Hotel Online Special Report

Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What
April 2001
Heads Above the Rest
The Newsletter of The Boutique Search Firm
Changes at Paris’ Hôtel de Crillon: Hotel Manager Philippe Perd is leaving to become the General Manager at the exquisite 38-room Chateau Saint Martin in Vence, part of the hotel holdings of the German Oetker family (along with the Hôtel Bristol Paris, Antibes’ Hôtel du Cap, Brenner’s Park in Baden Baden and Park Hotel Vitznau in Switzerland). Current Chateau Director Danièle Brunet, a 33-year veteran of the group, will remain on board for one year alongside Perd.  Prior to joining the Crillon in 1998, Perd spent nine years with the Savoy Hotel Group in London. Also new at Chateau Saint Martin is Executive Chef Philippe Guérin, 34, who joined from the prestigious kitchens of the famed Hôtel Négresco in Nice.

Another loss for the Hôtel de Crillon is Director of Housekeeping Laurence Buggiani, who joins Mandarin-Oriental’s Hôtel du Rhône in Geneva. Before her three years at the Crillon, Buggiani had logged seven years at the Hôtel Ritz Paris.

At London’s Royal Lancaster, Philip Skitch is Resident Manager. He previously was the General Manager of the Harrington Hall Hotel, also in London.
Gregory de Clerck has been appointed Regional Six Sigma Manager for Starwood in Holland, where his expertise will be applied to the Amsterdam Sheraton Airport, the Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam and the Westin Rotterdam. He was previously the Hotel Manager at the Hyatt Regency Jerusalem. 
At beleaguered Méridien Hotels, Jacques Charles moves up from General Manager at the Méridien Juan Les Pins to the same position at the larger Méridien Nice. There he replaces Jacques Le Couls who moves on to Rio de Janeiro, where he takes over as Regional Director from Adrian Constant. The latter is joining Orient-Express as Regional Director for Europe. Still at the Méridien Juan Les Pins, Director of Food and Beverage Emmanuel Richardet leaves to become the Executive Assistant Manager at the Méridien Penina in Portugal.
At London’s Savoy Hotel Group,  Cornell-educated Kostas Trivizas is out  as Director of Revenue Maximization, a  position for which he had been plucked away by Savoy from the Peninsula Group in Hong Kong in August 1999. 
Jean-Philippe Hubau is the General Manager of the Manoir de Beauvoir in France. He was previously the Executive Assistant Manager at the Méridien Cancun, a Leading Hotel of the World.
Bernard Villain is the Chef de Cuisine at the Manoir de Hautegente in France’s Périgord region. Prior to that he was the Chef de Cuisine for the gourmet restaurant of the Ritz-Carlton Dubai.
Based in Johannesburg, Elke Margarete Menz has taken up position as Director of International Sales & Marketing with Accor Africa,  looking after incoming and outgoing sales for properties such as Ibis, Novotel, Mercure and Sofitel across the continent. She previously was for eleven years with Southern Sun Hotels in a number of sales and operations positions.
Pierre Baumgartner is the General Manager of Amanjena, arguably the most breathtaking of all Amanresorts, in Marrakech, Morocco. An Aman veteran, he originally joined the company in 1993 as the General Manager of Amanpulo. Baumgartner is a Lausanne Hotel School Graduate.
At the 290-room Renaissance Hotel Dubai, David Ippersiel has been named Director Sales and Marketing, moving up from Dubai’s JW Marriott where his position was Director of Sales.
Bill Kimpton is dead at 65. He who single-handedly revolutionized the hotel industry and launched “boutique” hotels will probably be forever remembered as a visionary on par with the Conrad Hilton and Ellsworth Statler of the world. From its 1981 humble beginnings with one property, his Kimpton Group now owns or operates 35 hotels and 29 high-profile restaurants. He will be sorely missed.
More changes at Bacara in Santa Barbara where Richard Holtzman takes over from Alan Fuerstman as Managing Director. Holtzman, a second-generation Hotelier and Cornell graduate (his father was the highly-respected President of Rockresorts in the company’s heyday) is one of the country’s foremost experts in resort management. After launching The Boulders for Rockresorts and making it a household name for golfers and sun worshippers worldwide, he became President of Carefree Resorts until that company was taken over by Wyndham. 
Herbert Pliessnig is the new Managing Director of New York’s St.  Regis. He just completed a very long tenure with Four Seasons, where he held positions at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Seattle, Vancouver, New York (The Pierre) and Berlin (which he opened as General Manager). Until this March he was the General Manager of the Four Seasons New York. 
As if to trim payroll prior to Pliessnig’s arrival, the St. Regis New York has downsized nine management positions overnight, to include Director of Housekeeping Services Susan Richardson and Hotel Manager Steven Bie. Bie was an eight-year veteran of the property.
At the Four Seasons New York, Pliessnig is replaced by Austrian Thomas Steinhauer. For the past three years, he was the General Manager at the Four Seasons Wailea in Hawaii. Steinhauer’s stellar career also included four years at The Phoenician and a one-year stint at the Doral for KSL. His successor at the Four Seasons Wailea is Radha Arora, until now the Hotel Manager at the Four Seasons Philadelphia.
Christopher R.J. Knable is the new General Manager of The Regent Wall Street. Most recently he was the General Manager at the Regency Hotel in New York, a 351-room flagship property for Loews Hotels. Knable also has extensive experience with The Peninsula Group, having held various positions with Peninsula hotels in New York, Manila and Beijing.  Knable replaces Manfred Timmel who joined Ritz-Carlton as General Manager for its upcoming Wall Street area property.
