Since he was 7 years old, Pete Ells knew he belonged in the hotel business, having always loved the unique experience that can only come from staying at a hotel. Now as an adult, Pete makes his living by providing that same, heartwarming experience for business and leisure travelers alike as the General Manager of Royal Sonesta Houston.
Pete’s career in hospitality began in high school, when he took a position as a bellman. After earning his degree in hotel and restaurant management, Pete hit the ground running, working for Marriott Hotels. Since then he has worked in cities all over the country, including Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Newport. Now, Pete couldn’t be happier that he gets to spend his time in Houston, “We have great sports teams, arts and culture, festivals, and the rodeo,” he said. “I’ve never seen a town with more fairs and festivals and things going on every week, so it’s a lot of fun living here.”
And it’s true – Houston has a lot to offer. In fact, just recently, Royal Sonesta Houston hosted Villanova University for the Final Four. For this honor, Pete and his team put together a proposal, blocking off large numbers of guest rooms and preparing the hotel to host the team and their fans. “We’d prepared for 1,000 people for the night of the final but we’d built it so we could react quickly to about 3,000” Pete said.
Even with about 3,200 people on property at a single time, Pete and his team went the entirety of Villanova’s stay without any incidents. “The Houston Police Department was terrific; they had plenty of officers here throughout the weekend and were great to work with,” he said.
It has been just over a year since Pete took Royal Sonesta Houston’s General Manager position – and what an eventful year it has been. Not only does Pete oversee 280 employees and the day-to-day operations at the 485-room hotel, he works tirelessly every day to ensure that his guests – and his staff – are always happy. In fact, Pete begins every day by walking the property so he can greet his guests and employees. When asked about what he likes most about working within a hotel, Pete said, “No two days are the same and I have the ability to work with so many different people from all cultures and walks of life. I really enjoy the interaction with the associates and guests.”
So what exactly is it about Pete’s hotel that is so “Royal”? “I work with some of the greatest hospitality associates in Houston,” Pete said. “The genuine and caring staff make you feel like royalty while you are here.
The next time you find yourself enjoying a stay at the luxurious Royal Sonesta Houston, make sure you say a quick “hello” to Pete Ells. When you do, you’ll surely see why guests from all over the world rave about their experience at Royal Sonesta Houston.