Anne-Juliette Maurice is Hotel Plaza Athénée New York's General Manager. With more than 20 years of experience in hotel management, Anne-Juliette Maurice’s prior roles include the position of Director of Sales and Marketing at the Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. As such, she oversaw the rebranding of the Setai Fifth Avenue to Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. Anne-Juliette also held the position of Regional Director of Marketing, Miami and Regional Director of Marketing, Northeast, for Morgans Hotel Group, to include opening and launching Mondrian South Beach and Mondrian Soho. Prior to then, she was Director of Sales & Marketing at Swissotel The Drake, New York and Director of Sales at Le Parker Meridien New York. Anne-Juliette also worked for the Essex House under Nikko and Westin and was a member of the opening team of Euro Disney in Marne la Vallée, France.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I was not originally planning to build a career in hospitality, I fell into it. I was planning to pursue a path in international law and decided to gain work experience after I graduated college. I was undecided where to begin and a close family friend suggested I consider hospitality. I followed this advice and never looked back.
Tell us about Hotel Plaza Athénée in NYC. What inspired the hotel's creation and what is your current vision for the hotel?
The building was built in 1927 and opened its doors as the Hotel Alrae. Residents included the likes of Ms. Bette Davis along with other celebrities and high profile guests. Sir Rocco Forte acquired the Hotel Plaza Athénée in 1984 and then sold it to our current owners, TCC Capital Land in 1997.
The 142 room Hotel Plaza Athénée New York is a rare gem nestled on the most elegant, tree-lined Upper East Side residential street. Located between Park and Madison Avenues, the Hotel, it's steps away from the City’s elite shopping streets and of course, Central Park. Among the Hotel’s beautiful accommodations, guests can enjoy one of a kind suites, to include duplexes, with solariums and balconies overlooking the Manhattan skyline. These suites are ideal for anyone looking for an escape, a family retreat or an ideal environment for business. Bar Seine provides the perfect setting for afternoon tea, or a get together with personal or business partners. Arabelle restaurant offers an array of culinary offerings from local farmers and vendors for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lastly, our Valmont Spa, with its private treatment suites offers extraordinary Swiss tailor-made treatments unlike any other Spa in the City.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Hotel Plaza Athenee's success?
We are in the midst of re-designing our website to ensure we provide all the information necessary to respond to any inquiry. Our goal is to facilitate the booking process to anyone seeking to secure accommodations or services at the Hotel Plaza Athénée We are also implementing system upgrades to improve our ability to promote and sell our 25 suites.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
We are noticing an increase in family and multigenerational travel. Our selection of 25 suites offer connecting accommodations, which are ideal for families. We have re-visited our room configurations and pricing to ensure we are able to capture this growing market.
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Hotel Plaza Athenee's Motto?
Our mission at the Hotel Plaza Athénée is to welcome our sophisticated travelers to their home away from home, a boutique hotel that combines luxury and elegance with attentive and personalized services.
Your greatest success as GM of Hotel Plaza Athénée? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
My greatest success since my arrival in April 2014, has been putting in place a great leadership team, which is aligned, committed and focused. One of the most difficult moments has been working around on-going enhancements of the building, while maintaining an intact operation. Teamwork, strategy and patience have been critical.
Your advice to an aspiring hotelier?
It is important to understand the true meaning of hospitality and what it takes to be hospitable. I believe many lose sight of the meaning. Hospitality has become more and more challenging as competition in major cities, such as New York, increases rapidly. This field is for individuals who are passionate and have a strong desire to make an impact within their organization. Communication and listening skills are key components to succeed.
Describe the ideal experience at Hotel Plaza Athénée.
A gracious welcome by our Front Services Team followed by an expedited check-in, an escort to one of our two duplex Penthouses overlooking Manhattan, afternoon tea and/or champagne sampling in Bar Seine, indulging in one of Spa Valmont's signature treatments in one of our four Spa suites, followed by an exquisite dinner in Arabelle.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Oeufs a la neige (Floating Island dessert) and a good red wine.
What literature is on your bed stand?
Citations de Alphonse de Lamartine; the latest issue of Travel & Leisure; Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.
Role model - business and personal?
Business: Christine Lagarde – with odds against her at the time of her success, through perseverance and relentless hard work, Ms. Lagarde became the first female Chairman of the law firm Bakes & McKenzie. Additionally, Ms. Lagarde became Managing Director of the IMF and has been ranked as the fifth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2014.
Personal: My Mother – who has been instrumental in providing me with a balanced life, tremendous guidance throughout my years and who has been exemplary in setting standards in regards to ethics, discipline and giving back.
Travel. There is no better life experience than travel. Discovering new cultures, sceneries, foods and languages is my passion.
Favorite travel destination?
What's next for Hotel Plaza Athénée?
Our goal is to continuously enhance the guest experience. We are planning very exciting projects to commence in the imminent future. Stay tuned