Joe Violi is the General Manager of the Swiss Grand Chicago. A Cornell graduate, Violi is a former General Manager with Ritz-Carlton, for whom he opened what is now the St. Regis Aspen. 29-year-old Javier Rosenberg is General Manager of the Swissôtel Atlanta, after six months as Acting GM at the Swiss Grand Chicago. He previously was the General Manager of Marbella Club in Spain. 
Tobias Mattstedt has been picked as Vice President Food and Beverage for MGM Grand Las Vegas after an eight-month search. A German citizen, Mattstedt had been the Executive Assistant Manager in charge of Food and Beverage at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua since October 1998.
He previously logged four years with Peninsula in Hong Kong. At the
MGM he will be reporting to Gamal Aziz, Executive Vice President,
Hotel Operations 
At the soon-to-open (summer of 2001) St. Regis Monarch Bay in Laguna Niguel, Reinhard Neubert is Hotel Manager, coming from the Four Seasons Chicago where he was the Director of Food and Beverage. New Rooms Director for the property is Eon Taylor, who comes all the way from Turnberry in Scotland.
Speaking of Turnberry, the original developers of the wildly successful Turnberry Isle in Florida are now launching Turnberry at the North End of the Las Vegas Strip. The four high-end condominium towers will offer a full array of hotel services. Asaad Farag, who had been the Director of Food and Beverage at the Beverly Hills Hotel and briefly the VP Food and Beverage at the MGM Grand, is in charge. As for Las Vegas whiz kid Paul Pusateri who deserves full credit for making the Paris Hotel & Casino Las Vegas’ best cash-cow-with-style, he has resurfaced with the Turnberry development team: the goal is to eventually build a 2,500-room London-themed property on the site of what used to be the El Rancho Casino.
Still in Vegas, John Culetsu joined the upcoming Palms Hotel & Casino, a 475-room “boutique” property slated for a December opening as General Manager. The Palms will feature a Buddha Bar, straight from the creators of its Paris namesake and its Barfly sister restaurant. Culetsu just spent over eight years as General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Las Vegas. Prior to that he had been VP Sales and Marketing for Utell International.
Michael Smith and Debbie Gold, a high-profile husband-and-wife chef team, are leaving the helm of the famed American Restaurant in Kansas City to open their own eatery which will be called Forty Sardines.
While we are on the subject of restaurants, a page was turned in Los Angeles with the simultaneous closing of two of its most famous eateries:
Spago Hollywood is no more, nor is Citrus. The latter closed allegedly over a dispute with its landlord.
David Hill has been appointed General Manager of the soon-to-be-renamed Hotel Derek in Houston, a 319-room conversion of the former Red Lion at the Galleria. Hill previously opened the very successful Hotel George, on Washington’s Capitol Hill.
At Barbados’ just re-opened and very, very plush Sandy Lane, whiz kid executive chef Mark Patten, an Australian, now also holds the title of Director of Food and Beverage. Exit Kevin Peterson who was previously the Director of Food and Beverage and had come from the Inn at Spanish Bay, in Pebble Beach.
Thomas Tolxdorf is the new Executive Chef for the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, in Florida, promoted from the position  of Executive Sous Chef at Singapore’s Ritz-Carlton Millennia. Tolxdorf replaces Jeffery Vigila, who moves on to open the upcoming Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, in Miami. As for Jorg Behrend, he opens the new Ritz-Carlton Boston as Executive Chef. Alain Piraux has been promoted from Executive Chef to Director of Food and Beverage at the Ritz-Carlton Dearborn.
Pascal Billard, a former Director of Food and Beverage at the Hôtel de Crillon, has been promoted by China Grill Management from the position of Food and Beverage Director at London’s Sanderson to the same position at New York’s Royalton. Both properties are part of Ian Schrager’s hotel group. At Sanderson, Billard launched Alain Ducasse’s Spoon+. At the Royalton he will be responsible for opening an outpost of Miami’s Blue Door, with China Grill consulting chef Claude Troisgros. Billard’s fiancée Daniela McLean, a former Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Hôtel de Crillon, is opening a North America sales office for Alain Ducasse’s Chateaux & Hotels Indépendants.
Sabine Glissmann has been appointed Director of Food and Beverage at the Water’s Edge Resort in Westbrook, Connecticut. She recently relocated to the United States after a stint as Director of Food and Beverage at the very hip Park Hyatt Hamburg. She also was previously the Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Palm Beach.
At the New York Palace, Director of Catering Nick Type flies the coop to concentrate on his budding fast food business, dubbed the “Tiffany of fast food” by Gael Greene of New York Magazine. At the Palace too there is a new Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Istana. He is Dion Sprinkle, whose pedigree includes stints at the Gotham Bar and Grill and at the River Café. 
At Rosewood’s newly acquired Hotel Carlyle, Albert Herrera is the new Director of Sales & Marketing moving up from Rosewood’s New York Regional Sales Office. Herrera’s superb resume includes several years with Four Seasons and Mandarin-Oriental.

