TRUE STORIES: “The hotel clerk”

TRUE STORIES: “The hotel clerk”

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of the Belle Vue Hotel in Philadelphia, USA. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

“Could you possibly give us a room here?” – the husband asked.

The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. “All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.”

When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll make out just fine,” the clerk told them.

So the couple agreed.

Next morning, before leaving the hotel the old man after having expressed his gratitude offered a handsome reward to the young man. "Please don't embarrass me with offer of money for my room. I didn't give my room expecting any monetary compensation. I just wanted to be of some help to you." The old man was really touched by the young man's compassion as well as high sense of honesty. "You are really a good human being, my son! I thought God had stopped making people like you. What are you doing herein such a small hotel? A person like you should become the manager of the best hotel in the world."
Tell me, if I built some day the best hotel in the world, would you come and join me?" asked the old man with a cunning smile. The young man thought this as some kind of jovial gesture of an old man at an emotional moment. "Yes, if you built one, I will definitely join", said the young man. "Good bye", said the old man. "You would hear from me soon." "Good bye", replied the young clerk.
Three years passed, the young clerk was already promoted to become manager of the hotel. While going through his mail one day, he opened an envelope and found a return air ticket to New York, with an invitation letter to attend an inaugural function. However, not much details about why was he invited, were given.
The young man became curious and decided to go. Upon his arrival at New York, the young man was welcomed by his host who personally took him downtown. There, in front of him, lay the finest hotel he had ever seen.


"That," said the gentleman, "is the hotel I built for you to manage." While standing on the street corner beside the soon-to-be world-renowned WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL, the young clerk, GEORGE C. BOLDT, was titled its first manager.

PIC6  Boldt

For the next twenty three years, until his death in 1916, Boldt remained faithful to the hotel and to the confidence WILLIAM WALDORF ASTOR had placed in him.

The Waldorf–Astoria originated as two hotels, built side-by-side by feuding relatives on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Built in 1893 and expanded in 1897, the Waldorf–Astoria was razed in 1929 to make way for construction of the Empire State Building. Its successor, the current Waldorf Astoria New York , was built on Park Avenue in 1931.

The original Waldorf Hotel opened on March 13, 1893 at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, on the site where millionaire developer William Waldorf Astor had previously built his mansion. It stood 225 feet (69 m) high, with 15 public rooms and 450 guest rooms, and a further 100 rooms allocated to servants, with laundry facilities on the upper floors. It was heavily furnished with European antiques. The Empire Room was the largest and most lavishly adorned room in the Waldorf, and soon after opening, it became one of the best restaurants in New York City.The Astoria Hotel opened in 1897 on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, next door to the Waldorf, at a height of about 270 feet (82 m), with 16 stories, 25 public rooms and 550 guest rooms. The ballroom had a capacity to seat 700 at banquets and 1,200 at concerts. The Astor Dining Room was faithfully reproduced from the original dining room of the mansion which once stood on the site.

Connected by the 300 meters (980 ft) long "Peacock Alley" after the merger in 1897, the hotel had 1,300 bedrooms, making it the largest hotel in the world at the time. It was designed specifically to cater to the needs of socially prominent "wealthy upper crust" of New York and distinguished foreign visitors to the city. It was the first hotel to offer complete electricity and private bathrooms.

Moral of the story?  Never miss an opportunity to be kind, caring and helpful, just for the pure joy of doing so and who knows, maybe an unexpected reward could come back to you!

You never  know how deeply you can touch someone's heart. However, you will have the biggest reward of all, in the satisfaction of always doing the best you can at any given moment.

PIC5 Waldorf



Amazing real life experiences Avijit Maity. 2014. TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION - THE STORY OF WILLIAM WALDORF AND GEORGE C. BOLDT . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 August 2016].

Wikipedia. 2016. Waldorf–Astoria (New York, 1893). [ONLINE] Available at:,_1893). [Accessed 11 August 2016].

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Published by Amira Carluccio

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