– follow Roy –www.thefreehand.com
What Do you do?
I am the Brand Director for Freehand, a premium hostel concept by the Sydell Group. My role focuses on developing food and beverage concepts, branding and marketing strategies, strategic partnerships, company culture, and PR. I also get pretty involved in the operations side of things. I even had a walkie talkie for opening week which was exciting as I never had one before.
Do you have a favorite hotel in the world?
Singita Ebony Lodge in South Africa.
Why the hotel business?
I have always been interested in sociology and enjoy the process of creating an environment that stimulates human interaction. Also, the hotel business is the perfect marriage between the creative and business worlds.
Hotel anecdote you'd like to share?
Things have actually been pretty tame at the property. You would think that if you stuck eight strangers in a room all hell would break loose but that hasn’t been the case. There’s a great sense of respect for others in the hostel community so unfortunately this leads to me not being able to share any crazy stories.
Biggest change you've seen in the industry?
Social media has completely changed the way hotels communicate with their guests. It’s a great tool to solve problems and understand a guest’s needs. Furthermore it has allowed for hotel brands to get to know their customer, talk to them, and even make recommendations for them.
Professional basketball player...although I just turned 30 so that window is closing.
Favorite mini bar item or hotel amenity?
I’m into the steam room.