Quality Assurance 3.0 — A differentiating Approach To Excellence

  • Traditional quality assurance (QA) methods in the hospitality industry typically focus on assessing employees' emotions by expecting them to consistently display a positive and upbeat demeanor. However, this approach has its limitations, especially when the emotional state of the guest varies. The primary concern should not be the emotion displayed by the employee but, rather, its appropriateness in response to the guest’s emotions. This is the only genuine way to truly improve the guest’s mood
  • We turn emotional engagement from a confusing subject into a laser-precise application that engages and lifts the mood with every guest interaction, ultimately boosting employee confidence and repeater numbers
  • Strong focus on the human interaction, with guest engagement and emotional intelligence as the key aspects, and service quality
  • Distinguish between random human interactional deficiencies and those that constitute a pattern
  • Let the facilities take a back seat, i.e. just summarize strengths and weaknesses, as the hoteliers typically are fully aware of their property-related deficiencies
  • Forget a standardized approach as it leads to standadized, uniform and non-differentiating products, instead, jettison the standards, the need to tick boxes, the bookkeeping approach, any distraction that prevents the assessor from genuinly experiencing and inhaling the property’s DNA
  • Focus on your guests, or your target guest of the future, as a non-standardised approach is reflective first and foremost of a brand's demanding and ever evolving clientele, not of the clientele of another brand or the brand's past clientele and its expectations
  • Concentrate on your own strengths and differentiation, vs comparing your unique offering with “departmental” results from other hotel brands
If YOU are a hotelier aspiring to go the extra mile, here’s what we believe we can do for you:
  • Audit — Prepare yourself and your staff to excel in any upcoming official audit by organizations such as LQA or Forbes
  • Training — Be the preferred sparring partner for your colleagues, arming them with the proper emotional skill set to master any situation

  • Steven Ferry

    • Trained at multiple private residences and about 100 five-star hotels and resorts around the world over the last quarter century
    • Expert in materially improving guest-facing staff with cutting edge EQ and other soft skills
    • Published 5 books and over 50 articles on superior service
    • Established and leads the International Institute of Modern Butlers, known as the "Harvard of Butler Schools”
    • Co-founded DNA-QA, an independent Quality Assurance provider focused on 5-star hotels & resorts
    • Established the Guild of Traditional Butlers and the Alliance of Professional Butlers
    • Clients include ultra-luxury independent hotels and the following hospitality brands: Anantara, Atlantis, Banyan Tree, Cheval Blanc, Dusit, Fairmont, Four Seasons, IHG, Jumeirah, Langham, Mandarin Oriental, Marmara, ME, One&Only, Paradisus, Per Aquum, Raffles, Regent, Ritz-Carlton, Rixos, Rosewood, Sands, Secrets, Shangri-La, Six Senses, Sofitel, Soneva, St. Regis, Taj, Tintswalo, Tivoli, Viceroy, Waldorf Astoria, Westin and Norwegian Cruise Line

    Visited Places


    Recent Stays

    “My tastes are simple; I am easily satisfied with the best.” — Winston S. Churchill

