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An Interview with the GM: Mr. Rui Reis of The St. Regis Mexico City
September 4, 2009By: K. Clare Johnson
St. Regis Mexico CityMr. Rui Reis is the General Manager of The St. Regis Mexico City-the first city-centered St. Regis property in all of Mexico and Latin America. He was previously Area Managing Director for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, overseeing The St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, The Luxury Collection's Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, The Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, and The Sheraton Tahiti Hotel. He was also general manager at a number of high-end, luxury resorts including Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, The El Camarindo Golf Resort, and the El Careyas Beach Resort, both Starwood Luxury Collection resorts in Jalisco, Mexico. Just prior to the opening of the luxury property, Mr. Reis took some time to sit down and answer a few of our questions.

Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?

Mr. Rui Reis: I have been with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for a majority of my career and it has been one of the best honors and experiences to oversee properties such as The St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, The Sheraton Tahiti Hotel, and so many others. I have enjoyed working in several countries but have a great appreciation for Mexico, so when the opportunity to oversee this exquisite hotel became available, I knew I had to be a part of it.

Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?

Rui Reis: The most distinctive feature of The St. Regis Mexico City is the unique mixture of the rich culture of Mexico City blended with the signature amenities and legendary services of the St. Regis brand such as our white gloved butler service. The personality of the hotel would be described as timeless elegance in the new renaissance of Mexico City.

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Rui Reis: Our customers exist at the intersection of traditional and contemporary luxury. They are industry leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit, contemporary epicureans, enjoy the true "art of living" and travel from all over the world.

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Rui Reis: The St. Regis Mexico City is surrounded by the elegant aspects of the famed capital city such as the Fountain of Diana, Polanco, the financial district, The Frida Kahlo Museum and much more. My favorite thing to do is visit the nearby museums. What I love about Mexico City is that it displays a broad range of art- murals, paintings, statues, and performing arts- all over the city as a reflection the culture.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Rui Reis: We have not yet opened but plan to extend our welcome to all famous celebrities and guests.

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages? If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?

Rui Reis: All of our standard rooms and suites are exquisite and captivating, each with spectacular views of the city.

Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel? Perhaps a bit of history? Any special events that have taken place on property?

Rui Reis: The St. Regis Mexico City is the first city-centered St. Regis property in all of Mexico and Latin America. There have not been any special events yet, but once we open the doors, the hotel will host signature traditions such as the St. Regis champagne toast on a weekly basis.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Rui Reis: If I were a guest, I would want to prepare for the refined and distinctive experience only offered at the St. Regis. I would also want to know that the signature St. Regis butlers will be a great resource to assist throughout my stay, from any hotel room needs to helping plan a full day of nearby activities.

Five Star Alliance: What is the hardest part about being General Manager? If you could change one thing about the hotel, what would that be?

Rui Reis: The hardest part about being General Manager is having all of these great amenities and fine dining nearby! I must remember to not indulge too much on a daily basis!

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Rui Reis: The original The St. Regis New York is an exquisite hotel that led the industry in bespoke services that are still appreciated today such as the signature white-gloved butler service. Also, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is an extraordinary resort offering an uncompromising escape to the coast of Mexico unlike any of its kind.