AHL Insider

Andrea Franchini

Market Director of Culture & Entertainment at EDITION Hotels

Andrea Franchini

– follow Andrea –

Share this Story
  • WHAT DO YOU DO AND HOW DID YOU GET HERE?

    I'm the market director of culture and entertainment at EDITION Hotels. I was born and raised in Rome and moved to NYC in 2010. I have been founding and running my own businesses since I was a teenager. While still in college, I cofounded a marketing and advertising agency, then invested in and developed a Roman-style pizza chain (yes, you read it right!). After I sold my stake in a previous venture, I decided to change direction and work for a hospitality group. I felt like this was the right environment to excel and learn more. The combination of learning by doing and learning by others results in faster growth.

  • WAS HOSPITALITY SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO? WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

    Not really! I majored in business management and marketing at university and, in 2007, founded a marketing and advertising company with two other classmates. In 2010 I ventured into the restaurant industry. I finally began working in hospitality when I started my current position in 2013. I knew I needed to reinvent myself every so often because I needed new challenges. I get easily bored of consuetudes, so I need to get involved in new projects and develop new business avenues. I'm lucky to work in this industry. This is one of the few industries that allows you to engage daily with beautiful minds working in art, fashion, design, media, and real estate.

  • WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU'VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY OVER THE PAST FIVE TO TEN YEARS?

    The technology component. In the beginning, we made reservations by phone. Then we started taking them over email, and now we use an application downloaded on your mobile. The Internet has also changed the rules in the hospitality industry. The power of social media is a big game changer, especially in New York.

  • WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION IN THE INDUSTRY TODAY?

    I have more than one inspiration. I would say Ian Schrager because of his lobby socializing concept, Danny Meyer because of his enlightened hospitality mission, and Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha because of their vision. When Hotel Americano opened in West Chelsea, it wasn't the safest area. Nowadays, the most famous galleries, fashion brands, and creative agencies have headquarters there. Zaha Hadid just designed her first building in New York right across the street from the hotel, and a few blocks up, Related is developing the massive Hudson Yards project. In 2011 Hotel Americano was on the far edge of West Chelsea; in 2015, it will be in the middle of a new upscale, gentrified neighborhood. Nowadays, I’m inspired by those companies and brands trying their best to bring change and make the industry more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. Those brands committing to these values are those that need to be rewarded.

  • IF YOU HAD THE DAY OFF TODAY, WHERE WOULD YOU BE?

    Catching up on readings, taking my wire-haired dachshund Massimo on a walk downtown. Or checking out new gallery openings in Chelsea.

  • DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD?

    Like movies, I believe you can't have just one favorite. I love Castello di Reschio, The Madrid EDITION, Hotel in Milan, The Connaught in London, the Belmond in Anguilla, and The Mercer in New York. The hotels that have a sentimental feeling for me are Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo (Sardinia), Le Sirenuse in Positano, and Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole. I grew up spending my summers in those destinations, which are magical places to me.

  • DO YOU HAVE A CAREER ANECDOTE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

    Recently we hosted a private party to celebrate the release of Beyoncé's latest album Renaissance. We turned Paradise Club at The Times Square EDITION into “Renaissance Club” for one night only. Working closely with The Carters and their entourage has been one of the most interesting working experiences. The level of professionalism (and privacy!) and creativity that Beyoncé's team puts into projects like this is unparalleled. More importantly, they were kind and had no attitude, which is a rarity for other celebrities-divas out there.

  • WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MINI BAR ITEM?

    It's very rare I like something in the mini bar, actually. I think we should rethink this amenity. I'd rather order room service. Overall, I just prefer to order something at the lobby bar and experience the hotel.

  • IF YOU COULD HOST A PARTY FOR ANYONE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

    Am I allowed to dream? Well, if I could use a time machine, I would travel back to the 70s and host a party, closing off "La Piazzetta" in Capri. I would invite friends from all over the world, including Brigitte Bardot, Gunter Sachs, Jackie O', and Gianni Agnelli, of course.

  • WHAT'S THE NEXT BIG IDEA IN HOSPITALITY, WHAT ARE WE MISSING?

    Change the mini bar experience! I'm joking… I believe the cultural component will become a necessity soon. Many hotels are already working hard and planning very interesting cultural programs. Lobbies have been re-designed as a place to socialize. Now it's time to add cultural content and entertain our guests.

  • WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING 10 YEARS FROM NOW?

    You know where you start, you don't know where you end...