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Be My Guest

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  293 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Be My Guest
Paperback, 153 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Fireside (first published 1957)
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Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring, motivating, encouraging, uplifting, epic.

I picked up this book in a Hilton hotel room years ago. I finally decided to read it and am so glad that I did. This book is a keeper! I'm shocked that I haven't heard anyone rave about it before!

Conrad Hilton was a man of conviction, and integrity. His story is an exquisite example of living to one's potential, of operating out of a spirit of abundance, of the importance of having a dream and of being faithful to that dream. It's also a stor
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-books
Let ms preface this by stating that I never would have read this book had I not been stating in a Hilton and noticed the free copy in the nightstand. However, I actually liked it. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. An interesting story about the man who started the chain of Hilton hotels. I just wish some of his character, integrity, and common sense would have rubbed off on his great-grandaughter, Paris!
Spencer Hill
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. most writers gloss over their formative years and on page 10 do their first big deal. Hilton took a third of the book before he bought his first hotel. The most informative part was his Great Depression years where he was theoretically bankrupt. he showed his resilience and became ,in his time, the most known hotelier in the US. One wonders why his heirs aren't as resourceful as he was.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
For a book I got free at a hotel, this was a shockingly enjoyable read!

I'd tried to read it previously, but was distracted by something and was left with a kind of "meh" attitude about it. So this slim little paperback has been gracing my to-read shelf for a couple of years for no real reason.

Finally picked it up while waiting for my books to ship from Amazon, and really enjoyed almost the entire book. Hilton lived a fascinating life, particularly as he watched the 20th century move forward. Rai
Melinda Elizabeth
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was hoping for an insight into the business savvy that made Hilton such a big success. Surely there would be some wise words regarding innovation, motivation and business strategy?

The book is more a relic of its time, and has not aged well for a more broad reading audience. The language is like being transported back into the 1950's and the slang used is quite unusual (as I'm sure things like 'on fleek' will be in 60 years or so).

The other big issue I had with this book was its religious emp
Clinton Sweet
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I was interested to learn how in four generations the Hilton name changes from hotel developer with Conrad to slutsville with Paris. But it didn't tap into this. The book was published in 1957 so most references from 1890 go over my head. Conrad seemed to cite prayer as his main reason for success? Started his life with some grounding, ie boarding school and a father who successfully owned and ran a store. His chain of hotels is largely due to a lot of hard work and small steps, and uses some ve ...more
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book completely surprised me. I went into it with little expectation and found myself totally engrossed in the story of how Conrad Hilton built his empire. What astonished me most was his impressive character, his devotion to God and humility, and his incredible ability to story-tell. I truly, truly enjoyed every page of this book, and will always consider myself a fan of C.N. Hilton!
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
i'm not quite halfway yet and have been distracted by other reads lately but I am eager to get back to this as I am throughly enjoying it!

