Michael Beckley

Past GM

Michael Beckley

I have been in the Hotel Industry for 50 years.
I have worked in 10 hotels in Canada + Internationally.
As a Hotelier, I have lived in 6 countries (excluding Canada).

After 50 years in the industry it’s difficult to stop; therefore, rather than jumping off the balcony, maybe it’s time to walk down the staircase , very,very slowly and plan a 10 year phase out. Michael Beckley is currently Senior VP, Lodging Development , Marriott Hotels & Resorts Canada.

My first job/position in the hotel industry was a Management Trainee for British Transport Hotels working in the UK as a cook, France as a waiter and Germany as a receptionst night auditor

The number of times I have…

opened a hotel: 6
renovated a hotel: 8
removed a dead body: 3
escorted a guest off the property: 3
seen a ghost in a hotel: 0
kept “it” confidential:
driven a guest to the hospital: 4
dealt with an “Act of God”: 3
performed Housekeeping Duties (made beds, scrubbed toilets): 3
taken a sick day: 0

What does it take to be a GM?
MBWA (Management by Walking Around). Don’t get into too much of a routine, think outside of the box and consider new formula such as revenue per square foot, profit per guest,

The three things I can’t live without are:
1- having people around me
2-Mount Gay Rum
3-My wife
*Not necessarily in that order

My caffeine fix: Rum and Tea – not together.
When I get home at night, the dog is the first to greet me at the front door, followed by my wife with a large Mount Gay Rum & Soda in her hand and a kiss. After three rum and sodas I then take my wife for a walk around the block and sleep with the dog.

When I wake up, the first thing I think about is my blood pressure tablets

The Hotelier (or person) that has inspired me the most is Sigmund Wollman, Managing Director The Pink Beach Club in Bermuda formerly General Manager of the Watergate Hotel in Washington. He taught me to be humble and to pay attention to detail. He also taught me to hire the best chef and the best Maitre D’ so that I could sit with my back to restaurant and never get indigestion.

My most embarrassing encounter with a hotel guest was a lady who accused me of killing her husband. The fact was he was an alcoholic; she left him in our hotel to go off to a shopping expedition in Miami and while she was away he consumed a bottle of Vodka and jumped off the balcony into the pool…..the shallow end!

My most famous hotel guest was Princess Margaret,  Omar Sharif,  Julie Andrews,  Anthony Quayle,  Fidel Castro,  and Xaviera Hollander (The Happy Hooker).  Again not necessarily in that order.

My most bizarre special request from a hotel guest was for a wooden spoon to dislodge a steak that had gotten stuck in his wife’s windpipe. Sadly, she died in my station wagon on the way to hospital and mouth to mouth was out of the question.

Best CANADIAN hotel for a entertaining/fun/dirty/wild weekend: There isn’t one
Best CANADIAN hotel for a shopping trip: Somewhere remote where my wife can’t spend money, she has a Black Belt in shopping
Best CANADIAN hotel for business travel: The Ritz Carlton Toronto
Best CANADIAN convention hotel: The Ritz Carlton Toronto
Best CANADIAN airport hotel: The Marriott at Montreal Airport
Best CANADIAN resort
: JW Marriott Muskoka
Best RESTAURANT in a CANADIAN hotel: TOCA at the Ritz Carlton Toronto

Best technology innovation in hotels are hotel mobile apps

The best advice given to me.
Keep working, keep young.

My biggest pet peeve when visiting “other” hotels is arrogance.

The Hotel amenity I can’t live without is the hairdryer, it’s vanity as I am almost bald.

The worst feeling in the world is drinking Limoncello with Manlio Marescotti.

If I could change one thing about the hotel industry it would it be The Owners.

If I could meet one person (alive or dead) it would it be my Mother.

If I had to do it all over again, I would not hesitate. The greatest thing is that after 50 years in this industry, I have lived to be 100 anyway.

I prefer…
Day over Night
Summer over Winter
East Coast over West Coast
Sunrise over Sunset
Quiet over Loud
Classical Music over Rock