and University of Houston chapters. Adele’s work in Sales and Marketing has also earned Adrian Awards for Advertising, Brochure Design, Website Marketing, Email Marketing and Public Relations. The Adrian Awards are presented by HSMAI, where Adele has also served as a judge for the awards for many years. She was recognized as one of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) 2013 Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing, and was awarded the HSMAI Greater New York Chapter 2012 President’s Award and 2011 Sales & Marketing Executive of the Year. Adele Gutman Milne is a graduate of the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at University of Houston as well as the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles