Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy” as Want to Read:
Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  224 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The founder of Four Seasons Hotels shares the philosophy and values that have made his legendary brand

How did a child of immigrants, starting with no background in the hotel business, create the world's most admired and successful hotel chain? And how has Four Seasons grown dramatically, over nearly a half century, without losing its focus on exceptional quality and unpara
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 30th 2009 by Portfolio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Four Seasons, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Four Seasons

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Lori Cotton
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read for insight on creating a lasting brand.
Michelle Despres
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This book is not without its issues, but overall I enjoyed reading it.

Great examples of hotel firsts, additions, and tweaks (my words) based on customer needs, even needs customers didn't know they had. A few good examples of wow moments. Interesting business considerations, especially for someone without a business background. For example, I hadn't really thought about "barrier to entry." Discussion and practical advice about how important culture is to success. I disagree with other revi
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was just as good as the hotels it represents. for those in the hospitality industry this is the bible. i found the information in these pages to apply to my everyday life in both professional and personal relationships. i plan to use this guide to make my business the best. thank you Isadore
Nelson Thomas
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
A brilliant and a very inspiring story! Issy (as he is fondly called) a child of immigrants made it big in a business completely incongruous to his upbringing. Today 'Four Seasons' is considered to be the epitome of relaxed elegance and understated luxury. A must read for every hotelier!
William Krasne
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Story of the Canadian real estate entrepreneur who graduated from building apartments to founding the world's foremost luxury hotel company. Isadore Sharp hammered home treating the customer right and working with integrity. Not a groundbreaking read but a solid, decent book.
Kristi Herold
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read; incredible story and incredible man to have created all that he has!
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The life and story of the Torontonian who created one of the most famous hotel brands. Many lessons shared on business, and on the hospitality and real estate industry.
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Talk about a class act. Growing up in a modest family whose patriarch was in the construction business would not necessarily portend what was to become of Isadore Sharp and the Four Seasons Hotel empire he created. From his first hotel, a run of the mill, 125 room motor hotel (motel) in Toronto in 1961, to building and managing an operation that includes 83 of the some of the world's most impressive properties across 35 countries, Sharp has instilled a philosophy that puts service and luxury abo ...more
Angelo Vassallo
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
A fascinating book about the foundation of a big international luxury hotel chain! It is really interesting how Sharp developed his company and overall his motivation, the anecdotes and the relationship with his employee, partners and later with the shareholders.
Even if I am working for Hilton, I have to say that in some pieces I found the book more interesting of “Be my guest” by Conrad Hilton, maybe because the language and the facts are closer to me in terms of time.
A common aspect of the tw
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I confess I was a little disappointed. Although this is probably a good history of the group and touches on the core philosophy that has made four seasons so successful I would have liked to learn more about how to instil and maintain such a culture. I realise as well that Isadore Sharp believes very strongly in his people but perhaps could have done without the list of people and their brief biographies that added nothing to the story itself.
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't usually read business related books but I heard Isadore Sharpe was an interesting man. This book is really about how he developed the brand to reach a 5 star status and less about his life. It was very interesting to me because I did not know that he was from Toronto, my home town. I also did not know that the Four Seasons had so much integrity.
Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
The power of a global brand name is more important and valuable today than ever before. ~ Isadore Sharp

Written by the founder of the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort chain. Isadore started off developing houses in Toronto, Canada and then decided to build a motel and the rest is history.

The best lesson one can take away from this story is "do not despise the day of small beginnings".
Shayy Tamang
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A true businessman with high business morals and ethics, henceforth, his pillar of success. If you have passion for hospitality, aspiring to make a career in it and want to explore the secret behind the success of Hotel Four Seasons I urge u to invest your time in this book as there are many useful tips and hospitality insights given by himself The Respected Isadore Sharp.
Tom Armstrong
Apr 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Rather boring. Really more a history of the hotel line than anything to do with business. Worth reading if you have a particular affinity for Four Season's. Other, it's just Sharp repeating again and again that Service is of paramount importance...shocking!
Mar 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Two words: Customer Service
Fred Arshoff
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very imformativce
Spencer Thompson
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Incredible Business Philosophy
Russ McLeod
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Love the culture that Isadore created in Four Seasons hotels. Great learnings from this title around culture, core values and discipline.
Martin Bihl
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
please see my review in advertising age:

you can also see my review here:
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Engaging, fast read. Good mix of personal and professional anecdotes. A few parts dragged on a bit, though I loved the story.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
i learned a lot and im happy i read it. i take much more notice of things when i stay in hotels now.
Much more than a business man...a true human.
rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2014
Jason Klarfeld
rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2016
rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2015
rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2011
rated it liked it
Apr 20, 2010
Moses Choi
rated it liked it
May 19, 2010
rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2015
William Buniak
rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails: And Other Lessons I Learned from My Mom
  • Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan for Success: 12 Lessons for Extraordinary Performance and Personal Excellence
  • Russell Rules: 711 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner
  • Situation Ethics: The New Morality
  • How to Reach Your Life Goals
  • Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt
  • Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers; 50 Strategic Rules
  • All the Money in the World: How the Forbes 400 Make--and Spend--Their Fortunes
  • Young Bucks: How to Raise a Future Millionaire
  • Donny Deutsch's Big Idea: How To Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True, From The AHA Moment To Your First Million
  • A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America
  • Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet
  • The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide To Decisionmaking And Investment
  • The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance
  • Sophie Scholl
  • The Wellness Syndrome
  • Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes
  • Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99