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Be My Guest Paperback – December, 1984

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside (December 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130715980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130715982
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I got my copy of BE MY GUEST at an old book sale at the public library. It's a wonderful book, and I'm glad to hear that even in the late 1990s it was still being distributed at Hilton hotels. This book chronicles the business endeavors of Conrad N. Hilton from his aspirations to own his own bank in the pre-WWI years through his first hotels in Texas and New Mexico in the early '20s to his crowning glory--the purchase of the opulent Waldorf-Astoria hotel in NYC around 1950. What makes this book interesting and useful is the quality of the man, not the strength of his business empire. "Connie" Hilton is a man of honor and principle, but he has much ambition, too. His fortunes have been made through hard work, calculated risks, and his "people skills." Comparing Conrad "Connie" Hilton to someone like Donald "The Donald" Trump shows how our culture has become more cheap and frivilous in the two generations that separate these hotel/real estate giants. For another book with similar factual content but less wit, humor, and commentary on human nature, see Thomas Ewing Dabney's book, THE MAN WHO BOUGHT THE WALDORF (New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce;1950.)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I discovered "Be My Guest" at the Hilton San Francisco and couldn't put it down again until I had read the entire book. It's an absolutely riveting read, full of adventure and lessons learned over the course of many years. I was completely surprised that such a special book (really a testament to a hard working man with great ideas and an ability to execute them) isn't more widely distributed. It's choc full of humor and pathos, drama and innocence. More like a novel than an autobiography. From now on, I'm going to position Hilton Hotels as my first choice when traveling. Read this wonderful book if you want to be inspired!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton when I stayed at the Milwaukee Hilton several years ago. Guests of Hilton hotels in addition to finding the standard free soap and shampoo also receive a complimentary copy of Hilton's memoir, originally written in 1957. I started reading Be My Guest while aboard S. A. Agulhas II en route from Cape Town, South Africa to Tristan da Cunha. I finished the book on board and while I wanted to leave it in the ship's library when I had finished it, the lack of Internet on board, both on my way to Tristan as well as coming back, precluded me from posting this review from the ship. Thus I have waited until my return to Cape Town to post this.

Be My Guest was an engaging story that I enjoyed reading each night. It was a can't-put-down book, wherein Hilton documented his family story, often with humorous anecdotes, from the courtship of his parents and his boyhood growing up in New Mexico to his founding of one of the greatest hotel chains worldwide.

Each of Hilton's parents instilled in him a guiding principle that he has followed all of his life. From his mother, Mary Laufersweiler Hilton, he learned the power of prayer and from his father Gus he learned the value of work. In addition to these principles Hilton added his own: that one must never be afraid to dream. And to dream big . And big is exactly how Conrad Hilton dreamt.

Hilton got his first taste of the hotel industry when a currency panic in October 1907 left his father nearly broke. His family soon realized that they had been literally sitting on a moneymaker:

"We had the biggest, ramblingest adobe house in New Mexico directly facing a railroad station on a main line. And we had my mother's cooking. This added up to only one thing--a Hilton Hotel.
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Format: Paperback
I came across this book while staying at a Hilton in Pittsburgh. I opened the desk drawer and there it was. Accident or syncronicity? (from Webster's dictionary - the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality -- used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung).

This book came to my attention just at the right time for me to read. The story is very entertaining, keeps your attention, and inspiring. Conrad Hilton defines what a man can become. He had his feet solidly on the ground. He kept his ears open to hear that still soft voice of intuition give him the answers he needed. No doubt going to church daily empowered him to be still and be centered enough to listen for inspiration and for answers as he describes it in the book (p-196). This he describes as well as I have read anywhere. The man had integrity and faith in his being and doing. He accomplished a lot, and had an impact on many people's lives. By leaving the bulk of his wealth to a foundation his vision of what can be done continues today many years after his death.
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Format: Paperback
I recently finished "Be My Guest". As both a business person and a Christian, this book was a timely blessing to me. Despite all you made read in the gossip rags about his heirs (P. Hilton comes to mind), they are a world away from Conrad "Connie" Hilton. The book tells the story of a man from humble upbringings who makes something of himself. The story begins in New Mexico at the turn of the Century. From his father he learns about honor, honesty, integrity and the will to perservere. From his mother he learns about the Catholic faith "Always remember to pray and take your problems to the Lord," she tells him. While building the world famous Hilton Hotel Chain, Hilton almost always finds time to attend daily Mass and Communion. He manages to achieve what is sorely lacking these days in the modern business world, the balance of integrity with ambition, his principles girded by his faith in his God. As a business memoir it is excellent, as a testimony to one man's upbringing and faith, it is superlative.
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