Horst Schulze Named the Recipient of the 2021 Historic Hotels of America Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award

Historic Hotels of America® is pleased to announce that Horst Schulze has been named the Recipient of the 2021 Historic Hotels of America Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award.   This is the first time this this annual award is being presented.   The Historic Hotels of America Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award recognizes the extensive accomplishments of Horst Schulze in pioneering innovative concepts for achieving uncommon success.  A thought leader on exceptional service for decades, a legend and inspiring leader in the hotel world, Horst Schulze’s teachings and vision have reshaped the concepts of service and hospitality across industries.


The 2021 Historic Hotels of America Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award will be presented to Horst Schulze at the 2021 Historic Hotels Annual Conference at The American Club Resort Hotel in Kohler, Wisconsin on November 10 in front of an audience of owners, general managers, and other senior decision makers representing many of the finest historic hotels from across the United States of America and from around the world.  The American Club Resort Hotel, inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 1991 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, has achieved the longest record in the Midwest for earning the Forbes five-star and AAA five-diamond awards.  It has stood as an icon of gracious hospitality for over 100 years.


Mr. Schulze’s professional life began more than 65 years ago as a server’s assistant in a German resort town. Throughout the years he worked for both Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation before becoming one of the founding members of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in 1983. There Mr. Schulze created the operating and service standards that have become world famous.  During his tenure at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Mr. Schulze served as President and COO responsible for the $2 billion operations worldwide. It was under his leadership that the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company became the first service-based company to be awarded the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – twice.


In 1991, Mr. Schulze was recognized as “corporate hotelier of the world” by HOTELS magazine. In 1995, he was awarded the Ishikawa Medal for his personal contributions to the quality movement. In 1999, Johnson & Wales University gave him an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree in Hospitality Management.  Most recently, Mr. Schulze has been honored as a “Leader in Luxury” by Travel Agent magazine and its sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor.


After leaving the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Mr. Schulze went on to found and serve as Chairman and CEO of the Capella Hotel Group. This luxury hotel company grew to include some of the most elite hospitality properties worldwide and gave Mr. Schulze the opportunity to further define the luxury hotel industry, receiving countless awards and recognitions.  Today, Mr. Schulze serves as Expert in Residence at Arch + Tower, a boutique, organizational strategy consulting firm.


Horst Schulze recently completed his first book on  Excellence Wins: A No Nonsense Guide to-Becoming the Best in a World of-Compromise.  Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and coauthor of Built to Last says of Mr. Schulze’s book – Excellence Wins: “Horst Schulze created a culture of service that should be a model for all of us.  By committing to the highest standards of professionalism – and creating the right systems to achieve them – he inspired thousands of people to embrace and embody the core ideal of sheer unadulterated excellence.  With this profoundly useful book, Schulze shares his story, and his methods, so that the rest of us can be uplifted and taught by the master himself.”


In the foreword to Excellence Wins, Ken Blanchard, author of The New One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, and Servant Leadership in Action says of Horst Schulze: “for more than forty years, among the many hundreds of top CEOs and company presidents I have worked with around the world, Horst Schulze is easily in my top five.  Horst has always been a dreamer and a visionary.  Horst has always seen his employees as business partners.  Horst has always been a classic servant leader.  You’ll love the pearls of wisdom on every page that come directly from Horst Schulze’s experience.”


“I am extremely honored to receive the Historic Hotels of America Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award,” said Horst Schulze.  “There is nothing more exciting than to receive recognition by your peers. I’m very grateful and looking forward to being in Kohler, Wisconsin in November.”


“On behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide, we are pleased to recognize and honor Horst Schulze with the 2021 Historic Hotels of America Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide.  “Mr. Schulze has been a legendary pioneer in excellence and service as well as an inspiration to generations of leaders that want to become the best in a world of constant compromise.  Both an early and constant disrupter in what was long considered acceptable service, Mr. Schulze’s decades of innovation have demonstrated that Excellence Wins every time.”



About Historic Hotels of America®

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, please visit HistoricHotels.org/US.


About Historic Hotels Worldwide®

Washington DC based Historic Hotels Worldwide® is a prestigious collection of historic treasures, including more than 350 legendary historic hotels including many former castles, chateaus, palaces, academies, haciendas, villas, monasteries, and other historic lodging spanning ten centuries. Historic Hotels Worldwide recognizes authentic cultural treasures that demonstrate exemplary historic preservation and their inspired architecture, cultural traditions, and authentic cuisine.  To be nominated and selected for induction into Historic Hotels Worldwide, historical lodging properties must be at least 75 years old; utilize historic accommodations; serve as the former home or be located on the grounds of the former home of famous persons or significant location for an event in history; be located in or within walking distance to a historic district, historically significant landmark, place of historic event, or a historic city center; be recognized by a local preservation organization or national trust; and display historic memorabilia, artwork, photography, and other examples of its historic significance.  For more information, please visit HistoricHotelsWorldwide.com.