Widely acknowledged as a giant among giants, the storied Lotte New York Palace serves as a symbol of luxury and opulence in a city where extravagance abounds. Located on famed Madison Avenue at 50th Street, the Palace is within walking distance to many of the city’s most popular attractions. Its accommodations feature all the modern comforts discerning travelers expect along with the timeless luxury for which the hotel is known. Impeccably furnished bedrooms and marble bathrooms offer updated amenities, stylish decor and gourmet in-room dining. For an even more exclusive experience, visit the Palace’s Towers, featuring the spacious rooms and lavish suites.
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With countless overnight options from which to choose, the competitive nature of the hotel industry in Manhattan is always in high gear. As such, it takes a lot of time and effort to ensure that one hotel stands out among the rest. Those daunting responsibilities fall directly on the shoulders of Rebecca Hubbard, general manager at the Lotte New York Palace, and her highly skilled, dedicated team.
Rebecca, who goes by “Becky” to everyone she meets, is a true force in the hospitality industry and presents an impressive background. During her tenure at the Lotte New York Palace, Hubbard has overseen a $140M hotel renovation of guestrooms, public and meeting space as well as re-concepting the food and beverage venues. She also oversaw the transition of hotel ownership and successfully launched the Lotte Hotel brand in North America. She inspires a team of 800 ladies and gentlemen and embodies passion, drive, empowerment and inspiration. She is also on the Executive Board of Directors for the Hotel Association of New York City and NYC & Company, inspiring female leaders on a daily basis.
Hubbard began her career in the hospitality industry over 25 years ago where she built her foundation from positions at Manhattan East Suite Hotels, Sheraton New York, Sheraton Manhattan, as well as The Essex House. She served as the Director of Reception at the latter, where she was the leader of all front office departments and implemented training and orientation programs for all new managers. Since then, Hubbard has held a variety of managerial roles at hotels in New York City, including both Assistant Rooms Executive and Front Office Manager at The Ritz-Carlton hotels of New York.
Prior to her position at Lotte New York Palace, Hubbard opened the now Dominick as the Executive Assistant Manager and was directly responsible for the daily operations and budget of the rooms department. In addition, she was also responsible for recruiting, hiring and developing talent in department head positions for the rooms division and creating a dynamic, symbiotic team that achieved positive results.
Hubbard recently shed some insights into the competitive hospitality industry.
What are some of the challenges currently facing the hospitality industry?
One of the largest challenges that luxury hoteliers are facing is balancing the need for both high technology and high touch service. Guests desire instant gratification as they experience more technology in their own lives, however there is still a need for human interaction, especially in the luxury space. We need to find a way to marry both ‘high-tech’ and ‘high-touch’ as personal connection is equally as important to the travel experience. Providing our guests with the time that they see as most beneficial to their lives, whether it is family, work, play or self-discovery, remains my top priority. Time is a most precious commodity and it is important to create genuine, memorable and tangible experiences that sometimes technology can’t deliver.
What are your main responsibilities?
As the General Manager of Lotte New York Palace, the largest luxury hotel in New York City, I lead and inspire a group of diverse individuals who provide genuine and memorable experiences for our guests. In my role I offer my team stability and clarity by recognizing their talents and allowing them to exceed expectations of owners, team members and guests alike. I am responsible for driving financial momentum while delivering high quality service and product, and building connection with our guests. Strong leadership is not defined by gender. It is defined by the ability to create paths towards achieving goals in a world where everything is a top priority. Therefore it is extremely important to support yourself with trusted advisors and positive motivation.
What is the most gratifying part of your position?
The most gratifying part of my position is inspiring future generations of hoteliers and providing them with tools and education. I find it most rewarding to foster the success of people in both professional and personal settings. It brings me joy to show people their own potential and assist in making their dreams a reality. Similarly, creating a space and environment where guests return to enjoy their families, colleagues and loved ones is incredibly fulfilling.
What’s the secret behind the hotel’s venerable reputation?
We are extremely focused on the details of a guest’s journey, layering significant moments throughout every interaction. Our team thrives on personal connection when delivering guest service. Our hotel’s location and grandeur lends itself to an array of experiences, whether you are in New York City to participate in all it has to offer, or retreat to the serenity within our iconic spaces. At The Palace, you feel like you are part of something greater, whether it is our storied history or vibrancy of our great city and its people.
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