I have known Thomas since his Four Seasons at Park Lane days and so had to meet his to congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment.
I was so glad I did. Thomas will be a '7 teddy' GM and has created a service culture at Four Seasons New York Downtown that exemplifies the essence of why Four Seasons is such a special brand. Our meeting further evidenced he will be one of the Four Seasons' legendary GMs.
My meeting with the MD & COO of Baccarat Hotel New York, and terrible New York traffic, meant I was almost 30 minutes late. However, Thomas was still waiting for me in the lobby with a colleague from Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. I stayed there before it was open to the public and Thomas was aware it has a special place in my heart. The best Four Seasons GMs know how to make you feel special and comfortable in an instant.
A Perfect Very Grey Wolfgang Puck Grey Goose Martini
It was not yet noon and so I reluctant to have a martini. However, Thomas reassured me and it turned out to be a perfect very dry Grey Goose one.
We were soon sitting at my 'usual' table in the bar at CUT by Wolfgang Puck chatting like old friends. He explained his tieless approach had been adopted across this hotel to give a younger and more contemporary feel. I replied that it had taken some time to get my ex-Bank of England head around managers at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay wearing tropical shirts but added I had grown to love the relaxed vibe it encouraged.
Talked then turned to my plans for the rest of 2018. I explained that, after 18 months working in Cayman Islands, I intend to spend quality time with my awe-inspiring parents in Shropshire before heading back to the Far East, including a wedding in Thailand, and then returning to South America for the latter part of the year.
Once Thomas left I spent time messaging Mr Sharp about what a great choice Thomas had been and got a message from Lynn, the GM at Four Seasons at Park Lane, saying we must have a chat over a martini when I am in London next week. I left the bar on a complete high.
A Swim to Clear My Mind
Next I had an interesting chat with the reception staff in the hotel spa. It was a luxury to be able to use the 75 foot lap pool again on a hot & busy day in New York, but talking to the spa staff (who now feel like longtime friends), & the lifeguard I know from my last two visits, made a perfect day even better.
After my swim I tried to walk back to Manhattan but a heat wave, and the distance, defeated me.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻(7 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - Thomas is a '7 teddy' GM and his staff reflect that. My tips:- engage with Thomas and do not forget to talk to the spa staff & lifeguard. All this will make your experience even better.
That Evening Gramercy Tavern Was A Disappointment
Our waiter in Gramercy Tavern that evening was quirky & funny but could not save an evening where the noise levels were too high, the bar overcrowded while we waited for our table, the food uninteresting and the bill too high. A place that seems to be relying on its past reputation.
I had agreed with the Social Media staff at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong that I would avoid writing about 'non-luxury' experiences but friends I trust had highly recommended Gramercy Tavern and so I feel obliged to make people aware of my guest and my views.