Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Festinger

Robert Festinger

General Manager, YVE Hotel Miami

Robert Festinger is General Manager at YVE Hotel Miami, a property managed by Destination Hotels, the largest operator of independent hotels and resorts in North America, and owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, the nation's largest lodging real estate investment trust. The 245-room property is ideally situated in the heart of downtown Miami at 146 Biscayne Blvd. Mr. Festinger was formerly the Vice President and Managing Director of the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, also referred to as Florida's Riviera. He oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Newport Group; Kitchen 305, Seven Seas Aveda Spa & Salon, Newport Marketing, Newport Hospitality and Newport Vacation Club. He was also responsible for sales, marketing and operations for the oceanfront resort's 360 rooms and more than 600 employees. Prior to the Newport, he was with Starwood Hotels & Resorts as Director of Sales and Catering/Convention Services for the Westin and Sheraton brands. During that tenure, he was awarded the Starwood Platinum Award in 2006 before joining the Chicago City Centre Hotel & Sports Club of Chicago to oversee event and catering operations. Mr. Festinger officially started his career as a social and corporate catering sales manager at Terrace on the Park, New York's most recognizable event venue for more than 40th years where he boosted fundraising, corporate and social sales. Mr. Festinger's father, Wilhelm Festinger, was a European trained chef and successful restaurateur so he was raised in the hospitality business from an early age. His family owned Pappagallo Restaurant of Glen Head in New York. He officially began his career in the hospitality business in 1997 after graduating from Hofstra University with a degree in political science and economics. Today Mr. Festinger resides in Aventura, Florida with his wife and three-year-old son.

Mr. Festinger can be contacted at 305-358-4555 or rfestinger@destinationhotels.com

Coming up in April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.