Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. McGuinness

Brian McGuinness

Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Brian McGuinness is the Senior Vice President of Starwood's Specialty Select brands, including the Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton brands. McGuinness is responsible for development, strategic and creative direction, and overall performance of each of Starwood's select-serve lifestyle brands. Mr. McGuinness leads an integrated team, charged with ensuring the successful global launch of Starwood's first new brand introduction, Aloft Hotels, since the 1999 premiere of W Hotels; establishing Starwood's new green trailblazer, Element Hotels, as the extended-stay category leader and Starwood's green innovation lab; and re-launching the newly reinvented Four Points by Sheraton brand. Mr. McGuinness began his career with Starwood in 1997. His tenure started at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Towers as Towers Manager, later transitioning to Reservations and Revenue Management Director. Successfully advancing through his hotel career, he was eventually tapped by Starwood corporate to roll-out a new property management technology platform and joined the creative team to launch the highly successful Starwood Preferred Guest Program. Continuing in marketing, he created the Global Marketing Operations group where he oversaw the execution of marketing programs globally. In 2002, furthering his entrepreneurial desires, Mr. McGuinness left Starwood to personally oversee the restoration of a charming bed and breakfast located on Cape Cod. After the successful completion of the restoration, Mr. McGuinness returned to Starwood's Manhattan-based offices to take on the challenge of leading one of the most exciting brand introductions in the hotel industry's history - Aloft Hotels. He relocated to Starwood's corporate headquarters in White Plains, NY in 2007 to lead the launch of both Aloft and Element Hotels worldwide, and has recently taken the reins on the Four Points by Sheraton brand. Mr. McGuinness grew up in New England, the youngest of seven children. His passion for the hospitality business started at a young age during annual international trips with his family to everywhere from Canada to Europe.

Mr. McGuinness can be contacted at 914-640-8100 or brian.mcguinness@starwoodhotels.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.