Have you met Sonesta Simply Suites, one of our newest brands? With locations all across the United States, Sonesta Simply Suites provides all that you need for a great stay, and nothing you don’t. No-fuss, no games, no costly unwanted extras. In a word, we keep things simple. All at a great price. In our comfortable suites, you’ll find a simple kitchen to make a meal and a dedicated workspace designed for productivity. Our apartment-like amenities add an easy convenience to your stay.
For the latest feature in our Meet the GM series, we are excited to introduce you to Jeff Butler, GM at Sonesta Simply Suites Falls Church. Read below to meet one of the newer members of the Sonesta family and to learn more about hotel GM life in NOVA.
Q: What do you like most about working within and leading hotels?
I began my hospitality career at the welcome center for a ski resort I grew up at in Snowshoe, West Virginia. I loved welcoming people from out of town and being the first point of contact for their vacation. I could set the tone right off the bat. I now emphasize to my staff that first impressions are everything. It is so gratifying to watch my team as they greet our guests knowing they hold the key to ensuring a great experience.
Q: Since joining Sonesta – what opportunity have you enjoyed the most or what has made the biggest impression?
Our property was acquired during the massive expansion Sonesta experienced with the simultaneous conversion of more than 100 hotels. Although it was a lot of work it was never overwhelming or scary. Sonesta provided an amazing support system and really thought out what it would take to operationally convert brands. That attention to detail and empathy toward the life of an operator really stuck with me and seems to be a driving factor within the culture of the company.
Q: In your opinion, what has been your team’s most successful Amazing Moment?
The fact that we’re still standing after these past 12 months. LOL. I’m kidding – sort of. 2020 was a turbulent year for anyone in hospitality but we had some added challenges to navigate. Work had just begun on our 21-year renovation in February when local ordinances announced lockdowns and shelter in place orders a few weeks in. We managed to house the entire renovation crew so that they could “work from home “ – all the while drinking from the fire hose of new Covid guidelines and operational adjustments. The renovation took 10 months to complete as supplies from Europe and other parts of the world were halted from entering the United States but alas, we finally completed the project – just days before it was known we would be changing brands. The team took the news in stride and leaned into change with such courage and grace. None of us missed a beat and took on the conversion with a new-found strength and optimism knowing we could really get through anything together. And now we couldn’t be happier working for Sonesta!
Q: If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be?
I often daydream of traveling with a laptop as a freelance writer. I majored in communications in college.
Q: What do you enjoy most about living in Falls Church?
I live in Reston, which is another suburb of Washington, D.C. Our area is referred to as NOVA or “Northern Virginia.” The most enjoyable thing about this part of the country is the diversity and accessibility to incredible restaurants. Just down the street from our hotel is the Eden Center – a Vietnamese super complex with shops and the most authentic pho you can imagine.
Q: Name your favorite place to visit — any destination in the world.
I love Mexico, specifically the Yucatan peninsula. My father retired to Cozumel and we try visiting whenever we can. The water is just spectacular and the people are some of the warmest in the world.
Q: Name three items you absolutely do not travel without.
When flying, a carry-on with a change of clothes, my passport, and a pen. Nothing is worse than having to beg for a pen to fill out a customs form on the plane.
Q: What is something your guests would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up in Pocahontas County, West Virginia – one of the most rural counties in America and the birthplace of 8 rivers.
Get to know more of our team! Read more of the features in our Meet the GM series.
Did you know that we are hiring? Sonesta is currently seeking nearly 40 general managers to join #teamsonesta in roles from Assistant GM at a single property to Area GM overseeing several hotels. Click here to view all current openings.
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