TOMORROW The Ritz-Carlton hotel, so long a darkened enigma of Central, flings open its doors to the expectant wealthy. In the hotel, they are calling it Day Zero. I was invited in on Day 4 of an intensive seven-day training countdown for the staff. You could not really call it Khmer Rougeian because everyone was being sincerely, intensely nice to everyone else but behind the doors and anti-glare glass with no actual guests yet, there was a sense of passionate, almost sectarian dedication to the cause of the Ritz-Carlton. At the heart of this movement was a team of trainers, high-grade executives plucked from the 28 other Ritz-Carltons worldwide and so versed in the techniques of bringing a local staff up to corporate scratch, they could actually do it without the near-biblical manuals that were under their arms. I was taken to their leader at 7.30 am. His name is Horst Schulze, president and chief operations officer of the company. He is the spiritual and practical leader of the Ritz-Carlton team, and its philosophy - called The Credo - is displayed on the wall of the staff canteen and carried in wallets by every employee worldwide. The Credo emphasises warmth, a loving interaction and the need for all women to wear stockings. ''Nobody has to carry it,'' explained Mr Schulze. ''They do it because they want to.'' These chaps could teach Mormons a thing or two. Mr Schulze and his team manage a mix of sharp Germanic efficiency and an American summer camp enthusiasm. They met in the lobby at eight. Mr Schulze, a small dapper German with Italian manners and a dry sense of humour, was pointing out a slight dimness in the light of the middle elevator. And those brass strips. Change them. They look as though they have been cleaned. They should look fresh from the store. The head trainers gathered to discuss tactics. They stood. All meetings and training sessions are held standing. In slacks and Ritz-Carlton polo shirts, they presented a cheerful paradox to the grandeur of the Ritz-Carlton lobby. This hotel is a remarkable, a consistent exercise in old style grandeur. It is deliberately timeless and conservative. Chandeliers, deep upholstery, antiques and Chippendale are the signatures. It will be like being a guest in a great English house. Modernists should book elsewhere. Yet training methods are psychologically contemporary, precisely laid down, hour by hour, day by day. All over the Ritz-Carlton world, the training never stops. Careful weekly analysis identifies weak points and then headquarters in Atlanta issues a diktat saying all hotels will have a training session on prescribed subjects wherever they may be at exactly the same time. I wondered whether this was a residential extension of CNN. Mr Schulze was warning his team leaders that Day 3 would be the day when the staff would show signs of confusion. ''It's traditional, so what you have got to do is reassure them. Remember to tell them that when we have gone, it will still be all right.''They will all be gone by tomorrow. The men who carry out these ferociously friendly training programmes are jet-powered. They are in the air without a day to waste, back to their own hotels or on to another opening, another show. ''Don't give instructions too loudly,'' said Mr Schulze loudly, ''and get flowers for the ladies' restroom. Remember fresh flowers are warmth. Morning, sweetheart.'' A young staff member was walking her way quietly past the group. Her smile went on like an electric light. ''Good morning Mr Schulze. How are you this morning?'' It was the first of at least two score identical greetings that passengers-by bounced off each other in the following minutes. I wanted to take cover under a Chippendale but Mr Schulze was beaming. This was the call sign of a happy and warm hotel. He went on to visit a ''line-up'', one of the many stand-up training sessions that were taking place throughout the property. ''Are we starting to feel comfortable.'' ''Yes!'' chorused the Chinese staff. ''Come on now, do you really mean that?'' ''Yes!'' they roared. Because they were Hong Kong Chinese, I could not work out whether they were actually enjoying this ''Rah-rah!'' approach or whether they simply knew which side their bread was buttered on. Mr Schulze raced round every department of the hotel with me in a breathless tow. We stopped at the front office line-up. ''What time do I need to leave for the airport?'' he said a concierge. ''About 10 to 10.15,'' he replied after a moment's thought. ''Not fast enough! It is a very common question from nearly every guest. They need instant reassurance.'' Turning to a desk clerk, he said: ''If a guest asks you where the elevator is, what do you say?'' ''Nothing sir. I take him to it.'' Mr Schulze swept round the group in a delight that I thought would bring on tears. ''Everybody, a round of applause for this young man.'' It was so loud in there it sounded like a football crowd. ''Remember, when I am gone, you still do this line-up every day. If you don't I'll hear about it and have a nervous breakdown.'' In the bakery Mr Schulze went into ecstasy over some delicate chocolate fretwork decorations crafted by a young chef. There were some things that were not meant to be. A nail head protruded microscopically under the carpet in the ballroom entrance. ''Dangerous, very dangerous. Cut it out; immediately, boys, immediately.'' At the swimming pool and fitness centre entrance, he pulled the door open for me and that lifted up the corner of one of the hotel's individually made Axminster carpets. I tripped over it. ''Remove the carpet. Cut it down or raise the door,'' was the command. Five minutes later, the carpet was gone and carpenters were eyeing up the door for the chop. The hotel's Tuscan restaurant was beautiful, but undisturbed that morning. Training was going on in the main ''daytime'' restaurant, still one of the most comfortable and quietly succulent old-style dining rooms I have ever sat in. Each waiter or waitress was practising on only one client - another member of the staff. Although all the staff have been recruited from other Hong Kong hotels of quality, Mr Schulze seems to regard them as rookies until they are comfortable in his hotel. Mr Schulze confesses to being a frustrated waiter. ''I was a busboy at age 14. My knees knocked together in fear so much I could barely get to a table. I was cured one day by a perceptive customer who called me over. I nearly collapsed but I made it. 'Well done,' he said and gave me a five mark tip!'' The Ritz-Carlton Credo came on at full power as we walked out of the dining room. It was a confused exit with three or four of us going out then popping back past the receptionist. No matter how many times the same individual went past her and tripped off her wires, she said: ''Good morning, sir and welcome,'' or ''thank you for coming, sir. and have a nice day.'' I asked to see a bedroom that had its door open. It was quite an impromptu visit. Inside there were two young ''housekeepers'' making up a room. Mr Schulze threw himself into bed-making with a fervour. He explained that when you put a sheet on to the bedyou must cast it like a net so that ''it catches the air and falls naturally. Tucking it in is an art too. You must pull down and tuck only from the very edge. If you pull it with the fingers on the mattress top, it will pucker slightly. Then it looks as though it has been slept in''. After a cry for more fresh flowers, he quoted to me an impressive line of philosophy on a grand hotel. ''Elegance without warmth is arrogance'', and then this field commander was gone to another battle. On a sort of symbolic cue, his general manager for Hong Kong, Eric Waldeburger appeared among the marble and the Axminsters as though he was born in them. Mr Waldeburger, ramrod backed and formerly of The Peninsula, is a cheerful but commanding blond dressed in pinstripes of such conservative immaculacy, they make you want to lock yourself in a lavatory from shame.