Marco Cilia: General Manager of Hotel Americano

My NativeAdVice:

How did you get into the hospitality industry?

I actually studied finance and started a banking career, but then a great offer to come into hospitality at a high level came about so I decided to try that for a while. 15 years have gone by and I’m still here…

Tell us about Hotel Americano. What is your vision for the hotel?

The idea was to bring a sophisticated, cultured, creative clientele, into a smart environment. We wanted to make the experience friendly but sophisticated and sexy but gritty. Not an easy task but I think we did well.

What strategic partnerships have you implemented that have attributed to Hotel Americano's success?

I think we have done some amazing art projects: Tobias Rehberger’s Bar Oppenheimer with Pilar Corrias gallery, Mike Bouchet’s exhibition, filling our pool with diet Coke produced by Marlborough Gallery, Jose Leon Cerrillo’s piece in partnership with Galeria Monclova. Those were all great.

We also just partnered with Italia Independent on a limited edition line of Hotel Americano sunglasses, and we are working on a new art collaboration to launch in May.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

I’m not really big on trends I have to say. I think the key is about being consistent, true to our concept and the experience we want to provide. If we continue bringing a sophisticated, unique and fun experience, our clientele will follow. Trends come and go, we are here for the long haul.

What is your life motto?

Fino alla fine. It’s an Italian saying which means until the end. Whatever you start, do it until you are finished and most importantly, do it with purpose.

What has been your greatest success as General Manager of Hotel Americano?

I think establishing the hotel in the NYC market. Boutique hotels open in New York every other day, and most of them we don’t even know exist. I believe we have made our mark.

Describe the ideal experience at Hotel Americano.

A smooth early check in, a quick dip in our rooftop pool, a nice stroll through the galleries of west Chelsea, and a walk back on the highline in the early summer evening; a nice dinner at our ground floor restaurant the Americano, followed by panoramic drinks at our rooftop.

How important are architecture and design to the success of your hotel?

Absolutely key. If you want to attract a clientele who is sophisticated, cultured and appreciative of architecture and design, you cannot start anywhere else. It’s about quality of architecture and design, not trends.

How do you motivate your employees?

Working with them side by side, leading by example and having the right word at the right time. Either way, it always comes down to communication.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Wow, tough! My mother’s Veal Milanese and a nice single malt whisky.

What literature is on your bed stand?

Honestly? None.. Once I get to bed, I’ll read the news on my Ipad then watch some TV.

Who is your role model - business and personal?

I’m lucky to have worked with some great visionaries such as Anouska Hempel in London, she an amazing eye for design and great taste. Here in NYC, working for Grupo Habita with Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha; their understanding of architecture and design and how to link it and adapt it to a particular neighborhood or community is truly special. Also, my father for his business savviness. I don’t think I have a specific role model, I just like to capture qualities from different inspiring people.

What is your current passion?

I have many - traveling, architecture, design, fashion, cigars, whiskies and of course, good food!

What is your favorite travel destination?

For me travel means vacation, being able to relax, and being on the beach. Maldives is right at the top. No doubt.

What's next for Hotel Americano?

For NYC, we will continue improving the experience and the content for our clientele. For the brand, open new locations in the USA - we are working on it!

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