Name: George Fleck
Title: Vice president and global brand leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
Company, city: Marriott International; New York City
First job: Bellman at Marina del Rey Marriott
Where to next: Mallorca, where we are renovating The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort
A LITTLE BIT MORE
What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life?
If only I could be lucky enough to have Keanu Reeves play me! He has timeless appeal and is complex but also down-to-earth.
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry?
An airline pilot — I love aviation. Airplanes always fascinated me, and as a kid I thought pilots had the coolest jobs.
What is your favorite book, movie or television show?
The Talented Mr. Ripley. I loved the portrayal of the glamorous 1950s Italian and New York City lifestyles. The story is amazing, and it always makes me think of what it would be like to have visited our St. Regis hotels in Italy during that era.
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with?
I’d say Truman Capote, as I’d love to learn more about the stories he wrote and the fascinating people he surrounded himself with. We would have to end the evening with a nightcap at King Cole Bar in The St. Regis New York.
What is your most recent project, and what was the inspiration behind it?
During the pandemic, we paused experiential events. In December 2021 we got back to it with the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championships at The St. Regis Aspen. It made us optimistic for the future and excited to have people gather and celebrate together again with St. Regis. We are also gearing up to open our milestone 50th St. Regis property, with incredible growth specifically in our resort portfolio. We’ve signed on for The St. Regis London, in the heart of Mayfair, and we are focused on the openings of properties in Chicago and Kanai, Mexico.
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
I’ve been in hospitality for more than 25 years, and my favorite aspect has always been the people. I’ve lived across the globe and have maintained friendships with people around the world. It’s all changed my perspectives. I love communicating with the global St. Regis community and prefer to think of myself as a brand steward as opposed to a brand leader.
What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?
Staying in the travel industry post-pandemic — but travel is in my DNA; it will always be my first love.
Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry?
Arne Sorenson was such a visionary! I miss him and think of him often. And, of course, John Jacob Astor IV, the founder of St. Regis.
AS A TRAVELER
Tell us about a travel nightmare: This is more a snafu as opposed to a nightmare, as the staff handled the situation graciously. My All Nippon Airways flight diverted to Newark (EWR) instead of New York (JFK). However, ANA did not have crews at EWR, so we had to wait it out and then fly the extremely short flight to JFK. All the while, I was thinking about how my apartment at the time was actually closer to Newark!
Share a comical travel experience: I love gummy bears — especially Haribo. Every time I check into a St. Regis, gummy bears appear.
What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? I’m an airline aficionado stuck in a hotelier’s body, so my answer is definitely planes. Flying can be really beautiful.
What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? It’s when someone recognizes you and remembers you beyond information logged in a system. There is genuine care and discretion. The butler team at The St. Regis Punta Mita remembers how I like my coffee, and the service feels natural. At The St. Regis Cairo, the hotel organized a tour of the Forever Is Now art installation for me with a professor and Egyptologist — it was the most insightful tour I’ve taken. It’s about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.
Copa Airlines is celebrating its 75th anniversary by showcasing a Boeing 737-800 NG in an aircraft livery that harkened back to the airline’s look in the 1990s. During that time, Copa Airlines launched an expansion of their network to become the Hub of the Americas®, changing the way to travel to and connect in our Continent.
Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.