“Alien” keeps watch over New York’s only
luxury Five Star hotel and Five Star Restaurant
Annoh chats to Suzie Mills about her role, the property
she manages and her aspirations.
Suzannah Jayne “Suzie” Mills, the general
manager of the 167 luxury accommodation, Trump
International Hotel & Tower, New York at
One Central Park West is one very fortunate professional
As General Manager of New York’s only double
five star luxury establishments, she is also the
youngest and one of the only three female general
managers in the entire US collection of general
managers in five star establishments. The Trumps
are a very hardworking family and Suzie is no stranger
to hard work. She was first introduced into the
hospitality industry at the age of 10, working at
her parents’ hotel in Wales. Launched in October
2007, the Trump® Hotel Collection is the next
generation of luxury hospitality presided over by
internationally renowned developer Donald J. Trump
and his three grown children – Donald Jr.,
Ivanka and Eric – the prestigious portfolio
includes the highly acclaimed Trump International
Hotel & Tower® New York.
does it feel like to be an “alien”,
woman, and so powerful in the American hotel industry?
It is nice to be a novelty. I am an alien to the
American because I was born in Chiswick, London,
went to live in Wales before returning to London
again to work. My parents are English as well, so
I am very English. People like to hear the accent
and I like to know that I am making a difference.
youngest GM in New York and female – what
are some of the challenges that you face in your
day to day activities?
Being one of the only three female general managers
of luxury establishments out of 69 male general
managers, one has the tendency of always wanting
to prove oneself; unconsciously, this makes you
put a lot of pressure on yourself.
My own colleagues
at the Tower are wonderful but others in the industry tend
to forget that a woman can be a general manager and quickly
assume that you are in Sales.
is it like working with the Trumps especially with Ivanka
who has driven the design process of this hotel?
Ivanka is extremely influential. Both she and her father
Donald, contributed to the concept especially as the Trump
Tower is the smallest proper hotel of the Trumps. There
is always the occasional argument between father and daughter
over modern and traditional tastes but they agree in the
end. Donald Trump takes a lot of pride in the Tower; for
example he chose the TV – the whole Trump International
Hotel & Tower is his “baby”.
Is the Trump Tower really the only 5-star hotel
and restaurant in New York? What makes it so different?
No, it is not the only five star hotel in New York but it
is the only one with a five star restaurant. The restaurant
has three Michelin stars, making it one of the five Michelin
star restaurants in Manhattan, New York.
preferences and maintains a detailed guest history to ensure
that no stay feels like the first and no request needs repeating.
also have Donald Trump involved as an owner but we
also have 170 or so happy condo owners. This is the
difference between the Trump Tower and the other five
star hotels. Another
unique thing about the tower is that every suite or
condo has a kitchen or kitchenette. There are also
several exclusive services the hotel offers its guests,
including the comprehensive assistance of Trump Attaché™.
Trump Attaché is a signature program of the
Trump Hotel Collection. It provides guests with comprehensive
service – no matter how particular – throughout
their stay. Following check-out, the Attaché
meticulously records each
place like New York with so many restaurant choices why
would guests want to eat in-house and why would street clients
walk in to eat at the Tower?
hotel’s five-star restaurant, is led by award-winning
chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, 2009 winner of the
James Beard Foundation award for “Outstanding
Restaurant” for his Suarez Restaurant in New
York, NY. Jean-Georges at the Trump Tower is now the
flagship restaurant for the award-winning chef whose
other New York restaurants include the highly praised
Vong, Mercer Kitchen, Spice Market and Perry Street..
It serves contemporary French cuisine. For an exceptional
experience, the hotel can bring the restaurant to
a guest’s room, and is available 24 hours. With
advance notice, a restaurant chef can be arranged
to prepare culinary specialties in a guest’s
kitchen, and present the gourmet meal course by course.
have to pick one favourite spot in the Tower where would
it be and why?
I would pick Room 1600 a beautiful two-bedroom suite because
it has the best panoramic view in New York!
that you have achieved this wonderful goal of managing an
iconic property in the heart of New York, what next for
Good question. I suppose that ultimately, I would like to
manage another opening or development where I will be in
charge of the operational side of things so that I can ensure
that the day-to-day operational requirements like storage
spaces, etc are incorporated into the project. Designers,
Architects etc are all very good at their jobs but it takes
a hands on functional manager to prompt them about what
is required from the operational point of view.