News & Reviews News Do you care about meeting the General Manager?

Once upon a time, the Aman General Manager (GM) was a jack-of-all-trades—answering emails, greeting guests, going through the bins to find all your preferences, seemingly omnipresent.  The GM grew a following, with guests picking which Aman to stay at based on the current GM.  They could move to another property and take clients with them.  They could make or break a stay.  Looking back, as charming as it was, asking your GM to be your Head of Sales perhaps isn’t the best use of their time.  Instead, they could spend that time reading my reviews.

The point is, the GM is sometimes seen as a mythical creature that can cure all the ills of a hotel.  And sometimes they’re right.  But I think it’s too easy to judge one on the basis of their presence, especially because of how little we see what happens behind the scenes.  One of the higher-ups at The Connaught used to be an absolute joy to me; I really loved the man, then when I met Lucie I found out he was a tyrant to all the staff.  That made me love him even more.  I mean, no, bad tyrant!  Being extroverted seems to play into the perception of whether they’re good or not.

Still, there’s something inherently magical about a hands-on GM. In my reviews, I note whether I saw the GM at all.  But an extrovert GM doth not maketh a great GM.

There’s something comforting about seeing the GM walking around, paying attention to the details, making sure standards are kept.  But that’s only a tiny part of their job – is it really that important?  From my recent trip to the St Barths and Anguilla, across five properties, we saw the GM in one property and met them in three.  Luckily, the one missing property, I already knew him – perhaps that’s why I didn’t see him.  He knew better.  It still makes me feel somewhat special that they have bothered to come and talk to me (and introduced themselves properly.  It’s such a weird encounter when you’re introduced to people and they never say who they are).  Yet, in one of those instances, he had the charisma of a used diaper and would sit around all day in the restaurants, ignoring everyone.  So certainly present, but not exactly the presence you want.

Personality certainly comes into it. Likeable people are often easier to forgive, more approachable when issues arise, and more empathetic. But I’ve met enough charming GMs who deliver terrible experiences and also GMs with personal deficiencies who manage excellent properties.

So, to answer the question, from a work perspective, it is important.  From a personal perspective, I do not care.  It’s nice, but I don’t look for it and don’t expect it.

What do you think?  Do you care if you meet the GM?  Do you actually expect it?

Why Travel With Us?

  • We Get You

    As members of the same privileged communities we serve, we know what it takes to deliver extraordinary experiences.

  • Connections Count

    Dorsia Travel is always up to speed on the best places to go - and the agency’s clients are always assured the warmest of VIP welcomes.

  • Hands-on and Honest

    We deliver expert recommendations and guidance with unwavering honesty so you can enjoy the best experience with your friends and family.

Your Journey Begins Here

While every trip is fully bespoke and completely unique, Dorsia Travel doesn’t charge its clients fees; trips typically start at US$2,500 per person per day.

Contact Us

Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 8th May '24

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

More About Tom