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Recently promoted to Area Managing Director – Northern Europe at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Priscilla Haryadi guides us through news from the family-owned brand and tells us more about its unique structure and upcoming focuses.


Recently promoted to Area Managing Director – Northern Europe at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Priscilla Haryadi guides us through news from the family-owned brand and tells us more about its unique structure and upcoming focuses.

Category: Europe - Industry economy - Careers - Appointments Hotel opening Hotel projects - Interviews
Interview made by Vanessa Guerrier-Buisine on 2024-03-12

Priscilla Haryadi, Area Managing Director, Northern Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Priscilla Haryadi, Area Managing Director, Northern Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Photo credit © Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is a leading brand in the independent hotel space, representing more than 600 properties in over 80 countries. It comprises four distinct collections - Legend, L.V.X, Lifestyle, and Residences - each offering luxury accommodation experiences that range from casual to fully immersive. Due to the unique nature and independent status of the member hotels, the brand does not provide a one-size-fits-all model, rather Preferred is committed to championing their independence and authentic connection to their local surroundings and culture.

CEO Lindsey Ueberroth is at the helm of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and cultivates a family spirit based on a ‘Believe in Travel’ ethos. Priscilla Haryadi, who joined the company nine years ago in 2014, was promoted to her new enhanced role in January. Born in Jakarta, Priscilla has had an inspiring career in the hospitality industry, which has helped shape her current position at Preferred. After an initial stopover in Florida at Hyatt in 2000, she landed in Rome in 2005 to climb the ladder at the Hotel Hassler, before joining the opening team at the First Arte Roma.

Priscilla spoke to Le Journal des Palaces about her role and what convinces independent hoteliers to choose to join the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand.

Journal des Palaces: What is your role at Preferred Hotels & Resorts?

Priscilla Haryadi: My primary mission in my role, that is shared with all our associates globally, is to serve as a brand ambassador for the brand and the Ueberroth family. We live and breathe Preferred Hotels and the ideology of the company that is focused on how family values inspire us, how change creates opportunity, and most importantly, believing in travel.
On a day-to-day basis, I strive to enhance our brand standing and footprint, by showcasing our amazing portfolio in the region worldwide.

I ensure our member hotels within the region are well represented as luxury independent hotels, and highlight new opportunities for them so they can diversify their business. I help them identify new emerging markets, build their direct business clientele and repeat business, and I help them create distribution efficiencies to make sure they are optimizing their opportunities without our global network.

My additional focus is on expanding our brand footprint across the region through a rigorous selection of finding new hotel partners who not only align with our brand DNA but also align with our ideology and share a strong commitment to excellence. 2024 is set to be a promising year for growth in the region.

How is your Paris office structured? How many people work there and in which areas?

I am based in the Preferred Paris office along with six other associates that work across global sales, revenue optimization, promoting our I Prefer loyalty program, and marketing, we work very closely with our 35 global offices worldwide, and particularly with our European offices in London, Milan, Madrid, and Munich.

We also have a disciplined division called the “integrated quality assurance programme”. We partner with Forbes Travel Guide to elevate our programme, particularly for hotel members in our Legend Collection, which allows them to benefit from the most prestigious global rating accreditation, the Forbes Travel Guide, while consistently elevating brand standards.

You've just announced a partnership with the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA), could you tell us more about that?

As you know, EHMA is a non-profit association for hotel managers operating in first class luxury hotels across Europe. Their main mission is to foster friendship among its members, support networking, and share experiences.

This is so much aligned with our brand values, and it just makes the partnership a perfect fit. Preferred Hotels is about making connections, networking, and another key focus for us is mentorship in the travel industry. We also partner with Cornell University to offer our associates and hotel members the opportunity to sign up for relevant courses that the university offers.

We want to bring our expertise, our network, our resources, and our diverse global knowledge to the EHMA members, and really build this strong synergy within the luxury hotel community across Europe. We look forward to joining them at their 50th anniversary in Venice in April.

How many hotels do you manage in Northern Europe?

I’ve been part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts family for nearly 10 years, initially overseeing France, Monaco, Switzerland, Belgium, and Morocco. Since 2022, my responsibilities expanded to include the Nordics, as we increased our presence in Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. With my newly expanded role, I now also oversee the partnerships and growth in the UK and Ireland, which includes a total portfolio of over 70 prestigious properties across Northern Europe.

Could you tell us about the latest openings in Northern Europe? And any current projects?

2023 was a strong year of growth for Preferred Hotels & Resorts in Northern Europe, and we were thrilled to celebrate a host of new openings including The BoTree in London in September and The Hotel Maria, which opened in Helsinki in December. Both of these properties are part of our prestigious Legend Collection. We also celebrated the openings of the Hotel Dame des Arts and its sister property, Hotel des Grands Voyageurs in Paris, which are both part of our Lifestyle Collection.

In 2024, we have 11 properties launching globally, five of them in Europe including Maison Albar Victoria, which is opening this spring in Nice. This is set to be a very exciting opening in the city located a stone’s throw from Nice’s old town with views of the surrounding hills and Mediterranean. We have been waiting for the right partner to have a presence there, which is something important to the Preferred brand when we grow our footprint in new destinations.

In your opinion, what are the main strengths of Preferred Hotels & Resorts compared with other collections in Northern Europe?

One of our main strengths and what really makes us different is that we are a family-owned business. This really resonates with the independent spirit of our member hotels and makes us very approachable and accountable. It also allows us flexibility, and we are able to adapt much faster than other large companies.

It is our job to support our hotels to reach their goals without losing what makes them special as an independent property. Our partners know where to reach us, the type of support and help they can get from us, and they know they can count on us and the family for support. We offer our members the resources and network of a big global brand but with a personalized and individual approach.

How is that possible with more than 600 hotels?

A key element of our DNA is “approachability” and what allows us to excel is having a global strategy with regional focus and execution. Across our five offices in Europe, we manage over 200 properties. Our regional approach and dynamic on-the-ground team allows us to be closer to our member hotels and understand their unique requirements, creating a deeper connection. Nothing replaces face-to-face meetings and making the authentic connection in real time.

the botree london

The BoTree, part of the Legend Collection, opened in London in September 2023
Photo credit © Simon Brown / Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Maison Albar, Le Victoria, will open its doors this year in Nice and join Preferred Hotels & Resorts' LVX collection
Photo credit © Preferred Hotels & Resorts

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About the author

As a journalist and luxury hotel expert inspired by the men and women who embody it, Vanessa aspires to enhance and sublimate the beauty and elegance of palaces through her writing. "In a palace, simplicity serves the quest for excellence" she admires.

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