Our next installment of our Meet the GM column features the General Manager of Sonesta ES Suites New Orleans, Ali Hollifield! You can get to know Ali a little in our Q&A below – some of her answers just may surprise you!
Q: What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel?
A: I love the fact that I get to work within a multi-cultural environment. Not just guests, but the staff as well. They come from all corners of the world and they bring their languages, cultural backgrounds and ideas on how to efficiently work within the hotel industry. To have the opportunity to provide leadership and create a unified approach to make the hotel successful and provide guest not just a room but an experience, leaves me feeling fulfilled at the end of the day.
Q: Since joining Sonesta – what opportunity have you enjoyed or do you look forward to most?
A:I am anxiously awaiting the grand opening of our hotel. The opportunity to see all of our hard work over these last couple of months has me on my toes and cannot wait to see it pay off.
Q: In your opinion, what has been your hotel’s most successful Everyday Surprise?
A: During our soft opening on December 31,2019, we incorporated a New Orleans tradition as an Everyday Surprise. We served king cake slices to the guests in celebration of the New Year and also to the new beginning of the Sonesta ES New Orleans.
Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be?
A: A translator for a government agency.
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in New Orleans?
A:The culture, the people, and the resiliency of this city makes everyone feel like family. Every building has a story, the food is cooked with love and lots of seasoning. The fact that we come together to rebuild after a disaster or run outside banging pots and pans to celebrate our Saints winning a game, proves how strong the feeling of family is here.
Q: Name your favorite place to visit — any destination in the world.
A: I have had the opportunity to see many beautiful places, but the one that stands out the most is the beautiful turquoise waters in Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos. There is something so tranquil about how the waves hit the white sands. It just takes away any worries and reminds you of the beauty this world has to offer.
Q: Name three items you absolutely do not travel without.
A:My IPAD for binge watching on the plane, passport and red lipstick.
Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?
A: My parents decided after my 8th grade graduation, that I would move from the US to Central America with my grandmother and sister to attend high school. They felt it would open my way of thinking and open my eyes to see that the world was bigger than just what was in front of me. It is something I am grateful for to this day.
Don’t forget to say a friendly “hello” to General Manager, Ali Hollifield, the next time you stay at Sonesta ES Suites New Orleans!