Hotel Domestique, the new luxury boutique inn catering to sophisticated travelers and active lifestyles, has appointed Ben Webster as the Hotel General Manager. Webster’s mission? Get to know every guest in the hotel and deliver to them superior service befitting an intimate hotel with only 13 rooms.
When Webster visited Hotel Domestique for an interview and met with the management team, he immediately knew it was the right fit.
“The team’s guest-focused philosophy, as opposed to just numbers, was of utmost importance to me,” Webster said. “George and Rich Hincapie, the owners of Hotel Domestique, understand they’ll be successful if they focus on the guests. It was refreshing to find owners that passionate about delivering the right experience at their property.”
It isn’t only the owner’s who are passionate about Hotel Domestique. Webster was also impressed with the staff’s commitment, and no one more so than Adam Cooke, the hotel’s Executive Chef who oversees Restaurant 17. Webster realized Cooke cares more about the guest experience than about his ego. He was impressed with the way Cooke senses guests’ culinary desires no matter where they’re from, and how Cooke understands service from a back of the house standpoint. In short, Adam, like Webster, understands and shares the Hincapie brothers’ vision of the property.
Webster’s background at the 5-Star, 5-Diamond Mayflower — a property with only 30 hotel rooms and a tight-knit group of employees — infused in him a passion for connecting with the guests on a level he could never do at a bigger property. It was at the Mayflower where he learned every aspect of guest services, having worked in many facets of the property from laundry to guest services to bellman and valet. He was also Assistant Controller before serving as Assistant General Manager for the last five and a half years.
At Hotel Domestique, he relishes the fact that the staff can provide an even greater level of service.
“At the Mayflower, I knew every single person that walked in that door,” Webster said. “I knew what they did for work. I knew who they were, I knew what they liked to eat, I knew their kids names. At Hotel Domestique, we get to do that twice over because there are only 13 rooms. That’s what I want to bring to the property: making sure that when guests visit the hotel once, they’re coming back again, they’re coming back twice a year, and we’re the only place they want to go. And we do that through service.”
The area’s active lifestyle also meshes well with Webster’s active life. He runs, plays Ultimate Frisbee, and has more recently taken up rock climbing along with his wife Amanda.
“The area is very customizable to any experience,” he said. “You can come to Hotel Domestique with your wife and have one type of romantic experience. You can come there with your friends and have a different type experience. You can come there for an intimate corporate retreat. So every single guest is having a very different stay depending on what their expectations are, but everyone experiences the same consistency of food and service. Next time you come back maybe you want something different we can do that as well. That’s what the team at the hotel is working on right now, and I want to help them discover how we’re going to personalize experiences for the guests.”