Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Arest

Justin Arest

Co-Owner & Managing Partner, Kixby Hotel

If you visited a certain Murray Hill hotel in Manhattan in the mid-1980s, you may have been greeted by a six-year-old boy who cheerfully welcomed guests at the front desk of his family's hotel.

Justin Arest is still making guests feel at home. As managing partner and co-owner of the new Kixby hotel in Manhattan's Herald Square, Mr. Arest combines a genuine love of hospitality with broad experience and deep knowledge of the industry.

Through his decades-long career, Mr. Arest has worked in every role in hospitality, from engineering to housekeeping to sales. He wants to impress guests not only at his or her first impression but at all of them. "Operating a successful property is about narrating the guest experience at every touchpoint, and most importantly, exceeding expectations." Mr. Arest also serves as managing partner of Arest Associates, a real estate investment company whose portfolio includes Kixby.

After studying finance and international business at NYU's Stern School of Business, Mr. Arest earned his law degree from George Washington University Law School. But his passion for the real estate industry, the hospitality sector in particular, kept tugging at him through his time in the mergers & acquisitions department of a global law firm. In 2006 he joined the family business, eventually taking it over and expanding. He would also become managing partner of the Hotel Metro, a hugely popular Herald Square hotel.

As Mr. Arest and partner BD Hotels transform the Metro into the Kixby - a new kind of boutique hotel for Herald Square - one thing won't change: his office will remain on the hotel's second floor, where it has been for over ten years. Even if guests never meet him, they can get to know him through his personal touches to the hotel; many of Mr. Arest's choices for Kixby were inspired by his own travels.

Mr. Arest is the rare developer whose appreciation of aesthetics equals his grasp of technical and financial necessities for every project. He feels strongly about volunteerism and giving back to his community. Most recently, he has served as a Trustee of the Village of Scarsdale, an elected volunteer position, since 2018.

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

Mr. Arest can be contacted at +1 646-943-5050 or justin@arestassociates.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.