Still with Rosewood, Ray Jacobi has been elevated to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Taking over from him as General Manager at Dallas’ Mansion on Turtle Creek is Richard Baker, a former Four Seasons man who joins from the Four Seasons Dallas, and had been Rooms Director at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.

At L’Auberge du Soleil, Toby Reivant is Restaurant Manager, coming from the St. Regis Los Angeles, which he opened. Prior to that he was the Restaurant Manager at the Peninsula Beverly Hills.
At The Charles in Cambridge, Fabian Unterzaucher is the Director of Food and Beverage, having previously held the same position at the Four Seasons Boston.
Director of Sales and Marketing Steve Janicek has left Miramonte in Indian Wells to join the Ritz-Carlton Phoenix in the same capacity. He is replaced at Miramonte by Michael Dominguez, who comes from the Sheraton Austin.
Wanda Chan is the new Number Two at the Drake Swissôtel New York. She was previously the Director of Hotel Operations at Las Vegas’ Rio All-Suite Resort and Casino, a 2,548-suite behemoth.  At the Drake, Chan joins the rest of a whole new crew gathered by Managing Director Guenther Richter, including Executive Housekeeper Donna O’Brien, Front Office Manager Augusto Gomez formerly of The New York Palace and Restaurant Manager Philip Lee formerly of China Grill and Asia de Cuba. The new team is rounded up by Chef de Cuisine Rhys Rosenblum, formerly of the Millennium Broadway.
William Black, one of the stars of Asian Hospitality, has joined Singapore’s spanking new Grand Fullerton as General Manager, taking the spot left vacant by MV Puri. Black, a Canadian citizen, previously spent 18 years with Regent International as General Manager in Bangkok and Singapore.
Nick Clayton is leaving his post of General Manager of the wildly successful Ritz-Carlton Millennia Singapore to take over from Andreas Matmuller as Director of Operations for Mandarin-Oriental. The change is slated for June.
Peter James Freeman, a New Zealander, is General Manager for Imperial Century Hotel & Resort West Jakarta. He previously was the Director and General Manager of two properties of a major hotel group in Australia. Still with Century Hotels,  John MacNeill, a British national, becomes the General Manager of the Century Imperial Palace Suites in the Philippines. He originally joined the company at the 516-room Century Hong Kong Hotel as their Rooms Division Manager in October 1999. 
Erik Berger is the opening Executive Chef for Singapore’s Spoon Bistro, a venture launched by former Singapore Oriental Manager Scott Swank. Berger, a US citizen, previously worked with Joachim Splichal and Jeremiah Tower in California.
At the Ritz-Carlton Millennia Singapore, Executive Chef Christophe Megel has just hired a Chinese chef from Taipei, Simon Ho, to steer the hotel’s Chinese restaurant. 
Bill Sayce was recently named General Manager of The Pan Pacific Bangkok. Sayce has been with Pan Pacific for eight years and was most recently General Manager at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows on the Big Island of Hawaii. 
Akram Touma was named General Manager, The Westin Resort Macau. Before joining the property, he was the pre-opening General Manager of the Sheraton Shenyang Lido Hotel, and the General Manager of the Sheraton Guilin Hotel. 
Edited by 
Benoit Gateau-Cumin
The Boutique Search Firm
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CULVER CITY, California
Tel. 310-398-9320
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Karen Jolley, Vice President, Europe, 
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LYON, France
Tel. (33) 4-72-12-04-32
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Also See: Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / The Boutique Search Firm / Nov 2000
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / February 2001

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