Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Arest

Justin Arest

Co-Owner & Managing Partner, Kixby Hotel

If you visited a certain Murray Hill hotel in Manhattan in the mid-1980s, you may have been greeted by a six-year-old boy who cheerfully welcomed guests at the front desk of his family's hotel.

Justin Arest is still making guests feel at home. As managing partner and co-owner of the new Kixby hotel in Manhattan's Herald Square, Mr. Arest combines a genuine love of hospitality with broad experience and deep knowledge of the industry.

Through his decades-long career, Mr. Arest has worked in every role in hospitality, from engineering to housekeeping to sales. He wants to impress guests not only at his or her first impression but at all of them. "Operating a successful property is about narrating the guest experience at every touchpoint, and most importantly, exceeding expectations." Mr. Arest also serves as managing partner of Arest Associates, a real estate investment company whose portfolio includes Kixby.

After studying finance and international business at NYU's Stern School of Business, Mr. Arest earned his law degree from George Washington University Law School. But his passion for the real estate industry, the hospitality sector in particular, kept tugging at him through his time in the mergers & acquisitions department of a global law firm. In 2006 he joined the family business, eventually taking it over and expanding. He would also become managing partner of the Hotel Metro, a hugely popular Herald Square hotel.

As Mr. Arest and partner BD Hotels transform the Metro into the Kixby - a new kind of boutique hotel for Herald Square - one thing won't change: his office will remain on the hotel's second floor, where it has been for over ten years. Even if guests never meet him, they can get to know him through his personal touches to the hotel; many of Mr. Arest's choices for Kixby were inspired by his own travels.

Mr. Arest is the rare developer whose appreciation of aesthetics equals his grasp of technical and financial necessities for every project. He feels strongly about volunteerism and giving back to his community. Most recently, he has served as a Trustee of the Village of Scarsdale, an elected volunteer position, since 2018.

Please visit http://www.kixby.com for more information.

Mr. Arest can be contacted at +1 212-537-6255 or justin@arestassociates.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.