Montage’s top executive will receive the 2014 Mondavi Award
By Elaine Regus
Alan J. Fuerstman revolutionized the ultra-luxury hotel industry by redefining luxury from a perception of it being stuffy, snobbish and scripted to approachable, authentic and environmentally friendly, without sacrificing excellence.
The founder and CEO of Montage Hotels and Resorts believes that the next generation of luxury traveler is looking for a more gracious style of service but with the same incredible attention to detail, craftsmanship and quality.
“You can be as comfortable in our five-star restaurant in jeans as you are in a suit,” Fuerstman said. “You can enjoy the finer things in life without being intimidated or being made to feel out of your comfort zone.”
In recognition of his contributions to the hospitality industry, Fuerstman has been chosen to receive the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award at Hospitality Uncorked, the college’s annual, fund-raising gala at the JW Marriott Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014.
Bridget Bilinski, area vice president for Marriott International, member of The Collins College Board of Advisors and chair of the Hospitality Uncorked committee, said Fuerstman’s vision, leadership and passion for the hospitality industry combined with his commitment to growing future industry leaders by hiring Collins students and graduates, made him an obvious choice for the honor.
“Here is a man who reinvented luxury,” Bilinski said. “Through his vision, we have these amazing places called Montage that have made all the other luxury hotels really perk up and pay attention.”
Fuerstman founded Montage Hotels and Resorts in January 2002. The following year, Montage opened its flagship resort, Montage Laguna Beach, a Forbes five-star resort with a five-star restaurant, Studio, and the first-ever, Forbes five-star-rated spa. Other properties include Montage Beverly Hills and Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. Next year, Fuerstman will extend his brand west to Montage Kapalua Bay on Maui in Hawaii.
Each Montage resort has a tremendous spirit and sense of place reflected in the architecture, design and overall style that pays homage to the local environment.
“What translates magnificently from Montage to Montage is our style of service, which is gracious hospitable and luxury service that is unscripted, highly attentive, with a tremendous emphasis on personalization,” Fuerstman said.
He summed up the Montage brand in two words: Enriching lives.
“Our focus is on enriching lives on many levels whether it’s our associates who work for us, our guests who are coming to stay, or the communities in which we operate,” he said.
Fuerstman is proud of the fact that Montage Beverly Hills was the first newly constructed, mixed-use hotel and residential project in Southern California to achieve Gold LEED Certification and that Montage Deer Valley was the first LEED hotel in Utah.
“It’s very much in keeping with our focus on the environment and our strong belief that luxury and sustainability can co-exist without sacrificing any aspect of luxury but by being responsible in a sustainable manner.”
will receive the
Wine & Food
Award at the 2014 Hospitality