10-year GM of Hyatt Trinidad talks past, present and future of hotel

Hyatt  Regency Trinidad GM,  Russell George gives a few words on his experience opening the hotel and growing with it

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – 2018 marked the 10-year anniversary for Hyatt Regency Trinidad since it opened its doors in January 2008.

More than 100 staff members are still with the hotel since its opening including General Manager, Russell George. A Hyatt veteran of more than 30 years, Mr. George’s loyalty to the company is proven by his continued leadership at Hyatt Trinidad.

Having guided the hotel through its many changes and accomplishments, Mr. George shares his insight on what he’s learned and what he anticipates for the hotel’s future.

Q: How did opening Hyatt Trinidad 10 years ago shape you in your professional career?

Russell George, 10-year GM of Hyatt Trinidad talks past, present and future of hotel

Russell George

A: From growing up both in New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands to joining Hyatt early in my career, I felt that this could be indeed exactly the ‘dream job’ for me.

When I first arrived in Port of Spain in 2007, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad was a dream unfulfilled—the building was taking shape—however that’s about all that was visible and solid about the hotel. 

As pre-opening GM, I had as one of my tasks to shape the hotel’s personality—hiring the right people, understanding the importance of the Trinidad & Tobago culture, breathing life into every inch of the hotel.

Being able to open the hotel, go through the many challenges and to now look back on those 10 years is extremely humbling. I am not the same person that I was on January 29, 2008 – I have been inspired by the dedication of the entire Hyatt Regency Trinidad team and I know that through all the hard work, we all have enjoyed lots of liming and fun.  I cannot imagine a better way to go through life.

Q: The hotel industry goes through changes almost every year. What do you do to adapt to this change?    

A: Hospitality is about adapting and engaging with the customer and turning feedback into an improved guest experience. It is about knowing who your customer is and learning to anticipate their needs. Each department receives this feedback and adjusts accordingly to prepare for future requests and expectations. It is our job to create an enhanced experience.

As a Caribbean hotel which is known for our attention to business, groups and events, we pay particular attention to innovation and technology advances as that’s often the key to a successful meeting. We are fortunate in that Trinidad & Tobago has a strong technology infrastructure.

Q: What direction do you see the Hyatt Trinidad and general tourism in Trinidad going in the next 10 years?

A: Trinidad is an interesting place when it comes to tourism. Being a financial and business center of the Caribbean, many of our guests come for conferences, meetings, and conventions. At the same time, we have one of the Caribbean’s most popular Carnivals where visitors travel from all over the world and stay here for leisure and entertainment.

I have seen the increase in both kinds of visitors, but with experiential travel on the rise, Trinidad is positioned to be a top travel destination for those wanting a cultural experience rather than just a beach getaway.

The future is bright for the hotel as we continue to focus on the needs of today’s traveler and be the home for your next visit to Trinidad.

Click here for more information on Hyatt Regency Trinidad

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