Susie Nowakowski, General Manager of Sonesta ES Suites Auburn Hills has proudly led her team – and her hotel – to success. Recently, Sonesta ES Suites Auburn Hills was awarded Sonesta’s coveted Hotel of the Year award for 2016 – but their achievements don’t end there. Susie’s property was also recognized in the top three nominations for numerous other categories, including Financial Performance, Sales & Revenue Performance, Guest Experience, and Blue Balloon.
With all of this hotel’s glowing accomplishments, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get to know a little bit about the woman who had led this team to success, General Manager Susie Nowakowski.
Q: What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel?
A: I have always had a passion for Extended Stay hotels. We really get to know guests. Our guests are usually repeat or long term. We get to know and learn about them, their work life and family. I still have a guest from 10 years ago that sends me a Christmas card every year, that’s what make our brand so special.
Q: During your time with Sonesta – what role have you enjoyed most?
A: It’s hard to pick just one…..I have all enjoyed the opportunities and roles that Sonesta has given me. As a GM, we manage our own renovations, have the ability to assist in new conversions, task force, become a training hotel and an area manager. It’s always changing, which keeps things interesting.
Q: What has been your most successful everyday surprise?
A: This year for Groundhogs day we did “dirt cake” cups with groundhogs made from vanilla wafers. It was by far the most fun and guest loved it!
Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be?
A: That’s easy…..a food critic/food blogger….not because I like to blog or can cook, because I can’t, I just love food!
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the local area?
A: I don’t!!! I commute an hour every day to work! But if I did…The area surrounding the hotel is made up of serval small downtown areas that have lots of shopping, restaurants and entertainment. We have 4 downtown areas to choose from, so there is always something for our guests to do.
Q: Name your favorite place to visit— any destination in the world.
A: I love to travel and try never to visit the same destination twice. If I had to go back to one place, if would be Rio, Brazil. I had the most amazing time taking in all the sights and spending time with family. I would love to go back.
Q: Name three things you absolutely do not travel without.
A: Just three? I pack a lot stuff!
Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?
A: I’m actually pretty crafty and addicted to Pinterest. I make a lot of stuff at home such as wreaths, repurposing wine bottles and jars. That’s why I love the everyday surprises, it’s a great creative outlet for me.
The next time you find yourself enjoying the sights and activities that the Detrios/Auburn Hills area has to offer, be sure to take a break from the excitement to say “hello” to General Manager, Susie Nowakowski!