Albert Mertz has overseen lavish hotels in the most glamorous metropolitan areas and locales in the earth.
Now he’s fired up to be in Greenville having the helm of a spouse and children legacy venture – Hotel Hartness, scheduled to open up this winter season.
“My occupation has taken me close to the world,” claims Mertz, who has invested 30 several years in the hospitality organization. “I’m delighted to be developing a grand lodge in Greenville. It is been a goal to are living in this place for several several years.”
Mertz’s perform with Ritz-Carlton Lodge Co. took him to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Spain. Mandarin Oriental Group moved him to London, China, Singapore, and American metropolitan areas like Miami and Washington, D.C.
He managed the launch of 24 villas in a jungle and 800-room properties in Japan, Korea, and the Caribbean – “in the middle of large metropolitan areas and in the center of nowhere,” Mertz says.
“I opened a residence on the North Coastline of the Dominican Republic. It was a two-hour generate to the store,” he suggests. “If you will find a will, there is a way.” The hotel was named Finest Resort in the Caribbean by Vacation + Leisure in its initial 12 months.
The day Mertz arrived in Greenville six months ago, the temperature was cold. “Do you know how terrific that is following functioning in the Caribbean and warm destinations for a very good portion of my career? Getting seasons. It is really fantastic.”
Mertz claimed he and his wife, Ginger, declined 4 other chances to come to Resort Hartness.
“I turned down some remarkable assignments. But none of them experienced the importance of this property due to the fact this assets has a family’s title on it. It checked all the boxes skillfully and individually,” Mertz suggests.
Floor was damaged in December 2020 for Lodge Hartness, which is currently being formulated by the Hartness family on the internet site of the loved ones house close to Pelham Road and Hwy. 14. The 73-space lodge will be component of a 449-acre neighborhood of houses, corporations, leisure features, and open up spaces.
“It’s an honor to open up a residence that is going to be a legacy for the Hartness household,” Mertz suggests.
The resort will have an adjacent, glass-encased cafe, identified as Patterson a spa party house and a bar inside the lodge named The Captain, in honor of a spouse and children patriarch. The system is for all to open up concurrently.
Mertz is fired up that Patterson, The Captain, and Village Kitchen, which opened in 2021 at Hartness’ Village Centre, will grow to be portion of the area food stuff and beverage landscape.
“To participate, to make an effects, to make Greenville an even superior place to reside … that is really gratifying,” he states.
Village Kitchen area is much more informal. Patterson will be fantastic eating with a check out of the tree line and a pond. The Captain will be the “gem in the crown.”
Each aspect of the lodge will be established all around a courtyard. “There’s a whole lot of all-natural light-weight and a landscape that is unique to something in the industry. It is going to be pretty wonderful,” he states.
“The Hartness family members prepared this in a 180-acre nature preserve, which will give you that retreat feel, give you a sensation of remaining absent.”
In truth, the resort will be 11 miles from the Peace Heart for Performing Arts in downtown Greenville and 5 miles from Greenville-Spartanburg Intercontinental Airport.
“We’re obtainable and near to all the things. We’re not out in the center of nowhere,” Mertz says. “Guests will learn a gem inside of the town that will make you really feel like you happen to be transported somewhere else.”
Sean Hartness is CEO of the growth, and the resort will be managed by Hay Creek Accommodations, which specializes in distinctive houses. Tanner Marino is the govt chef of Village Kitchen area, as effectively as Patterson, The Captain, and catering. Michael Bonasia is Director of Income and Internet marketing.
A workers of about 100 will be a part of them.
“I interview each and every single human being who we consider for a purpose in the hotel,” states Mertz, who commenced functioning in lodges immediately after significant faculty and later on graduated from the College of Houston, where by he examined the hospitality market.
“I’ve worked pretty much each individual posture in a lodge. And I am happy to say it. Just about every posture is just as essential as the other. Some positions need a ability established, but speaking broadly, I can instruct you how to provide at a luxurious restaurant … I can teach you how to make a bed … But I cannot train you how to be heat and authentic. And which is what I appear for.”
He also has a list of at least 1,000 products that have to have to be purchased.
“A ton goes into the opening of the hotel. I’ve been privileged to open up more than a dozen resorts, so it is a skill that I’ve honed,” Mertz states.
“My function is to develop experiences. Which is what I’m here to do. It truly is not just to outfit a hotel.”
There is no handbook, no catalog. And Mertz is gratified that Hay Creek and Hartness want to build an independent luxury lodge that however feels like Greenville.
“The plan is not to be the greatest. That’s certainly element of the purpose, but getting the most effective is not truly wherever my aim is,” he says. “Being a excellent lodge is a single matter. Getting the only resort that does specified things in a certain style, that is what would make the big difference.”
Real luxury is personalizing a guest’s knowledge.
“No two individuals have the very same flavor. We’ll be trying to find all all those minimal facts that make a visitor come to feel superior. To set it in a single word, it is incredibly easy: It really is caring,” Mertz states.
“We’re exhibiting real treatment, we’re being heat. People are the elements of luxurious. We are right here to serve. That is our role. As a hotelier, which is what I do, and I want to make positive that from the moment you arrive to the minute you go away, and right after you happen to be long gone, you’re nevertheless considering about how good you felt even though you have been right here.”