    • Four Seasons Hotel Suzhou
    • The Temple House
    • The Peninsula Beijing
    • The Opposite House
    • The Middle House
    • JW Marriott Marquis Pudong
    • The Langham, Shanghai, Xintiandi
    • Vakko Hotel & Residence
    • Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
    • Capella Singapore
    • The Sanchaya Bintan
    • Raffles Udaipur
    • Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur
    • The Imperial New Delhi
    • The Leela Palace New Delhi
    • Alila Fort Bishangarh
    • Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai
    • TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao Noi
    • Rayavadee
    • The Upper House
    • The Karl Lagerfeld
    • Shangri-La The Fort
    • Raya Heritage Hotel
    • Aleenta Chiang Mai
    • Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
    • The Apurva Kempinski Bali
    • The Bale Nusa Dua
    • Andaz Bali
    • Six Senses Uluwatu
    • Soori Bali
    • Mandarin Oriental Jakarta
    • The Langham Jakarta
    • Park Hyatt Jakarta
    • The Datai Langkawi
    • The Danna Langkawi
    • Anantara Desaru Coast
    • Song Saa Private Island
    • Shinta Mani Wild
    • The Balé Phnom Penh
    • Rosewood Phnom Penh
    • Raffles Hotel Le Royal
    • Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
    • Shinta Mani Angkor Villa Collection
    • Regent Phu Quoc
    • Azerai Can Tho
    • Azerai Ke Ga Bay
    • Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
    • Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho
    • Azerai La Residence
    • Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
    • The Capitol Kempinski
    • The RuMa
    • 137 Pillars Suites
    • The Siam
    • Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
    • Sindhorn Kempinski
    • The Sukhothai
    • COMO Metropolitan
    • SO/ Bangkok
    • The Standard
    • Anantara Siam
    • Palacio Nazarenas (Belmond)
    • Monasterio (Belmond)
    • Miraflores Park (Belmond)
    • Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
    • Hotel Das Cataratas (Belmond)
    • Rosewood Sao Paulo
    • Copacabana Palace (Belmond)
    • Andronis Luxury Suites
    • Andronis Boutique Hotel
    • Andronis Concept
    • Mykonos Grand Hotel
    • Mykonos Belvedere Hotel
    • xenodocheio Milos
    • San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel
    • Aurelio, Lech
    • Alpenresort Schwarz
    • Stock Resort
    • Waldhaus Flims
    • Rosewood Villa Magna
    • Santo Mauro, Madrid
    • Orfila
    • Bulgari Hotel Paris
    • Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel
    • J.K. Place Paris
    • Matild Palace, Budapest
    • Kozmo Hotel
    • Parisi Udavar
    • Corinthia Budapest
    • Masseria Torre Maizza
    • Villa Igiea
    • Verdura Resort
    • Nobu Ibiza
    • ME Ibiza
    • Aguas de Ibiza
    • Cap Estel
    • Le Negresco
    • Martinez Cannes
    • MalisGarten
    • Alpenresort Schwarz
    • Schloss Elmau
    • Cristallo, Cortina d'Ampezzo
    • Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
    • La Sultana Marrakech
    • La Mamounia
    • Kasbah Tamadot
    • Riad AnaYela
    • Alfonso XIII, Seville
    • Mercer Sevilla
    • Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid
    • Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
    • Gran Hotel Ingles
    • Westin Palace, Madrid
    • El Palace, Barcelona
    • Ohla Barcelona
    • Serras Hotel
    • Mercer Barcelona
    • The Yeatman
    • Torel Palace Porto
    • Giardino Ascona
    • Villa d’Este
    • Bulgari Hotel Milano
    • Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino
    • Savoy, Florence
    • Villa La Massa
    • Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence
    • Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast
    • Monastero Santa Rosa
    • San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice
    • Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice
    • Danieli, Venice
    • Alpina Dolomites
    • Les Trois Rois
    • The Capra Saas Fee
    • The Omnia Zermatt
    • The Chedi Andermatt
    • Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva
    • Alpina Gstaad
    • Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg
    • Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg
    • Astoria St. Petersburg
    • Grand Hotel Europe, A Belmond Hotel, St. Petersburg
    • Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
    • Brown’s Hotel
    • The Beaumont
    • The Goring
    • Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire
    • Hotel de la Ville
    • Hotel de Russie
    • Portrait Roma
    • Park Hyatt Vienna
    • Six Senses Kaplankaya
    • The Bodrum Edition
    • Can Bordoy
    • La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca
    • Jumeirah Port Soller
    • Es Princep
    • Plaza Athénée Paris
    • Bulgari Resort Dubai
    • Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
    • Raffles The Palm Dubai (Emerald Kempinski)
    • Raffles Hotel Le Royal
    • Anantara Golden Triangle
    • Layana Resort
    • Pimalai Resort
    • Six Senses Samui
    • Santiburi Koh Samui
    • La Residence Phou Vao, a Belmond Hotel, Luang Prabang
    • The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel
    • Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
    • Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
    • St. Regis Shanghai Jingan
    • Jing An Shangri-La
    • Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai
    • Capella Shanghai
    • Raffles Jakarta
    • Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
    • Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
    • The Datai Langkawi
    • Jimbaran Puri, A Belmond Hotel, Bali
    • Royal Santrian
    • Royal Pita Maha
    • Alila Seminyak
    • Shangri-La Le Touessrok, Mauritius
    • JW Marriott Mauritius (St. Regis Mauritius)
    • One&Only Le Saint Géran
    • Westin Turtle Bay, Mauritius
    • 20 Degrés Sud, Mauritius
    • Trou aux Biches Beachcomber
    • LUX Grand Gaube
    • LUX Le Morne
    • SO/ Mauritius
    • The Residence Mauritius
    • Raffles Istanbul
    • Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul
    • Les Ottomans
    • W Istanbul
    • Georges Hotel Galata
    • Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
    • Amatara Wellness Resort
    • Rosewood Phuket
    • Naka Island, Phuket

    Travel Schedule

    “Life is too short to drink bad wine." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Allow me to add, “...Or stay at a bad hotel!"


