Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Eftekari

Mehdi Eftekari

General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Mehdi Eftekari is a prominent leader in the hospitality industry and has spent the last 24 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Eftekari began at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills as the director of food and beverage shortly after the hotel's opening in 1988, then spent 12 years as general manager of Four Seasons Newport Beach, and returned eight years ago as general manager of Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. His discerning taste and attention to detail contributed to the success of the opening of Culina, Modern Italian, which was the first destination restaurant to open at a Four Seasons Hotel without a celebrity chef component. Mr. Eftekari was involved in every step, from restaurant design to chef and menu selection. Culina has already been awarded by Esquire as one of the “nation's best new restaurants,” Wine Enthusiast Magazine for the wine list, and received a design award from Zagat. Mr. Eftekari was also heavily involved with the recent $35 million renovation of all guestrooms and suites, pool deck, and legendary Windows Lounge, and his leadership on providing dedicated, personalized service is evident throughout the hotel. During his career, Mr. Eftekari has made a career of weaving his way into the fabric of the community while earning the trust and friendship of his hotel guests. He is very involved in numerous charities including Toys for Tots and he sits on the board of several Los Angeles based organizations. He has established Four Seasons Los Angeles as a haven for Entertainment industry actors and executives, and as the top hotel in Los Angeles for press junkets. Eftekari has been instrumentally involved in the launch of the new iPads with ICE technology, as he deeply believes in providing cutting-edge amenities for Four Seasons Los Angeles' savvy guests. Mr. Eftekari's love for hospitality started at an early age. He arrived in the United States from Tehran and went to Georgetown University. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in business management and marketing at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, he pinned his future on hotels, beginning with Hyatt Hotels, working in food and beverage before joining Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Mr. Eftekari can be contacted at 310-786-2212 or mehdi.eftekari@fourseasons.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.