Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels and best-selling author, took five to share tips and experience from both sides of the reception desk.

What’s the toughest job in the business? Housekeeping. You’re surprised?

Your one hotel must? I’m a pretty easy traveler, but I need a quiet room.

What’s your favorite non-Loews hotel? Montage Laguna Beach (30801 Coast Hwy.; 949/715-6000;; doubles from $795), for its welcoming attitude, extremely comfortable rooms, and unbeatable views of the Pacific.

When should the defining moment for a hotel guest take place? At checkout, when you see the number you’re actually paying, and you ask yourself, "Did I get value for my money?"

Describe your favorite service experience. Years ago I complained to the GM of the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, who’s a friend, that there wasn’t any shampoo in my room. When I got back, I couldn’t find the bed—it was covered in little bottles! Hey, it’s all about the recovery.

Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience (Wiley; $26.95) is in bookstores.