CIRE president, Eric Hrubant met this month’s 8 Questions interviewee on a 2013 FAM trip to the then newly opened Hotel Zetta. FAM is short for “familiarization.” Travel advisors are invited on FAM trips so that they can personally experience hotels, airlines, and destinations for themselves. These first-hand experiences not only give us better insight when planning trips for our clients, it also forges great relationships with our travel industry partners and colleagues. And we’re grateful to call the host of that 2013 FAM and this month’s 8 Questions guest one of our great friends in the industry!
CIRE: Everyone, meet Kylie… Kylie, meet our loyal CIRE fans… Why don’t you introduce yourself?
KYLIE: Hello everyone! I’m Kylie Ranger, Director of Sales & Marketing for Hotel Emblem in San Francisco, part of Viceroy Hotel Group. I joined the team in September 2020. I’m still new to Emblem although not new to Viceroy; I was a part of our sister properties for 8 years, Zetta, Zeppelin and Zelos, prior to moving over to Emblem. I’m excited to be a part of Viceroy’s newest San Francisco property, we just opened in 2019!
CIRE: Congrats on the new gig, Kylie! We love San Francisco! And we have a LOT of clients wanting to visit wine country this summer/fall. San Fran is the perfect way to start or end their trip. Why should folks stay at Emblem?
KYLIE: What I love about Emblem is that it has a different vibe than any other property in San Francisco. There is a big focus on art & design. We have a lot of literary references, with a nod to the Beat Generation! It is, you could say, authentically San Francisco. We even have a Book Butler! Yes, we have someone on our team who will bring you a rolling cart of our favorite array of books and you can take your pick, depending on what you’re in the mood for! We also have an Underground Concierge, our own curated list of all of the best (in our opinion) of San Francisco that we are excited to share with our guests. So much love has gone into every detail of this property, it’s very charming!
CIRE: Love the Book Butler! And you must take us on an Underground tour on our next visit! Do you live in the city?
KYLIE: Home, to be honest, has been in Southern California during Covid, where I’ve been working remotely. Although, I’m getting ready to go back to San Francisco full-time very soon as things are thankfully opening back up. My original home is Australia! I grew up on the sunny Gold Coast.
Australia is so pretty and very safe, the beaches have such white clean sand, there are spectacular landscapes and lots of fresh seafood and deliciously flavorful Asian food. My all-time favorite place on Earth is Byron Bay on the East Coast of Australia. It’s just the best. There is a magic that is indescribable!
CIRE: There’s no place like Oz! How did you end up in the U.S.? And how did you end up in the travel biz?
KYLIE: I used to dream in school about one day living in the U.S and I wanted to be a travel agent or host a travel show! Something kept telling me I needed to get into the travel industry. Straight after college I worked for Qantas for 3 years in their Travel Centre on the Gold Coast. Like most Aussies, I headed overseas after that, moving to Vancouver, Canada for a few months before securing a job in Los Angeles. I thought I would be away for 2 years and that turned into 8 in LA! I spent 7 of those years working for an event management company in Beverly Hills and running events for the cable television industry. I loved every minute of it and enjoyed so much working with hotels that I eventually made the transition to the hotel world shortly after.
CIRE: We love working with you because your enthusiasm is contagious! What makes you so passionate about your job?
KYLIE: I love this business because more than anything I love to be a host and take care of people. I am very social and love being a part of creating fun and memorable experiences. In the hotel world, and the travel industry as a whole, not one day is the same as the other.
CIRE: Ain’t that the truth! And when you’re not working, we’ll find you…?
KYLIE: If you know me you know I like to always be busy! When I’m not working, I’m either doing one or more of my favorite hobbies: tennis, yoga, skiing, cooking, discovering new hotels and restaurants, walking on the beach, mountain biking, studying holistic medicine, specifically healing through diet! I just recently completed my first Reiki online training course.
KYLIE: Rarely! I also love just hanging out with our cute cats, Mavis & Margaux, the best decision we made in February last year!
KYLIE: That’s a great question and very much top conversation lately. I have such a long list like everyone, although right now I’m really anxious to get back to see friends and family in Australia. Trying to be patient and waiting until 14 days of quarantining is no longer required to enter! Aside from a visit to Australia, my husband and I want to get back to Europe, specifically Italy or France, both countries have so much to offer. Not long before Covid, I had a really special trip to Italy with my husband, finally seeing areas of the country that I hadn’t before. Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast were incredible. It’s an easy destination to navigate and so visually stunning. We also went to Livigno in the northern mountains (Lombardy region) as the first stop; we went mountain biking and it was just a 45-minute drive into St. Moritz, Switzerland where we spent a spa day – I’m still dreaming about it! Japan is also high on our travel list. And Viceroy is about to open a beautiful new ski-in-ski-out property next month in Serbia that we are all excited for! So much to see!
CIRE: Australia, Italy, France, Japan, Serbia…sounds like a great start! Thank you so much, Kylie! You truly are our favorite Kylie. Ms. Minogue has nothing on you!