Noble House Hotels & Resorts Announces Retirement of CEO, along with New CEO and CFO

Noble House Hotels & Resorts, the family-owned, boutique hotel brand with a collection of 25 properties, announced today two leadership changes within the company.

Noble House announced the retirement of CEO Jake Donoghue. Jake Donoghue has been with the company since its inception in 1981 and has worked alongside Noble House Chairman and Founder Pat Colee to help assemble a portfolio of award-winning hotels across North America.

“The boutique brand extends a heartfelt thank you to Jake Donoghue for his invaluable contributions over the years. Donoghue has positively influenced the entire company with his unwavering commitment and will no doubt continue to shape the future of Noble House Hotels & Resorts through his position on the Board of Directors,” a statement reads.

Jamie Colee, who has worked with Jake for over 30 years will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Janette Ament, with a Noble House tenure of 35 years has been named Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

“We continue face some challenging times for our industry but also a period of exciting growth and development at Noble House Hotels & Resorts,” said Jake Donoghue. “I am confident that both Jamie and Janette will continue to do great things and to lead this company to new heights in their respective roles.”

Previously serving as President of Development, Colee began his Noble House career in 1993. His 30 years of hospitality and company experience has provided him a myriad of positions and responsibilities across the Noble House enterprise from high level strategy for hotel operations and prospective investment analysis to oversight of all capital spending and renovations. Most notably, Colee led the rebuild efforts of Little Palm Island after the destruction of Hurricane Irma, after which Little Palm Island went on to break industry records. As CEO, Colee will lead the executive team’s efforts to set the brand’s vision, reinforce company culture, drive profitability, manage organizational structure, and ensure the mission of Noble House is executed to the highest standards.

“I am thrilled to take on this new role as CEO of Noble House Hotels & Resorts,” said Colee. “Starting off my career within the business my family began over 40 years ago and now assuming the CEO title is an incredible honor, and one that I don’t take lightly. I look forward to working towards the continued success of the brand alongside a talented team of professionals that keep Noble House at the forefront of the hospitality space.”

With more than 35 years of experience operating and developing hotels, Ament is an expert in the field of accounting. In her new role, she is responsible for corporate finance, oversight of lender and treasury management, strategic planning and operations, corporate tax and hotel financial reporting. She is highly focused on driving profitability, cashflow and protecting the Owner’s risk. Her hotel experience includes corporate accounting, hotel accounting and operations management, development accounting and risk management. Ament was also named the “2008 Responsibility Leader for the Hospitality Industry” by Risk and Insurance Magazine.

“After an incredible number of years working with Noble House Hotels & Resorts, I am honored and grateful to move into the CFO position,” said Ament. “I look forward to working alongside our visionary leadership team to accomplish our financial goals and continue the growth of our existing portfolio.”

Historic Oceanfront Hotel, The Georgian, Re-Launches in Santa Monica

Hoteliers Jon Blanchard and Nicolo Rusconi of BLVD Hospitality, in partnership with ESI Ventures, announced the re-launch of Santa Monica’s iconic hotel The Georgian. Perched above the Santa Monica waterfront on Ocean Avenue, The Georgian has been a fixture of the Southern California coastline since its debut in 1933 and will re-open to the public on April 3.

Steeped in the history of old Hollywood, the famed Art Deco property has seen several iterations over the years, with regular guests including Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and First Mother Rose Kennedy. The hotel’s opening coincided with the start of the golden age of hospitality and was the dream of renowned Californian hotelier, Mrs. Rosamond Borde, who commissioned celebrated architect Mr. M. Eugene Durfee to design a hotel of grand proportions. Dramatic in appearance but with a cozy, intimate feel, the landmark property has been lovingly restored to its former glory.

A destination where global culture intersects with Californian charm, The Georgian has been carefully restored by Blanchard and Rusconi through the eye of leading interior architecture and design firm, Fettle, with architecture by HLW, alongside branding and experience company Corso Marketing Group. Maintaining the original concept’s striking features and presence throughout, complemented by thoughtful design, the property offers 84 keys – with 56 classic rooms and 28 one bedroom suites – with sweeping ocean views.

Overlooking the California coastline, the building’s unmistakable turquoise façade has pride of place on Ocean Avenue, where the architecturally stunning property’s timeless elegance and historic significance is on full display. Fettle’s design offers a glimpse into the hotel’s 1930’s heyday which underscores its inherent traditional elements.

Claudia Rodriquez Named Hotel Manager of Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Claudia Rodriquez has been appointed hotel manager of Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. In this new role, Rodriguez oversees the resort’s operations to ensure the utmost guest satisfaction. These responsibilities include overseeing the front of house operations, housekeeping and recreation.

Originally from Chile, Rodriquez brings more than 20 years of experience to this position, including 18 years with the Marriott International brand, gaining skills and knowledge in various countries and within various disciplines, including sales, marketing and room divisions.

“We are thrilled to have Claudia join our team,” said Raoul Lemmerling, general manager of Aruba Marriott Resort. “Her experience has covered many departments and ensures that she knows exactly what it takes to make an operation successful. The resort is primed to debut a variety of guest offerings this year, including enhancements to the adults-only Tradewinds Club and new cabana’s at the adult Pool, the launch of a new restaurant concept Mercát, Mediterranean Cuisine, and I’m confident that they will be executed to perfection and overall guest satisfaction will continue to be a strong suit of ours under her leadership.”

Prior to joining the Aruba Marriott Resort, Rodriguez held the role of executive assistant manager and director of rooms at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Before that, she spent seven years at the Marriott St. Kitts, the last four years as director of operations. Throughout her time there, she spearheaded hotel operations with a particular focus on employee development and training. She achieved many awards and accolades throughout her career, including the prestigious Marriott Chairman’s Award.

