Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wilhelm

Sam Wilhelm

Chef Concierge, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Chef Concierge Sam Wilhelm has been immersed in the hospitality industry since he can remember. Born and raised in the quaint town of Hana, the namesake of Maui's most notorious road trip, Wilhelm's father was a Director of Food & Beverage at the Hotel Hana and his mother was a Front Office Manager. "Growing up, I was always at the hotel. My sisters even danced hula there," recalls Mr. Wilhelm. "And when we weren't there, we were having guests over to our home for dinner." Mr. Wilhelm still exudes the aloha spirit instilled in his childhood, and much of his focus at Four Seasons Resort Maui relates to showing his guests the beauty of the island and its native people. The young chef concierge swiftly navigated up through the hotel ranks. At age 15, he became a concierge agent at Hotel Hana. After graduating high school, he moved into the Food & Beverage department. Three years later, he moved from Hana to the luxury resort area of Wailea, Maui, taking a position as a front desk agent at the Fairmont Kea Lani, where he stayed for five years, advancing to chef concierge. In 2011, Mr. Wilhelm joined Four Seasons "I wanted be part of the best," he says. A year later, he was promoted to chef concierge, heading the largest team of concierge in the company. Mr. Wilhelm also holds the coveted golden keys of the Les Clef d'Or, which he earned in 2009. He regularly attends the association's annual congress meetings, developing initiatives to bring back to his island home and growing his network of his peers-the best of the best in the business. "My goal at the resort is twofold: first, to provide guests with a level of service that exceeds their expectations; second, to show them the real Maui, the one that I grew up with and that they can take home with them in the form of lifelong memories." When Mr. Wilhelm is not behind the desk, he enjoys experiencing all his island home has to offer. He can often be found with family and friends, relaxing at the beach or dining at the island's most revered eateries-from chef's tables to holes-in-the-wall.

Mr. Wilhelm can be contacted at 808- 874-8000 or sam.wilhelm@fourseasons.com

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.