FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Maria Zec, General Manager, The Peninsula Chicago

Oct 1, 2016



Name: Maria Zec
Title: General manager
Company, city: The Peninsula Chicago; Chicago, Ill.
Number of employees: Fewer than 600
Recent project: Completing our renovation, which began in 2015 and ended April 8, 2016
First job: At 13 years old, I washed dishes for $1.25 an hour at a local restaurant.
Little-known fact about you: I’m very shy.

Your Business

Essential business philosophy: Take care of your guests and employees. Working for The Peninsula Hotels, I’m focused on quality and a high level of service. The majority of our employees have been with the hotel for five or more years.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Evolve and don’t stay stagnant.

Yardstick of success: It’s a balance of three things: happy guests, happy employees and financial profit.

Maria Zec as a Traveler

What is the most important item you take when traveling? An oversized pashmina

How do you spend your time on board? It depends on the length of the flight. On shorter flights, I work. On long flights, I work but also sleep and read.

What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Shanghai Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago

What is your favorite destination in the world? The Maldives; you can really shut down and recharge.

About The Peninsula Chicago

What can premium travelers expect from a stay at The Peninsula Chicago? Guests can expect a spacious, comfortable guestroom with a thoughtful design and high-quality furnishings. Service is anticipatory, genuine, warm and caring with an attention to detail. The technology enhancements are intuitive and easy to operate. In addition to tablet technology in the guestroom, the hotel offers VOIP complimentary long-distance calls. And, of course, an extremely comfortable bed.

Tell our readers more about the hotel’s recent $37 million renovation. Our guestrooms are vastly different. Currently, 330 of the 339 guestrooms are completed. The décor incorporates an art wall that features one of the four noble flowers of Asia, a homage to our roots. The renovation coincided with our 15th anniversary, celebrated in 2016. We upgraded technology across the board. Our in-room touch-screen tablets control many aspects of the guest experience, available in 11 different languages.

What unique experiences can guests partake in as part of the Keys to the City program? In celebration of our anniversary year, we offered 15 Keys to the City, including exclusive experiences like a tour of the kitchen and back of the house as well as plating a dish alongside the chef at Chicago’s 3-Michelin-starred Grace. Navy Pier is celebrating its 100th anniversary; our Keys offer for Navy Pier includes front-of-the-line access and an exclusive all glass-enclosed gondola. The program was extremely popular, and we are evaluating continuing the program into 2017.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
February 2024
Feb 29, 2024

When in Rome: Get a True Taste of the City on One-of-a-Kind Tours with Local Experts

Looking for a city tour that goes beyond the basics? In Rome, local experts in everything from architecture to food and photography take guests on deep dives into their city, where they share not just their expertise but their passion.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Feb 29, 2024

Vienna’s 1950s-Era Wien Museum Reopens After 4 Years of Redesign, Expansion

After an almost four-year redesign and expansion, Vienna’s popular Wien Museum Karlsplatz reopened its doors to visitors in late 2023. The original 1950s-era building, designed by noted Austrian architect Oswald Haerdtl, now has a new exterior and two additional floors.

Feb 29, 2024

Experience the New Blue Zone Series at Costa Rica’s Hacienda AltaGracia

At Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, guests can uncover the secrets to a longer, happier and healthier life in the heart of Costa Rica with its new Blue Zone Immersion series. The three-month series runs from May 9 to July 31 and invites guests to explore individual pillars of the Blue Zone philosophy through workshops, local visiting masters and immersive programs. With each month comes a different theme, letting travelers pick which experience works best for them.


There’s more to travel than just getting there.

Feb 29, 2024

Raffles and Fairmont Debut New Guest Experiences in Doha

New offerings are available from Raffles Doha and Fairmont Doha, both housed in the Katara Towers, which redefined the city’s skyline.

eFlyer News
Feb 28, 2024

Canadian Airline Lynx Air Officially Shuts Down

Launching less than two years ago, Canada’s low-cost airline Lynx Air ceased operations Feb. 26. The Calgary-based airline continued to operate flights until this past Monday.

Briggs & Riley: Elevate Your Journey with Quality Luggage

Embracing a life well lived often means embracing a life well-traveled. Every journey becomes a canvas for experiences that shape our lives and at the heart of every adventure lies the indispensable companion: quality luggage.

eFlyer Deals
Feb 28, 2024

The Ultimate Mid-Weekend Getaway Offer at Hotel San Luis Obispo

Treat yourself to the ultimate mid-week getaway at Hotel San Luis Obispo. The hotel’s Mid Weekend special blends luxury with adventure and great savings. Book the hotel’s two-night, mid-weekend offer and enjoy an exclusive 20 percent discount on guestrooms and suites.