Since 2014, Daniel Ben-Yehuda is the General Manager of the Sheraton Hotel Bucharest. He first came to Romania in 2005, to take over the management of Best Western Parc and later on to coordinate the hotel’s transformation in Ramada Parc.
We invited Daniel Ben-Yehuda to a discussion about his career, the evolution of the hospitality industry and his view on sustainable luxury.
Please tell us a few words about your career in the hospitality industry. When did you join the Sheraton Bucharest Hotel?
Daniel Ben-Yehuda: I have been working for Sheraton since 2000. I started in a big resort in Elad – Israel – as Resident Manager, having this position for 3 years. Between 2003 and 2005 I have managed Sheraton Hotel in French Polinesia and, starting with 2005, I moved to Bucharest, where I have been managing 2 hotels of 4, respectively 3 Star in the north part of the city. Since 2014 I am the General Manager of Sheraton Bucharest Hotel. I took over the hotel’s management when Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide entered the local market, through a franchise contract with Grand Plaza Hotel. It was then when the hotel started the transformation process. After almost one year and an investment of over 6 million Euro, the renovation project was ready and the first local Sheraton Hotel was launched.
What are the main features that set your hotel apart from the competition?
D.B-Y.: At Sheraton, our guests can explore the genuine comfort and the higher level of services of our 270 luxurious rooms & suites, including a Presidential Suite and 27 smart executive suites, all equipped with our signature Sheraton Sleep Experience® Bed, 42 inch flat screen TV and in-room entertainment, relaxing window corners, from where you can admire a spectacular city view and amazing sunsets on clear sky days.
Everything they need for an effortless stay awaits at the Sheraton Club and within the elegant restaurants, Avalon and Benihana Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, which combine the best ingredients with the latest cooking techniques, to deliver amazing taste sensations.
We know how important it is to escape from routine and relax, so we recently launched the Skyview Pool and SPA, a true oasis with a beautiful panorama both over the city and the blue sky. The pool is provided with a special system that allows you to swim against the current of air or water, three hydro massage areas and also two fountains for cervical massage. All these in a heated water pool, at the perfect temperature. For a complete pampering session, we have also prepared a variety of wellness & SPA treatments.
The attention to details is part of our philosophy of making a closer connection to our guests needs and interests.
What are your previsions for the hotel industry in the following years?
D.B-Y.: Romania went into a deep economic crisis between 2008 & 2013 and since then, the hotel industry is trying to go back to where it was before. We foresee a positive evolution for the following period and a natural growth of hotel industry.
Nowadays, sustainability is in high demand, particularly amongst millennials. Will luxury hotels go green in the future?
D.B-Y.: Sustainability is a big demand also in the hotel industry. Sheraton Bucharest Hotel is committed to driving sustainability into the operations while exceeding its guests’ expectations. We are following the trend and we have been implementing various sustainable politics: Make a Green Choice program (Make a Green Choice (MAGC) is our guest-facing sustainability and loyalty program in which our guests can choose to help reduce the environmental footprint. Any guest at a participating SPG hotel can Make a Green Choice by forgoing full housekeeping for up to three days in a row (excluding their check-out day). For each night a guest opts into MAGC, they receive 250-500 Starpoints or a $5/5€ Food & Beverage voucher, while helping to reduce the use of water, energy and chemicals; we are recycling and avoiding plastic in the hotel (using paper cups & glass as much as possible).
In the near future, the luxury hotels will try to lead this trend.
Describe the Sheraton experience in three words: SERVICE. COMFORT. PAMPERING
Favorite spot inside the hotel: Actually, I have 2: Benihana Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar and Skyview POOL
Favorite place to travel in Romania: 2 again: Prahova Valley & Danube Delta
Favorite Romanian dish: Sarmale ?