Historic Hotel Figueroa Appoints Adam Sydenham as General Manager and Greg Velasquez as Chief Marketing Officer

USA, Los Angeles, California. December 20, 2018

The historic Hotel Figueroa is pleased to welcome two new senior-level personnel additions with the recent appointments of Adam Sydenham as General Manager of the property and Greg Velasquez as Chief Marketing Officer. The iconic DTLA boutique hotel property, which reopened its doors in Spring 2018 after a multi-year renovation and restoration, is now embarking upon its next chapter with the addition of hospitality industry veterans, Sydenham and Velasquez at its helm. Seasoned leaders in the Los Angeles travel industry, together they bring over four decades of combined experience to the independently owned and beloved Hotel Figueroa. 

Previously the Regional General Manager at Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel and Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, Adam Sydenham has also managed luxury properties in the U.S., Africa, and Russia with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and in the U.K. with Dorchester Collection, inclusive of Alain Ducasse's two Michelin- starred restaurant, Le Meurice. Sydenham's seamless hotel and culinary experience brings added cachet to his new role at Hotel Figueroa, which houses two distinctive culinary concepts—Breva and Veranda—alongside notable bar/cocktail venues on-premise including Rick's and Bar Figueroa.

“The 268-room hotel is authentic to Los Angeles and has a rich history, having been built in 1926 as a YWCA and safe haven for women travelers, which I find both rare and fascinating,” says Sydenham. “In a city that embraces impermanence, Hotel Figueroa is perpetually beloved, and I am deeply enthused to join the team and continue the stewardship of its storied legacy and next chapter.”

To support Sydenham in his dynamic new role, Greg Velasquez will be responsible for strategic marketing oversight for Hotel Figueroa. A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, Velasquez is no stranger to Downtown Los Angeles or the property—he fondly recalls celebrating his 30th birthday party at Hotel Figueroa when it was a Moroccan-themed haunt. Before joining Hotel Figueroa, Velasquez was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and has previously held sales and marketing positions at several distinguished luxury hotel properties across the country including the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, L'auberge De Sedona, The Phoenician, St. Regis Houston, and the US Grant in San Diego.

“What most appealed to me about Hotel Figueroa is the building's feminist origins,” says Velasquez. “The fact that it was a place built by women, run by women, for other women is a powerful story and one that I would like to see carried through in all aspects of our partnerships and programming,” Velasquez continues. “I am especially excited about the hotel's commitment to local arts and culture and see that as quite natural, given our location and our history as DTLA's original salon.”

Additionally, the hotel is thrilled to welcome Nicholas Biglari as the property's new Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage, overseeing all aspects of the hotel's culinary operations, including an array of signature dining and drinking outlets. Biglari most recently served as Vice President and Director of Operations for DTLA's popular Bottega Louie Restaurant. Previous positions include leadership roles with Red O Restaurants and Hillstone Restaurant Group. 

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.