Dissecting Hospitality


  • Hospitable treatment, reception, or disposition


  • Given to generous and cordial reception of guests
  • Promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome
  • Offering a pleasant or sustaining environment
  • Readily Receptive
  • Open to new ideas

I love word definitions. This is a prime example.

Many businesses attempt to employ hospitality into their business model to increase client satisfaction and retention. However, few reach the level of Ho’okipa.  In order to achieve Ho’okipa, service providers must realize that hospitality is a group of traits versus a singular idea.

Given to generous and cordial reception of guests – Ho’okipa starts before the client enters the door – before they are even a client. It begins in our parking lot. It continues up our walkway. It proceeds through our door. It climaxes in our reception area. Generous and cordial reception.

Promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome – Ho’okipa lives or dies with your front office staff.  Many times this area of business is the most overlooked, the least appreciated, and greatest under prepared. These folks set the tone for your clients entire visit. Generous and cordial welcome.

Offering a pleasant or sustaining environment – Ho’okipa breathes in your office. The comfort of the chairs will let your clients know you are glad they are there. The hangings on your wall will tell them you are inviting them to get to know you. The plaques offer assurance that you are dedicated to your mission. Sustaining environment.

Readily Receptive – Ho’okipa grows during your meeting. Your eye contact will instill trust. Your thoughtful questions will promote understanding. The active engagement of the the clients needs, wants, hopes, and dreams will build rapport. Readily Receptive.

Open to new ideas – Ho’okipa survives in respect. Clients know that they are individuals. They need us to realize it too. They come to work with us in creating game plans to achieve their idea of wonderful. They believe in us to assist them in forming their big ideas and realizing their big dreams. Open to new ideas.

Hospitality is an idea. Ho’okipa is a series of events. A manner of treatment. A dedication to excellence. Take a new look at an old practice with fresh eyes.

Guest Author: April Groves is one of the newest members of our Ho‘ohana Community, and you just gotta love her for being so willing to jump into the fray with us as she has! For more of April, visit her two blogs, My Beautiful Chaos and Making Life Work for You.

April, I must say that I loved this recent post of yours; A Blogging Theory I Disagree With ”“ keep doing it your way!

~ Rosa


  1. says

    Hi April, thanks for this elaboration of what we mean by ho’okipa. I too love to start exploring new ideas by looking into the definition of the word. There’s nearly always some great clues hiding away in those dictionaries…

  2. says

    You make such good points here April, with terrific yet simple examples that drive them home. People often fool themselves into thinking they have done enough with a warm and gracious welcome, but hospitality doesn’t stop there, it continues throughout the time we spend together, and doing it right once doesn’t buy you future reprieves!

  3. says

    Joanna – glad to know I am not the only one with a weakness for the dictionary! I have used it more than once to overcome writer’s block.
    Rosa – I agree, and I have learned by watching others that it is a bad practice. A great welcome with no follow through comes across as insincere.