Rendezvous with Hermann W. Elger

We sat down with the very man leading the Baccarat Hotel operations: Managing Director and COO Hermann W. Elger.

We were eager to sit down with the very man leading the Baccarat Hotel operations: Hermann W. Elger, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Baccarat Hotel New York. Read on to discover more about Hermann, his background and experiences at the helm of Baccarat Hotel. 

Hermann W. Elger, Managing Director and COO at Baccarat Hotel New York

Q: HOW DID IT ALL START?
A: I am a second generation hotelier, born and raised in the industry around the world. The memories of all I learned from my father remain very special to me. He was truly one of the original, “pure” hoteliers, always focusing on service, attention to detail, and creating exceptional experiences. I have had the privilege of working with many exemplary hospitality leaders over the years, but no one has taught me more than my father.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY IN THE BUSINESS?
A: When Pope Francis visited New York City in October of 2015, he stopped right in front of a hotel I was General Manager of at the time. He was photographed there, and I was able to see him from my office window. Later that day, someone sent me a photo of this all happening, with the hotel’s flag and logo prominently shown in the picture. This was the ultimate photo-op.

Q: WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMING FROM LA AND CANCUN TO NEW YORK?
A: The chance to work with iconic hotels in one of the greatest hotel cities in the world is an incredible opportunity. There is no city more bold, vital and inspiring than New York and I always knew that at the right time in my career, I belonged here. Now is that time. 

Q: TELL US ABOUT BACCARAT AND THE ARTS.
A: Being across from MoMA puts us directly across from one of the premier art settings in New York. So it is only fitting that Baccarat Hotel New York is a natural reflection of where art lives. Our guests are surrounded by one-of-a-kind artistic works, or pieces from Baccarat’s crystal factory, making the hotel as much a celebration of master craftsmanship as the Baccarat brand itself.

The hotel’s designers Giles and Bossier were able to link the iconic city of New York with French Parisian style and bring them together effortlessly. This unique design statement, combined with perfection of service allows for a flawlessly crafted stay.

Q: TELL US ABOUT THE ‘JE NE SAIS QUOI,’ FROM FRENCH HOSPITALITY TO THE “CHAMPAGNE BUTTON.”
A: It all starts with a glass of champagne and a gathering. The Grand Salon and The Bar at the hotel provide perfect settings for this, as do our suites. They are designed for lingering and conversation over cocktails and canapés. This is French hospitality at its finest.

By anticipating our guests’ needs and delivering items before they ask for them, we can surprise our guests in so many little ways and offer them something they would not even think of requesting. An example of this is the “Champagne button” on all guestroom phones, that when pressed, allows guests to directly order from the hotel’s Champagne menu and a chilled bottle and two Baccarat flutes are instantly delivered. We do live by the motto that really great service creates unique guest experiences.

Q: WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?
A: My wife and I constantly remind my kids of how fortunate they are to be able to spend time in such a special place. Although we are more of a business hotel located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City is a family destination. We pride ourselves on being in the perfect spot from which all of our guests can explore the city, and families are no exception. Children are taken care of in the same way that their parents are, with amenities and services tailored for them—the warm chocolate chip cookies, stuffed animal, and Bambini Boutique children’s bath amenities that all young guests receive help achieve this end. As families experience and enjoy New York, it’s so nice for them to be able to stroll through the hotel and have the best sights and sounds of the city just outside their room.

For me, there is nothing more important than spending time with family, and when your children are happy, you are happy.