What They Say

As hotels are merely brick and mortar, the key to success continues to be a well-trained team of employees that can deliver seamless service and buy into the beliefs and service goals of the organization. Many training organizations pride themselves on the actual training they provide, but few can actually leave the team with a lingering effect of wanting more and actually feel like an “inside the company’ training resource. Successful training programs have several components: delivery, execution and continual reinforcement. Randyl Appel and his team deliver all three.

I have known Randyl since 2003, when I engaged his company to develop programs for Desires Hotels out of Miami. Desires Hotels was a collection of over 20 boutique hotels ranging from 3 to 5 stars. We were looking for a solution and a partner that would be fluid and applicable to a diverse group of hotels and audience and raise the bar on service. Randyl and his team developed a total package of standards for the group as part of a long term strategy to position the company as a leader in the boutique hotel segment. In essence, they became our in house training company but delivered so much more than that. As Randyl would visit the hotels and conduct training he also provided tremendous insights on progress within the operation and development of key leaders. He was in fact a part of our team at the home office. The results were undisputable. All of the Desires Hotels were eventually ranked in the top ten percent within Trip Advisor in their respective markets and in 2008, Desires Hotels was named “Management Company of the Year” in Lodging Hospitality Magazine.

Without hesitation when Virgin Hotels was launched in 2011, I immediately contacted Randyl to assist in the development of service standards at the first Virgin Hotel in the world in Chicago. Randyl also conducted all of our pre-opening training for the hotel in Chicago and set the tone early for the success of this brand consumer wise. The hotel is currently ranked in the top 5% of all hotels in Chicago in Trip Advisor.

Randyl is a true professional and an individual who understands the complex assignment of training in today’s complex multi-generational employee base. His training methodology is based on understanding what the customer wants and delivering it. He has an innate ability to connect with teams at all levels. Rest assured, Virgin Hotels will be utilizing his services as we grow in the future. I recommend him highly. Please feel free to contact me directly for further information.


Raul Leal


It is with great pleasure that I give my recommendation of Randyl Appel and his team at Appel Hospitality Associates (AHA). Randyl and his team have worked with our company since 2009 in many capacities: trainers, consultants and executive coaches. Our company is a mid-sized hospitality company with 17 hotels and several restaurants with a current roster of over 2,000 associates. AHA has developed and trained programs customized to front office, food and beverage, leadership, trainers, and front of the house associates for audiences of up to 150. Since we are franchisees and partner with many different brands, it was very important to us to be able to identify our own corporate culture and brand identity. AHA was able to do this through the creation of our values acronym, our own set of service expectations and bi-weekly email blasts to our entire leadership team to reinforce these messages. 

AHA has worked with every level of associates with our company, from our line level associates to members of our corporate team. Their ability to motivate, energize, entertain all while teaching relevant, vital hospitality concepts is the best I’ve seen. They are talented beyond words in their programs and more than that, they truly care about the success of the organization and are in it with us for the long haul. 

Their fun, upbeat approach to their guest service training programs dramatically changed our company’s internal culture, which in turn increased guest services scores at our properties. When one of our properties was failing in their brand, we turned to AHA to train and motivate the team at every level. As a result, this hotel went on to become one of the top performing hotels in its brand has stayed at the top for more than three years. 

We are grateful for the many positive changes that we have been able to achieve with the help of Appel Hospitality Associates. We highly recommend them to any hospitality company looking for a fresh, vibrant, exciting approach to guest service and leadership training. 


Anne Conway

Corporate Director of Training and Development Lodging Hospitality Management

To Whom It May Concern: It is a particular pleasure to recommend Randyl Appel and his work in leadership and in particular leadership in the hospitality industry. In my experience, Randyl has an unequaled ability to synthesize message which has made tremendous impact for the hotels for which we secured his talents. I have witnessed Randyl’s executive talents at work on many occasions. He is visionary in the industry, deeply respected by ownership groups and leadership teams, while he is also highly approachable by entry level staff as well. Rarely have I seen someone as equally liked and respected by CEOs and back of the house associates, the latter traditionally feeling disconnected from such senior staff. With Randyl there is no such sense of ‘them and us’ or ‘higher and lower’. Instead there is a consistent respect for the individual and for the team. I greatly appreciate his ability to operate on instinct and to create order from chaos. In particular, I have watched Randyl work for not one but two organizations that suffered to varying degrees from internal competing messages, lack of identity and even corporate infighting resulting in a deplorable lack of culture and cohesion. In both instances, Randyl was able to clarify messaging and create a strong foundation from which to offer extremely effective identity, training and community. With culture, community and effective communication in place, each of our hotels rapidly improved in service scores, guest satisfaction, the sense of connection and the all-important joy within each hotel as well as among and between the larger portfolio of hotels.

Todd Iacono

General manager