This is the 10th edition of our “8 Questions With…” interview series. We love shining a spotlight on our trusted partners in the luxury travel industry. When we say, “Now you know people who know people,” these are the “people” we know! And we are thrilled that this milestone article will introduce you to one of the best…Suzanne Goldberg!
CIRE: Hello Suzanne! So happy to connect with you, one of our favorite partners! Our team at CIRE all know what you and your fabulous team do at TAOH, but can you explain it to our readers who aren’t in the luxury travel and hospitality industry?
SUZANNE: HELLO! I am the founder of a luxury hotel representation firm called The Art of Hospitality. We think of ourselves as our collection’s ‘boots on the ground’ team, connecting our independent hotels with travel decision makers and bookers, who arrange travel for business and pleasure. I am super proud of the unique independent hotels we work with, that truly celebrate ‘the art of hospitality’.
CIRE: Sadly, we’ve seen some hotels close, temporarily or permanently, during this past year. Can you share any good news with us? Any new openings or additions to your collection?
SUZANNE: Yes, despite our travel world coming almost to a standstill, TAOH added three stunning properties to our collection, in three key cities: London, Boston and Miami. The Mayfair Townhouse in London – Think Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland. Fifteen pristine Georgian townhouses blending sophisticated style, with whimsical touches. Cross the pond and checkout a brand-new hotel to hit the Miami scene this summer – Esmé Miami Beach Hotel. It has 8 Spanish-Mediterranean 1920s buildings connected by a maze of intimate walkways and courtyards, creating its own private enclave. Staying on the east coast and nestled in Boston’s prestigious Beacon Hill, The Whitney Hotel was designed with a townhouse in mind, so guests feel like they are living in a luxury home.
CIRE: Our road warrior, corporate travel clients love hotels that have that home-away-from-home feel since they travel for business A LOT! Speaking of home…where are you based?
SUZANNE: I can’t believe I am saying this, but I live in charming Andover, Massachusetts, the town that I grew up in. Does that make me a townie?! I am truly a city girl at heart. I went to university in Boston where my hotel career was sparked, and later moved to New York City where I thought I would stay forever. A few years later I met my husband who was living in Boston, so once engaged, I moved home to be closer to him and my parents and have never looked back. I feel super lucky that my job takes me to NYC monthly, so I really get the best of both worlds!
CIRE: We don’t know much about Andover. Since you’re a townie (LOL), why should someone visit?
SUZANNE: Andover is best-known for the very prestigious Phillips Academy, the oldest prep school in the country. There’s a lot of notables who attended P.A. like both George Bushes, John F. Kennedy Jr., Humphrey Bogart, and one of my favorites, Jack Lemmon. But I know Andover as my beautiful New England hometown, just 30 minutes north of Boston, that has a darling center dotted with boutiques and restaurants, as well as acres and acres of preservation land which my family and dog Olive love to hike regularly.
CIRE: Sounds like a lovely place to live! How did you get into the travel business?
SUZANNE: I will be forever grateful to Jonathan Spat, a client friend of my fathers who was a hotel headhunter back when I was attending Northeastern University. I needed a Co-op job for a semester, so he called in a favor with the Director of Sales of the Copley Plaza Hotel Boston, who hired me as the ‘assistant to his assistant’. I was the grunt girl doing everything from making copies, filing, taking minutes for meetings…. From the moment I set foot into this legendary hotel, my heart was all a flutter and I just knew that I had found my calling!
CIRE: What sets your company apart from other companies?
SUZANNE: There are so many stunning hotels with amazing services to rave about. At the end of the day, people buy from people they like and trust. That is TAOH’s philosophy and we will always remain true to our values. We are storytellers by nature and thrive on really understanding who our hoteliers are as a person, as well as interested in what’s the ‘story behind the scenes’ of a hotel that sets it apart. TAOH brings people together in creative ways, leaving a lasting impression on all.
CIRE: What do you love most about your job?
SUZANNE: Making people happy defines my very core, which is why it gives me great pleasure entertaining travel industry friends in my home and on the road, planning parties, road shows and, these days, interactive Zoom calls. I also thrive on feeding my creative side with projects like the creation of our recent cookbook named The Art of Hospitality TABLE, a collection of recipes and personal stories contributed by our hoteliers. This project was a true labor of love and a personal way to showcase the TAOH collection! Plus, I get to work with some of the smartest, high energy, caring individuals in the business!
CIRE: Agreed! Your team is amazing! What’s your travel secret or top tip?
SUZANNE: Grab a hotel’s big-old folding map and start walking! Being on foot is truly the best way to explore and really bring the destination to life. And I always consult with my in-the-know travel advisors who are invaluable with their insight and recommendations! Their expertise help create an itinerary of must-sees, from tried-true landmarks to hidden gems!
CIRE: (Dear readers: We did NOT tell Suzanne to say that!) Thanks for the shout-out, Suzanne! You really are the best! Looking forward to an in-person visit soon…hopefully the “Townie Tour” in Andover!
CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY. Our expert team supports clients across the country and around the world.