Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Ankara in Turkey, finished high school in Munich, and completed college in London.
How did you get into your line of work?
Truly by coincidence. I was on my way to the US to pursue my MBA degree, but had the chance to stay at a friend’s resort for a week during the summer break and my plans changed completely. Instead, I went back to London and did a second degree in Hospitality Management. The rest is history, and here we are after 28 years!
Tell us a bit about the design and concept of The St. Regis Hotel NYC…
The St Regis New York was opened in 1904 by John Jacob Astor IV, whose vision was to create a hotel where his close friends and family felt like they were guests in his private home. Today, after a series of renovations, the hotel retains this essence and is meant to feel as though you are in a luxury New York City apartment building. The design combines classic sophistication with a modern sensibility, providing guests a timeless glamour that would feel relevant to today’s guests and the Gilded Age-era clientele.
What makes the hotel so special in your opinion?
There is such a rich history associated with the walls of the St Regis that cannot be re-created. From the invention of the Bloody Mary – or Red Snapper, as we like to call it – to rooftop jazz performances with the greats to infamous parties thrown by hotel guest Salvador Dalí and more, when they step off Fifth Avenue and enter through the revolving doors of the hotel, guests are transported to a place that feels important. After being at the hotel for many years, this feeling has yet to disappear.
Do you think there has been a short in what people look for in a hotel?
With time, any hotel needs to evolve to meet the needs of its current generation of guests. For us at The St. Regis, this means making sure that we incorporate the latest technology into all of our guest rooms and public spaces, offer great wifi , and so forth.
We recently installed an electric car-charger for guests to use, as well. However, I must say, that the needs of today’s guests are quite similar to those of the rst patrons of the hotel in the early 20th century.
Guests still want most of all impeccable service provided via our signature St. Regis butlers, and requests are still most often a cup of coffee in the morning or a pressed garment. After all, the needs to be recognised and pampered are timeless.
Where does the inspiration come from for the hotel décor?
The hotel décor is inspired the next generation of luxury traveller, someone who is increasingly international and worldly while still maintaining the Beaux-Arts aesthetic and ‘bones’ of the hotel. You will still find Waterford chandeliers hanging throughout the hotel, but also animal prints, sumptuous leathers and more contemporary pops of colour.
Many of our top suites are inspired by apartments, thus are curated to have accessories that reflect souvenirs that a well-travelled person may have acquired from their stops around the world.
Can you tell us which are some of your favourite rooms or suites?
I am particularly drawn to our designer suites – our Dior Suite, Bentley Suite and Tiffany Suite. Each offers an aesthetic entirely singular to that room that speaks to the brands that inspired them. No other hotel in the world offers rooms like these, and they serve as a point of differentiation for us in the ever-competitive luxury hotel marketplace.
Do you think it’s important to champion local products and craftspeople within the hotel?
We want guests to feel as though they are staying in New York, as opposed to staying at a hotel that happens to be located in New York. We have city-specific pieces of art and photography hung throughout the hotel and guest rooms created by New York artists.
What do you think guests expect when they walk into the hotel?
I hope that guest expect impeccable hospitality and anticipatory service. We look forward to meeting these high expectations.
What do you think leaves the biggest impression on guests when visiting The St. Regis NYC?
Beyond the beauty of the hotel itself – our guests’ rst impression _ we hope that they remember their time at the hotel as a truly special occasion. We have guests that have been staying with us for decades and know that they will always have a certain level of service that is really unmatched. We always aim to make guests feel at home – whether they are with us for a drink, a night or a month.
Find out more about The St. Regis NYC here | www.stregisnewyork.com