Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fernandez

Eduardo Fernandez

General Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Eduardo Fernandez is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of diverse hospitality experience.

Mr. Fernandez began his hospitality education with the Institut de Tourisme & D'Hotellerie du Quebec for hotel management and later, Barry University for a bachelor's degree in management. He went on to launch his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and managed numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and managed various properties for W Hotels.

Mr. Fernandez spent two years serving as general manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts' flagship hotel. Upon the 2014 sale of B Ocean, he was retained as general manager, and has since helped seamlessly transition the property into a successful new addition to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio.

Mr. Fernandez is heavily involved in the local business community. He is the chairman of the Beach Business Improvement District for the City of Fort Lauderdale (4 years) and chairman of the Beach Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the boards of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Broward Chapter, as immediate past president and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He is a part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale GM Council and also sits on the Broward Tourism Coalition Council.

As general manager, Mr. Fernandez maintains the operations of the property, featuring 240 guestrooms boasting panoramic views of Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Intracoastal Waterway. Opened in April 2019, he also supports Steelpan, the hotel's Caribbean-American fusion ocean-front restaurant.

Please visit http://www.sonesta.com for more information.

Mr. Fernandez can be contacted at +1 954-315-1460 or EFernandez@sonesta.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.