Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, where I was also raised, specially inside the hotel, where I have worked since my 15th anniversary.
How did you get into your line of work?
I didn´t get into the line of my work, I was born in the middle of everything as my grandfather built Maksoud Plaza in 1979 and I lived with him since I was 6 years old. My whole life I breathed the hotel environment and started to work here 28 years ago.
Tell us a bit about the design and concept of Maksoud Plaza Hotel?
Maksoud Plaza was conceived as a luxurious hotel and it was the first in São Paulo big and impressive like the ones you only find in Asia. At the time there was no competition in the city and it was built to be the best of the best in many ways. It was all constructed in concrete, something that is never out of fashion. It surprises with its open Atrium, an open space inside the hotel that goes from the lobby to 22nd floor.
It was really designed to be a complete hotel, and all the spaces attends the employees needs daily, for example, the laundry was concepted after a benchmark made in Filipinas hotels; the room maids have a wide and dedicated space to work in each floor, which facilitates in the operation of check-in and check-outs; the 5,000 square meters of the event pavilion that contemplates 38 multifunctional rooms have direct access to the backstage and kitchens; the rooms are oversized, as the smallest one has 34 square meters and all the bathrooms have bathtubs.
Besides that, Maksoud Plaza has an enormous works of art´s collection, in public spaces and in the rooms and suites also. It could be considered a private museum. And one thing that really calls people attention is its colorful forefront, an art intervention in the middle of the stone jungle, as São Paulo is well known.
What makes the hotel so special in your opinion?
I believe my grandfather´s entrepreneurship and tireless pursuit of exceeding expectations led him to construct, in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, an iconic building that would become reference and synonymous with hospitality for the decades since. It attracted diverse people, histories and cultures, all passionate about hospitality and meeting the daily challenge of welcoming, serving and making the hotel a home away from home. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, The Maksoud Plaza is a common ground between generations, each with stories and great memories to convey to friends and family.
Do you think there has been a shift in what people look for in their accommodation?
Actually, there was a shift in what people look for in a hotel. Luxury is no longer a unique point in the search, but the services and treatment received during the stay. People cherish for comfort, attention, technology and ammenities. Of course the room must be perfectly organized and cleaned, and it needs to offer a good bed, otherwise it will generate complains as everybody dreams with a good night of sleep in a hotel. Other important issue is to present nice amenities that can make guests always remember their stay with us. Every night we put handmade chocolates produced by the Benedictine nuns who used to live on the land where the hotel is today.
Where does the inspiration come from for the hotel decor?
For 18 months the block where Maksoud Plaza is had to live with the carefully planned construction of what was to become the best hotel in São Paulo in 1979. A construction so advanced and lead by Hidroservice, the main company of the group, that neither the official government organs, nor specific producers had specifications to relate to it. An example: for the panoramic elevator, the Maksoud group had to invent new specifications and obligated the producer to update its owns. Result: one of the most modern and advanced elevators in the world at the time.
All of the 22 floors of the hotel were carefully studied and planned. Comfort for the guests decided all choices about what materials to use and how to use. A good example is the window molding for the rooms and suites, that reduces the outside noise to a maximum of 35 decibels.
With modern architecture and new innovations simple lodging is transformed into a good hotel with comfort and entertainment spread over 43,000 square meters. Works of art decorate all the public spaces made by the most famous artists. Among the leisure you can find the pool and gym. Paintings, stones, ebony and artifacts can be found around and were chosen by Mrs. Ilde Maksoud, my grandmother.
In addition to that, most furniture was made by our staff inside the hotel. We have a fully functioning woodwork and many repairs and maintenance are made by them.
Can you tell us any of your favorite highlights from in and around the hotel?
I personally enjoy appreciating the front garden with fruit trees through a meeting room on 1st floor. But surely our lobby fills my eyes with its singular decoration. Besides the city´s skyline that can be well joyed from the high floors, the rooptop and the helipad. The hotel provides two different views through the room´s windows: to Paulista Avenue and Bela Vista neighborhood – which is part of its location charm. There are many good places to visit like museums, parks, malls, cultural centers, among others. We are also near two subway stations – providing good public transportation options – and has easy access to domestic and international airports.
Do you think it’s important to champion local products and craftspeople?
For sure it is. As I already mentioned the handmade chocolates of the nuns, we buy vegetables and fruits from a countryside producer, there is homemade pasta from a local provider, and freshwater fishes coming from non-predatory hunting.
On Frank Bar – located in our lobby, that entered to The World´s 50 Best Bars list in 2017, our Head Bartender Spencer Amereno always chooses fresh and distinct products to compose the craft drinks of the menu´s bar.
What do you hope guests will expect when they walk into the hotel?
A warm welcome! Our staff caring of all details, since the entrance to check-in and access to elevators, rooms, VIP Club, events area, fitness center, restaurant, bar or the shops located in the lobby, like Havanna, Vino! and ManLab. We want them to feel like they can enjoy every moment with us and use all the services offered. In addition to the unique experience of entering the great Atrium with inside view.
What do you think will leave the biggest impression on guests who visit Maksoud Plaza Hotel?
We are passionate about humanized and confident service, which is Maksoud’s trademark. This is surely the biggest impression we want to share with our guests. Our clients have had unique moments with us, and we hope they continue to have fun experiences with family and friends, as well as great professional achievements.
Find out more about the Maksoud Plaza Hotel here | www.maksoud.com.br