Aloft Henderson Opens as First Aloft Property in Las Vegas Market

Aloft Henderson, a modern hotel concept by Marriott International, opened its doors in Henderson, Nevada, on Wednesday, becoming the first Aloft property in the Las Vegas market. Managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, Aloft Henderson will offer guests an experience with modern, intricate design, innovative amenities and personalized service.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the Aloft brand to the city of Henderson,” said Daniel Gardner, Henderson native and owner of Aloft Henderson and B&D Hospitality Management . “I have been lucky to call Henderson my home, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to open the Aloft in the heart of my hometown. Our team is looking forward to welcoming our local Henderson friends and neighbors and travel guests into the hotel, as we are committed to delivering an unparalleled experience to all visitors through providing superior hospitality, personalized service and purposeful amenities.”

Nestled on the corner of St Rose Parkway and Coronado Center Dr, Aloft Henderson is located in the heart of Henderson at 2631 St. Rose Parkway. The hotel is in close proximity to many iconic attractions within Henderson and greater Clark County. The hotel is located only eight miles from the Las Vegas strip, 24 miles from Lake Mead, a mere 3 miles from the District at Green Valley Ranch shopping center, and walking distance from the Dollar Loan Center, home to the Henderson Silver Knights. The hotel’s prime location makes it a favorable option for both leisure and business travelers, as it is also conveniently located only three miles from Henderson Executive Airport and six miles from Henry Reid International Airport.

The Aloft Henderson features 136 guest rooms, each thoughtfully designed with lofty 9-foot ceilings, modern décor and comfortable furnishings, all designed to create a light, airy environment. The hotel offers a variety of room types, including king and queen guest rooms, as well as larger suites for guests who need additional space. All rooms are equipped with plush platform beds, fast and free Wi-Fi, 42-inch HD televisions and plug-and-play connectivity stations.

Aloft Henderson also features a number of amenities to make guests’ stays more comfortable and convenient such as a fitness center, outdoor pool, lounge area and a 24/7 self-serve pantry for snacks and refreshments. Additionally, the hotel offers a variety of dining options, such as the W XYZ Bar, serving craft cocktails and delicious, light bites, and Re:Fuel for slow or on-the-go mornings , serving up quick bites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The hotel boasts ample meeting and event space, with more than 600 square feet of flexible meeting space, including four meeting rooms, each with high-speed Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, making it an ideal location for business meetings, conferences, and social events.

“We are eager to open the first Aloft hotel in the Las Vegas area,” said Paul Gundrum, General Manager of Aloft Henderson. “This area is full of life, community and culture, and we can’t wait to add to that experience for our guests at Aloft Henderson.”

Capitol Hill Weekly Roundup: Updates on the Junk Fee Conversation in Washington

Days after releasing his proposed FY 2024 budget, President Joe Biden keeps talking about junk fees, an issue that impacts hotels and airlines among other industries.

On March 21, National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard led a bipartisan panel of business leaders and scholars to “discuss the economic case in support of the administration’s efforts to crack down on junk fees,” a White House statement said. 

Representatives from 16 agencies attended the forum, including The Department of Transportation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On the same day, the Council of Economic Advisers published a blog post titled “How Junk Fees Distort Competition.” The article examines five examples of junk fees, including resort fees.

In early February, Biden called on Congress to pass a new “Junk Fee Prevention Act,” which would focus on four objectives that target online concert, sporting event and other entertainment ticket fees; airline fees for family members to sit with young children; early termination fees for TV, phone, and Internet service; and resort and destination fees.

Biden reinforced his commitment to get the bill passed during his State of the Union address on Feb. 7. 

“Americans are tired of being played for suckers,” Biden said.

“Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one I grew up in. They add up to hundreds of dollars a month,” Biden said. “I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it.”

“We’re going to ban surprise resort fees that hotels charge on your bill. Those fees can cost up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts.”

The Federal Trade Commission defines “junk fees” as “unnecessary, unavoidable, or surprise charges that inflate costs while adding little to no value.”

“They take real money out of the pockets of families, and they can distort competition in many markets,” said Brainard, who recently replaced Brian Deese as Biden’s top economic advisor. “Junk fee regulation isn’t just popular, and it isn’t just a real cost savings for millions of families, it’s also good economics.

 “According to recent surveys, junk fees is an area where 75 percent of the American people, regardless of party lines, want us to act,” Brainard added.

Earlier this month, the White House held a virtual event with state legislators to encourage state-level action on the topic.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced an updated list of potentially illegal junk fees that include bank accounts, mortgages, student loans, and auto loans. 

Vicki Morowitz, a professor at Columbia Business School, appeared as a panelist at the White House event earlier this week.

Morowitz described junk fees as “drip pricing,” which is the practice of dividing a product’s cost into a base price plus mandatory surcharges rather than a single, all-inclusive price. 

“In general, what research has shown is that when firms separate out mandatory surcharges vs. assessing one all-inclusive price, consumers tend to underestimate the total price they will have to pay, and are often more likely to complete the purchase,” Morowitz said. “This happens even when the surcharges are fully disclosed. And these effects are larger when the surcharges are made difficult to process such as when they are framed as a percent of the base price vs. a flat dollar amount, or when they are hidden in the small print.” 

In response to the move to pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act, the American Hotel and Lodging Association has said it would work with the Biden administration, the FTC, and legislators “to ensure a level playing field around transparency for mandatory fees.” 

The organization added that the fees “provide guests with value and include various unique goods and services at each property that charges them.”

A 2022 analysis indicated that only 6 percent of hotels across the country charge a mandatory resort, destination or amenity fee, which reflects an average of $26 per night, according to the AHLA.