Our conversation with Rebecca Hubbard covers a range of topics including valuable lessons learned throughout their career such as the importance of relationships, continuous learning, and purposeful conviction. She shares her approach to overcoming challenges faced during a $140M hotel renovation and her commitment to providing exceptional service for guests. We also explore Becky’s involvement with important industry organizations and their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, can you share some of the most valuable lessons you have learned throughout your career?
I have always valued continuous learning and prioritized creating relationships with coworkers and colleagues. I believe that my strong understanding of the power in relationships is what has allowed me to excel throughout my career. Integrity is vital and I’ve learned that there must be purpose and conviction behind everything you do, especially in a world where everything is a top priority.
You oversaw a $140M hotel renovation of guestrooms, public and meeting space as well as re-concepting the food and beverage venues. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
Lotte New York Palace is composed of a modern skyscraper and a historic landmark mansion, originally built in 1882. Blending the two can be considered an obstacle, but we took this an opportunity to celebrate our historic past. We found ways to better utilize our historic spaces and weave our unique story into the fabric and culture of the hotel.
As the General Manager of a luxury hotel, how do you ensure that every guest feels welcomed, valued and receives the exceptional quality and impeccable service that Lotte New York Palace is known for?
The guest always come first. This is what luxury travel is all about – providing a special, unique and customized experience that meets the needs of each and every traveler. I encourage our team to embrace the spirit of hospitality in its purest form and deliver far beyond what our customers have paid for.
Can you tell us more about your involvement with the Hotel Association of New York City and NYC & Company, and how it has impacted the hotel and tourism industry in New York City?
I currently sit on the Executive Board of Directors for The Hotel Association of New York City, the Executive Board of Directors for NYC & Company and I am the Chair of the Finance Committee for NYC & Company. These are both important organizations that give a voice to the hotel industry. NYC & Company has also maximized travel and tourism opportunities for NYC, working to attract new visitors year after year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the hospitality industry. What steps have you taken to ensure the safety of your guests and staff, and how have you adapted to the changing circumstances?
It has been our top priority to ensure that each and every guest feels both safe and comfortable. We have collaborated with Dr. Robert Amler, a leader in public health and field expert who has been widely sought after for his expertise. He has helped us navigate through the height of the pandemic and now return to normal operations in a safe and thoughtful way.
How do you balance the needs of your guests with the needs of your team and the hotel’s financial goals?
Moving out of the pandemic we’ve had to balance the financial needs of our business while still providing exceptional quality and value to our guests. We’ve achieved success in both areas by encouraging our teams to step outside traditional ways of thinking and remaining flexible in the evolution of our industry.
As a mother of two and a successful General Manager, how do you balance your personal and professional responsibilities, and what advice do you have for other working mothers in leadership positions?
I have made it a priority to find balance between my role as General Manager and make time as a mother. I cherish the time that I spend with my two daughters. I am fortunate to have an incredible, supportive family which has allowed me to excel professionally. My advice to other working mothers is to surround yourself with people that lift you up, and also be kind to yourself.