Editorial Board   

Mr. Marx

Steven Marx

Managing Principal, Lifestyle Hospitality

A seasoned pioneer in boutique hotels, Steve Marx has risen to become the industry's most recognized expert in lifestyle properties. While leading Kimpton Hotels, Loews Hotel Corp, and W Hotels, Steve guided each company through significant growth and stellar financial results. At Kimpton, where he grew the company from 12 to 30 hotels over 8 years, Steve and his team were responsible for launching the Monaco brand. With Loews Hotels, he met the challenge of repositioning several under performing properties, while at the same time spearheaded the largest growth period in Loews' history. Mr. Marx's most noteworthy accomplishment with Starwood was to transform W Hotels from the least to the most profitable brand in the company in one short year. The many strategic alliances formed and relationships established throughout his successful career are the foundation for Lifestyle Hospitality. The Lifestyle team has been hand picked with top tier talent in each discipline. His vision of creating a new and innovative lodging concept is sparked by his entrepreneurial spirit and his desire to continue to push the envelope by launching Lifestyle Hospitality, LLC in January 2006.

Mr. Marx can be contacted at 203-698-2772 or smarx@lifestylehg.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.