Sonesta Appoints Mark Ernst as General Manager for Sonesta Silicon Valley

USA, Newton, Massachusetts. June 17, 2019

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation is proud to announce the appointment of Mark Ernst as General Manager for Sonesta Silicon Valley. In this role, Ernst will be charged with reopening the property after a multi-million dollar renovation which includes significant updates to the common area and guest rooms, as well as a brand new food and beverage experience.

Ernst takes on this new role after establishing a proven record of accomplishment in delivering outstanding guest experiences. He has a long-standing history with Sonesta, having worked for the global hospitality brand since 2014. Most recently, Ernst served as the Task Force General Manager for The Clift Royal Sonesta in San Francisco, and started his career at the iconic Royal Sonesta New Orleans, first as the Director of Food & Beverage and then as Assistant General Manager. Prior to joining Sonesta, he held positions at several other hotel brands including Waldorf Astoria Hotels, The Roosevelt New Orleans, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, W San Francisco and Marriott New Orleans, Convention Center.

"Mark is a valued member of our Sonesta team and we look forward to having him bring his brand knowledge and deep industry expertise to Sonesta Silicon Valley. With nearly 20 years of hotel experience, we are confident he will bring passion and precision to the re-opening of this property," said Carlos Flores, President & Chief Executive Officer of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation.

Located minutes away from the headquarters of Silicon Valley giants, such as Google and Apple, and five miles from San Jose International Airport, the sophisticated Sonesta Silicon Valley is currently undergoing upgrades to create a compelling guest experience that brings the local art, cuisine, and atmosphere right to the hotel.

The newly redesigned hotel will have 236 spacious guest rooms and suites inspired by the natural elements of the surrounding area. The hotel will be accented with locally inspired abstract artwork, enhanced electrical connectivity, upgraded guest wireless coverage, electronic on-touch key entry and wired HSIA in every room. In a commitment to sustainability, Sonesta Silicon Valley will also introduce energy saving environmental controls to reduce their carbon footprint.

The re-opening of Sonesta Silicon Valley will also introduce Manzanita, a California table and bar, showcasing California cuisine in a modern setting. The new restaurant will be accompanied by a new indoor and outdoor dining concept with a welcoming atmosphere and community seating and dishes will feature locally sourced ingredients.

The hotel will feature over 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, conducive for brainstorming and sharing ideas. This flexible meeting space includes three standalone rooms and a ballroom, which can be divided into three separate spaces - all of which are equipped with pull-down screens and internet connectivity.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.