Fabulous five-star hotels in London, ones whose rooms start around $700 a night, are almost as plentiful as the Queen’s pheasants. With beautiful websites, impeccable service, and elegant architecture, it’s hard to pick one over the other, unless you hear such a good story that it decides for you.
Heading to the airport after a brief stay at London’s Corinthia Hotel, a relative newcomer to the luxury league, I was chatting with my cabbie from the back of one of London’s famous black cabs. Winding through traffic, the conversation with my driver went like this:

“Aw, Miss, that’s a lovely hotel, I hear.”
“Yes, stunning.”
“I never been inside, Miss, but the owner, he’s from Malta. He came to London as a young man, down and out, he was, back then. One of me cabbie friends gave him a ride when he needed it badly and didn’t have any money. That man remembered. Now, years later, any one of us London cabbies has an open invitation for breakfast.”

It’s such a great anecdote. It brings the spirit of the human being behind the bricks and mortar to life in a way no pretty marketing materials and fancy websites can.

Stories inspire others to remember us. They differentiate what we have to offer. They pull the human out of the data, and frame things so we can relate and remember. In short, authentic stories sell.