Name: Dan Donahue
Company, City: Saunders Hotel Group; Boston, Mass.
Number of employees: 425
Recent project: Acquiring the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro
First job: I was a cashier, dishwasher and soda jerk (for millennials, Google it).
Little-known fact about you: I went to the seminary and almost became a priest.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? We’ll continue to see more innovation in how people gain access to their guestrooms. The idea of seamlessly entering your room using your device is a powerful change in our industry. No matter the advances of technology, the personal touch is paramount to the guest experience in all our hotels.
Best career advice you’ve received: I’ve never sold a cheeseburger while sitting at my desk. Being in and around the operations is pivotal to a successful hotel.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Be passionate about taking care of people; it’s the single biggest factor to sustaining your success.
Dan Donahue as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: One of my fondest childhood memories was a family vacation — hopping into the family station wagon (I can’t remember which of my 11 siblings were there, but rest assured it was packed!) and spending the night at a Howard Johnson’s, swimming in the pool and eating my mom’s famous meatloaf sandwiches.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Always book directly with the hotel, as it gives you more latitude.
Best advice for business travelers: Don’t be hesitant to look outside the box; for example, look to programs like STASH Rewards, a collaborative frequent-stay program among independent hotels offering almost the same advantages as other programs.
About Saunders Hotel Group
Tell our readers about The Lenox Hotel. We are a family-owned, fiercely independent boutique property on a bustling corner of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. We are passionate about our people and community; spend any amount of time with us and that focus will surely resonate with you. A local beekeeper with hives on our roof supplies the honey our chef uses in his carefully crafted menu, just one example of how we do hospitality. We take pride in the city we represent and the people in and around the hotel.
Share some of the hotel’s history. Built in 1900 by hotelier and impresario Lucius Boomer (best known as the owner of New York’s Waldorf Astoria), The Lenox soon held a prominent and cherished role in Boston’s society. Hospitality is in the bones of the building, but it’s really about our people. Even more importantly, just talking to the bellmen in the lobby or a housekeeper on the floor, you’ll get a real sense of our rich history.
What can premium travelers expect from a stay at The Lenox? People expect certain things, so we provide an experience they want to replicate. Loyalty is everything. While we realize we charge a premium for your stay with us, once you are here you will want for nothing. You may not remember exactly what you did, but you will remember the feeling you had while you were here.
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