update: now that I've finished I can say I throughly enjoyed this book and have a lot of respect for him as a businessman. too bad the upstanding character traits didn't seem to be passed down...
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Read this book while on a vacation at a Hilton in N. Redington Beach. It really made my husband mad. Woops.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, 2016-10-oct
Surprisingly good, traces the path from a humble, rural, western childhood to a world financial leader. Don't judge him by his descendants.
Szergej Korol
Aug 25, 2013 marked it as to-read
Only some words -> Great history about grean Man , with teach more in life
David Roberts
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book I read to research this post was Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton which is a very good book which I bought from a local secondhand bookstore. This book was written in 1957 but is essentially an autobiography about how he built up the Hilton Group of hotels. At that time there were many luxury hotels like the Waldorf Astoria in New York going out of business and he bought them up cheaply. Many of his gains were made when there was a recession and he knew there was a market for luxury hotels. ...more
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Picked this up at a second hand bookshop in Paris for €1 and ever since that moment it has been a boon to my life. One eye-opening book about what it takes in the real world to succeed. The autobiography provides a new perspective for the narrow minded as well as those who are still confused and hesitant about life. Over the one month reading this book, I find it drastically affects the way I work and think. I never thought that C.Hilton's life journey can provide so many lessons. I learned to w ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give it 3.5 stars if possible. When I started the book I never thought I would finish but am so happy I did. This is the story of the rise of the Hilton hotels and Conrad "Connie" Hilton. It is a story of determination and failure and more determination. I highly admire Conrad Hilton - such a hard working man with such vision foresight. He is such a Catholic man with such devotion to God and his faith. Conrad is the picture of a honest business man who continued to fall on his face but k ...more
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
small book, lots of interesting stories of life in new mexico when it was still a territory and, of course, stories of how he built the hilton hotel empire. in plain and anecdotal speech. although his catholic faith is a feature, he's sincere not preachy. the only section that didn't age well is one of the last small chapters about the (then current) red scare. in all, an interesting look at the ups, downs, & disasters of building a business, as well as the early days of the southwest settli ...more
Jaime Contreras
This is a decent autobiography about Conrad Hilton and how he built an empire from the little motel, the Mobley in Cisco, Texas to later acquisitions like the Waldorf Astoria, The Morris Hotel (later the Conrad Hilton and Towers) and many others. It gives one an insight into the man and the business tycoon. One learns of his dedication to serving the customer and to always striving for excellence.
Julie Showaker
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hilton's mother was an amazing example of religious devotion and faith. Loved the lessons she taught her children of persistence, hard work, and prayer. While her son Conrad developed these same attributes, it was a shame his work ethic seemed to apply just to his career. As with anything, there must be balance in life. True Mr. Hilton became very successful materially, but he paid a very heavy price for that success.
Jill Kemerer
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an inspiring book! My favorite aspect of this wonderful autobiography was the faith message. Everything this man did revolved around prayer! His mother sounded amazing too.

Other things I enjoyed? He wasn't afraid to admit his shortcomings. I also gained a deeper understanding of American business across the last century and how the American Southwest developed.

I loved this book!
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up free in a Hilton Hotel room, facing a long plane ride with nothing else to read. I enjoyed it very much. I was especially fascinated how Hilton finally ended up in the hotel business and how he survived the enormous challenges and enjoyed the immense rewards of his business career. The book also has good insights into a man of faith.
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in my room during my latest stay at a Hilton. It is a great book. While it is intended to be Conrad's biography I found it contained many great antidotes for life and solid principles for running a business. Great book.
Daniel Rowe
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Part of the Mad Men reading list from S03E07 when Peggy says she's read his book. I'm looking forward to how reading the book adds to Connie's character in the show. Very interesting and entertaining book.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
An awesome biography of a daydreamer and a idealistic yet savvy business man who makes something out of nothing. I was required to read this book for work and it quickly became one of my favorites; I would recommend it to anyone.
Angelo Vassallo
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
The history of a great man narrated by himself. The courage he shows in different occasions of his life pushes you to continue to fight for your own success in your professional life but overall to continue to dream “great dream”.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Relevant, amazing, inspiring ... I'm reading this book for the second time and am so glad. I'm discovering so much ... it was his imperfections, his humbleness, his faith and can do spirit that made him the visionary he was throughout his life. He will inspire you too ... a great read.
David Rosage
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Well I picked up this book at a hotel I stayed at as a child. Over my vacation I read the whole book and have kept it on my book shelf ever since. It is a great story of a man who started at humble beginning and achieved great wealth over the course of his life.
Aug 02, 2007 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from the concierge while staying at a Hilton hotel in upstate NY. If you like Lee Iacocca's book, you'll enjoy this too; it reads like an interesting airplane conversation. I'll write a full review when I finish the book... if I remember.
May 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
got a 1yr pin once in my life ;)
Joan Fisher
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read. Very detailed. Wonder if he had a ghost writer. He was a very industrious man.
Michael Coté
This the Gideon bible of Hilton hotels. If you're staying at a Hilton, maybe you'll get "luck" and find this!
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent quick and detailed read. Succinct yet to the heart of what matters in life and success. I much pleasant surprise. A must read for all business executives and self made men/women.
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