What makes a favourite hotelier? Note the ‘a’ not ‘the’. There are lots of favourites, for a variety of reasons.
There’s Yaron Liberman at THE NORMAN in Tel Aviv, for being the ultimate thoughtful people-person, spending 100% of his time, it seems, on the floor. Why is it, indeed that it is often the bosses of independent hotels who seem able to swan the floors more than their brand counterparts (although this statement is refuted by some branders, ssy Edwin Frizell at FAIRMONT ROYAL YORK in Toronto, Marlene Poynder at New York’s THE CARLYLE, A ROSEWOOD HOTEL, and her colleague Michael BONSOR at ROSEWOOD LONDON).
It’s more difficult for resort GMs to be out, always on show. In The Maldives, GMs at the luxury properties can be on hand as the seaplane or speedboat arrives. Best lasting memory of a Maldives arrival was at LE CHEVAL BLANC when the white clothes of the welcoming posse was relieved by some buttercup yellow parasols and the gentian blazer of the GM.
Favourite GMs remember what repeat guests like, or find out, if first-timers. There’s no point in giving a heavy-book as VIP welcome to someone who always travels hand-baggage. Does the guest actually want a plate of prepared desserts?
You can also tell which GMs are highly regarded by their teams. When Sylvain Ercoli opened BVLGARI HOTEL PARIS he was personally involved from interview-process on (when do you want to work, which days, which hours?). And the fact he gave everyone a hefty rise after only eight months meant they liked him even more.
Let’s hear Bvlgari boss Attilio Marro here: