Meet the Makers Series – Part 3

This holiday season we are thinking about those special moments that stand out to us year-after-year. While the holiday season looks different this year, what makes it more special than ever in some ways, is the ongoing commitment that our Sonesta family has to exceptional hospitality, a warm welcome, and going above and beyond for our guests.

In our Meet the Makers series, we go behind the scenes to learn what some of our associates love about the holidays, their traditions, and what they look forward to. Stay tuned for future blog posts to help you get in the spirit this year and perhaps create your own traditions with inspiration from ours!

Manoj Kumar
Director of Front Office Operations, Royal Sonesta Boston

What puts you in the holiday spirit?
Every holiday has it’s own special atmosphere. Most of the time the atmosphere is created by people who I consider are very close to me and always are my support system in a good time and a bad time as well. Usually those people are my friends and my family, as I can be myself with them without putting any emotional walls in between. The joy and happiness that we experience during any holidays, that’s what creates the holiday spirit.

Describe your favorite November/December holiday tradition.
Me personally, I enjoy Christmas time, as it’s not only about the material part of the holiday (Christmas gifts) but also the spiritual. Going back in the days when I was back in India, my whole family would gather around the table and we would enjoy 12 dishes that would have no meat in it; fish is allowed. 12 dishes would represent 12 Apostles, who were the first followers of Jesus. There would be always an extra plate and utensils on the table, for people who passed away but their spirits are always welcome to enjoy the dishes. Later on, kids would go door to door and sing Carols about the new born baby Jesus, and of course every householder would reward them for bringing such a great news to their home. Then, we all would go to church at night, and we all would celebrate the Christmas Holiday with our community, singing Carols and wishing everyone Merry Christmas.

What’s your favorite holiday food and what makes it special?
For an authentic dish I love potato perogies. It was and still is my favorite dish since I was a little kid. Freshly made perogies with sour cream on a side, to dip them in, would always be something to look forward during any holiday. This food is considered as traditional cuisine, and we cook it for every holiday.

How does your hotel go above and beyond to guests during the holidays?
As I stated before, that Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and it is a pleasure to see how Royal Sonesta Boston celebrates this holiday with our guests. For example, last year we had breakfast with Santa for 3 weekends in a row and our hotel was filled with kids joy and laughter. The Ballroom was decorated with inflatable Christmas characters, as though we were at the North Pole. Lots of great feedback about those weekends; too sad that this year we won’t have an opportunity to celebrate Christmas with our community, as we did last year.

Peter Schreurs
Director of Rooms and Food & Beverage | Royal Sonesta Houston

What puts you in the holiday spirit?
Seeing Santa Claus come down Broadway during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade really kicks it off for me. The typical holiday flavors and scents like cinnamon, cloves, all spice, pumpkin… always bring a smile to my face. There should be a ban on Christmas music before Thanksgiving however! 😊 Once December hits, bring it on!

Describe your favorite November/December holiday tradition.
Opening presents around the Christmas tree on December 25 and then play with what you got all day. So fun to see the same with my own children years later.

What’s your favorite holiday food and what makes it special?
Ginger bread! It just tastes a little better around that time of year. Ginger bread was my “gateway” to coffee as a young child. I didn’t particularly care of the (bitter) taste of coffee but something absolutely magical happens when you dip ginger break into a good cup of java! The rest is history!

How does your hotel go above and beyond to guests during the holidays?
The team’s (southern) hospitality will be put in overdrive as the holidays roll around. Unfortunately we will not be able to provide the holiday cookies, hot chocolate and warm apple cider in the lobby as we have done in years past.

Robert Weeks
General Manager, Sonesta Hamilton Park Morristown

What puts you in the holiday spirit?
Piles of colorful leaves on the ground, pumpkin everything (donuts, lattes, and beer), Christmas catalogs dominating the mail box and tempting you!

Describe your favorite November/December holiday tradition.
Hanging Christmas stockings over the fireplace for Santa to fill (Santa does still arrive every year!)

What’s your favorite holiday food and what makes it special?
Mom’s legendary Oklahoma (home) cornbread dressing – every year (even in New Jersey! – always reminds me of family and our Oklahoma home

How does your hotel (usually) go above and beyond to guests during the holidays?
Peppermint candy lollipops on a stick every day at the desk plus Christmas stockings filled with goodies hung on guest doors for a Christmas morning hospitality surprise!

Daneen Zeringue
Area Director of Revenue

What puts you in the holiday spirit?
Cool weather, the smell of pine trees and fires.

Describe your favorite November/December holiday tradition.
Holiday dinner with my boys, Caroling in Jackson Square

What’s your favorite holiday food and what makes it special?
Oyster dressing. My dad and I would make it every year together. A memory I cherish dearly.

How does your hotel go above and beyond to guests during the holidays?
The Royal Sonesta New Orleans celebrates the holidays with extraordinary holiday décor, children activities ranging from children choirs to Teddy Bear Teas, and an exceptional holiday menu in Restaurant R’evolution.

Eric Wimbush
Director of Sales & Marketing, Sonesta Bee Cave Austin

What puts you in the holiday spirit?
Putting the holiday lights up on Thanksgiving is a beautiful reminder of the purpose of Christmas. A full month to be extra thankful for all that I have and a chance to focus on serving others while seeing the joy in happy faces.

Describe your favorite November/December holiday tradition.
Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot run with the family followed by a full day of food, family and football!

What’s your favorite holiday food and what makes it special?
The entire, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Fall is my favorite season with beautiful change in color outside, cool temperatures, fireside family gatherings and football.

How does your hotel go above and beyond to guests during the holidays?
The differentiator at our hotel is the staff. We market our staff as an extension of their family and invite them to join us for holiday cheer throughout the hotel! The lobby is decorated with a beautiful Christmas tree and decorations. Christmas music is playing throughout the hotel. Special holiday creations are offered in Meridian 98.

Read other posts in our Meet the Makers series.

Meet the Makers Part 1

Meet the Makers Part 2

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