This month’s Meet the GM feature introduces you to Aaron Smith, General Manager at Sonesta ES Suites Wilmington-Newark. Read on to learn about his experiences leading the hotel, his background, family life and more.

Aaron Smith and family

Q: What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel?
A. I enjoy motivating my staff and watching them grow and I take pride and pleasure in ensuring our guests have a great experience.

Q: Since joining Sonesta – what opportunity have you enjoyed the most?
A. Since joining Sonesta, the opportunity that I have enjoyed most was renovating the entire property and seeing the process through from start to finish.

Q: In your opinion, what has been your hotel’s most successful Everyday Surprise?
A. Our most successful Everyday Surprise was our staff and family Easter breakfast and egg hunt. We received positive feedback and it truly bonded us as a team.

Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be?
A. I would be a general contractor for residential real estate.

Q: What do you enjoy most about living in greater Newark?
A. I love that we experience all four seasons. I love the close proximity to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Plus, our state doesn’t have sales tax!

Q: Name your favorite place to visit — any destination in the world.
A. I love the Caribbean for its hot sunny weather and beautiful beaches as well as its delectable food. However, I frequent Williamsburg, Virginia mostly because it has become a family tradition to go every 4th of July to participate in the reenactment of Independence Day, as well as visit the amusement parks. My family and I feel like we are roller coaster connoisseurs, everyone rides and we have a fantastic time!

Q: Name three items you absolutely do not travel without. 
A: Laptop, wife and coffee creamer. (Not necessarily in that order!)

Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?
I used to own a video game store, where I would host and play in Madden tournaments.