Jonathan Wise new GM at The Jhouse Greenwich
The JHouse Greenwich, a boldly contemporary 85-room property with an advanced technology sensibility, has recruited 20-plus year luxury hotel management veteran Jonathan Wise to more fully realize the 18-month old hotel?s potential as a swank, yet relaxed,refuge for sophisticated leisure and business travelers, as well as a vibrant, valuable local community resource. In his new role as general manager, Wise – who grew up in the rarefied world of Relais & Ch?teaux at his family?s famed Inn at Manitou outside Toronto, Canada – has instituted a number of initiatives to elevate The JHouse?s level of service and operating culture. Ranging from the reorganization of senior management and putting a new front office and sales team in place to the re-direction of the hotel?s eleven14 Kitchen restaurant, they have already resulted a 23% percent increase in occupancy and 38% increase in ADR.
Specifically, for the hotel operation, Wise has conducted an intense shakedown of The JHouse?s signature high tech aspects – including in-room Apple iPads that control lights, shades and temperature, along with affecting internal communications with hotel services ? to assure all features work seamlessly. Concurrently, he initiated nightly turn down service, full-time bell service program, courtesy vehicle service, weekly live jazz performances, new uniforms and the renovation of The JHouse?s three meeting rooms. He has also developed an innovative art program to showcase the hotel?s impressive contemporary art collection and to complement it with revolving exhibitions by emerging artists.
On the restaurant front, Wise has banished any former pretense by collaborating with Executive Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo to create new contemporary American menus that are approachable and versatile, while better reflecting the restaurant?s commitment to locally and seasonally inspired ingredients. He also added innovative sushi offerings to the menu repertoire; revamped the wine program to be more accessible to diners and retained a world-class mixologist to conceive seasonal signature cocktails.
?Like many new properties, The JHouse had a bit of a rocky beginning. Now with that behind us, it is an exciting challenge to refocus the hotel?s team to achieve its true potential,? notes Wise. ?The owners spent a tremendous amount of capital to create a truly precedent-setting property as the only hotel between New York City and Boston which combines a world class contemporary vibe with a luxury ethos. In fact, The JHouse proves high end New England hospitality and design can be far more than four-post canopy beds and painting of landscapes or sailboats.?
Prior to Joining The JHouse, for five years Wise was president of Greenwich, CT based Highfield Hospitality, a consultancy for the luxury sector of the hotel industry specializing in the development, re-positioning and marketing of boutique resorts worldwide. The likes of the 17-room ultra-luxury Botanique Hotel & Spa in Campos deJordao, Brazil, Fiji?s Taunovo Bay, 1000-acre sumptuous beach resort and real estate development, which he opened and placed it into Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and two properties in one of Asia?s fastest developing tourist destinations, Kota Kinabalu, on Malaysia?s fabled Borneo – the 44-villa Gayana Eco Resort, which he repositioned from a three-star to a five star rating and the Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa with 47 villas. Wise secured membership for both in Preferred Boutique?s global collection of extraordinary intimate hotels, the first in Malaysia to be accepted.
Earlier in his career, Wise held senior management positions at acclaimed luxury properties such as The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, and New York City?s The Mark and The Iroquois. From 1999 to 2002, as director of hotel operations for Greenwich Hospitality, Wise was responsible for the development of Delamar Greenwich Harbor, as the town?s first five-star hotel. He moved on to manage the celebrated Villa del Sol in Zihuatanejo, Mexico for two years before being asked to return to the Delamar in 2004 to take on a brief as general manager similar to that of that he was given at The JHouse; to achieve the owners? goals for what was then an under-performing property. During Wise?s four-year tenure , The Delamar became the most successful luxury property in the region with Connecticut?s consistently highest ADR and REVPAR under his subsequent tenure.