    • China 25 hotels
      (Beijing, Chengdu, Suzhou, Shanghai)
    • Istanbul 11 hotels
    • Singapore 5 hotels
    • Bintan 2 hotels
    • India 22 hotels
      (Mumbai, New Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Hyderabad)
    • Krabi 4 hotels
    • Hong Kong 8 hotels
    • Macau 8 hotels
    • Manila 3 hotels
    • Chiang Mai 5 hotels
    • Luang Prabang 4 hotels
    • Indonesia 26 hotels
      (Jakarta, Java, Bali)
    • Langkawi 4 hotels
    • Desaru 2 hotels
    • Cambodia 10 hotels
      (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Gulf of Thailand)


    • Vietnam 18 hotels
      (Hanoi, Saigon, Da Nang, Hue, Phan Thiet, Can Tho, Phu Quoc)
    • Singapore 4 hotels
    • Kuala Lumpur 5 hotels
    • Bangkok 20 hotels
    • Cusco 3 hotels
    • Lima 1 hotel
    • Buenos Aires 6 hotels
    • Iguazu 2 hotels
    • Sao Paulo 5 hotels
    • Rio de Janeiro 5 hotels
    • Paris 11 hotels
    • Madrid 5 hotels
    • Austrian and Swiss Alps 23 hotels
    • Sicily 4 hotels
    • Greece 31 hotels
      (Athens, Mykonos, Santorini)
    • 2021

      Porto 7 hotels
    • Barcelona 13 hotels
    • Madrid 6 hotels
    • Sevilla 3 hotels
    • Marbella 6 hotels
    • Marrakech 20 hotels
    • Bavaria, Tyrol, South Tyrol 15 hotels
    • French Riviera 18 hotels
    • Ibiza 10 hotels
    • Sicily 2 hotels
    • Puglia 5 hotels
    • Budapest 10 hotels


    • London 24 hotels
    • Amsterdam 4 hotels
    • St. Petersburg 6 hotels
    • Riga 1 hotel
    • Switzerland 42 hotels
      (Basel, Zürich, Lake Lucerne, Bad Ragaz, Andermatt, Arosa, Zermatt, Saas Fee, Bern, Gstaad, Crans-Montana, Montreux, Lausanne, Geneva, plus: Megeve, Lake Como)
    • Italy 55 hotels
      (Dolomites, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Capri, Amalfi, Milan, Lake Como)
    • 2019

      Dubai 25 hotels
    • Hamburg 4 hotels
    • Paris 21 hotels
    • Munich 6 hotels
    • Mallorca 15 hotels
    • Bodrum 8 hotels
    • Vienna 9 hotels
    • Rome 12 hotels


    I have known Jochen for many years. He is one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable professionals I have met, always striving to deliver the highest service for his clients, with an exceptional eye for service and details. Any client seeking his professional expertise will be in excellent hands with Jochen.

    The late Georg R. Rafael
    Owner - Rafael Group
    Founder of Rafael Hotels
    (sold to Mandarin Oriental)
    Partner and Shareholder of Regent International Hotels
    (sold to Four Seasons)

    Always a true pleasure to be in touch with Jochen. Visiting hotels he “reads between the lines”, also pays attention to the less obvious and sees and says what truly matters.

    Jannes Soerensen
    Former General Manager
    The Beaumont, London

    It was a great pleasure to share a relaxed evening around a fine dinner with you here at The Alpina Gstaad. Your passion for travel, with special focus on the personalized service delivery and the emotional perception from a guest’s perspective made for very interesting conversation topics. Lovely also to have so many industry friends in common across all continents!

    Tim Weiland
    General Manager
    The Alpina Gstaad

    What a great start to the day that was: enjoying a delicious THE OMNIA breakfast with Jochen, and discussing the luxury hospitality market, the importance of a unique guest experience and personalized service. Thank you very much for sharing so many valuable insights and intriguing stories on our shared passion: travelling and the "fine art of creating a home away from home"!

    Christian Eckert
    General Manager
    The OMNIA, Zermatt

    Whenever we met at Pimalai, I was always very impressed with Jochen’s comprehensive overview and vast knowledge of the world’s top hotels. Talking to him felt like talking to an encyclopedia for luxury hotels. His website TRUE 5 STARS is stylish, cleverly designed, and you can sense that he effectively and genuinely includes only the best of the best in the hospitality industry.

    Franck de Lestapis
    Owner Representative
    Pimalai Resort and Spa, Koh Lanta

    I have known Jochen since my days at the Breidenbacher Hof and in recent years we together founded DNA Quality Assurance. When it comes to luxury hospitality there aren’t many people that I know who are as uncompromising as Jochen, when it comes to setting the bar high for true luxury standard. His dedication and passion for the luxury hotel industry make him an excellent choice to offer advice to hotels that want to improve on their standard of excellence.

    Welf J Ebeling
    Former COO
    The Leading Hotels of the World
    Formerly served as the COO of The Leading Hotels of the World, during which time, he co-founded LQA, and established and chaired the standards board for nearly a decade.

    Get in touch

    Please e-mail me at jochen.ehrhardt@true5stars.com