Jetsetting With Hospitality Expert Shane Green
New Zealand-born Shane Green realized his love for hospitality after his move to the United States. Once there, he got a job at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey and his experience in the industry began to grow. Shane is now the founder of SGEi, a global consulting and training group, and the host of Travel Channel’s new series “Resort Rescue.” The show, which premieres on Tuesday, October 7, features Shane working with hotel and resort owners who need help to turn things around at their ailing establishments.
We caught up with this world traveler to see where he’s off to next!
Q: What type of traveler are you? (i.e., adventurer, cultural explorer, free spirit, rejuvenator, spa aficionado, etc.)
A: I used to be all about adventure and exploration, but it seems the busier I get, the more I look for opportunities to relax and unwind. I think great food and beverage options have become more and more important in my travel decisions.
Q: What types of activities do you like to do on your travels? Do you look for a place where it’s quiet and you can relax or someplace that has great activities or nightlife?
A: I like to relax, and since moving to Las Vegas I find myself wanting to relax on a beach. I miss the ocean air and the sound of the waves I enjoyed while living in Playa del Rey. One of my favorite activities is diving; I only get to do this once a year, so I love to visit a place that has exceptional marine life and clear waters.
Q: When thinking about where you will travel to next, what inspires you to make a decision? And what, if any, research do you do about that destination?
A: I am not sure it is possible to travel without conducting research today. In fact, if you do not research your vacations before you go, you are leaving one of your most important decisions up to chance. With so much feedback available online, you have no excuse for wasting your vacation time. Online reviews from the last 12 months are important to me; I look for any changes in management or the ownership as well as renovations. Travelers must ignore the dramatic glowing (or dreadful) reviews and look for trends. Avoid properties under renovation, unless they are giving it away; there are simply too many unknowns in these situations. Look for brands that speak to your style and what’s important to you.
Q: What is the most memorable trip you’ve taken and why?
A: Africa. My wife and I traveled to Kenya and Tanzania. We visited three safari sites with very different experiences: tents, traditional huts, and luxury lodges. Being in the hospitality business, we were able to use every connection we had in order to experience some of the most amazing wildlife, lodging, food, and moments. We then went to Zanzibar for some relaxing time on the beach—another completely unique experience and location.
Q: What is the best food you’ve ever found on a trip?
A: I love food, so it’s hard to select just one trip or meal. I love finding the locals’ favorites rather than the tourist traps. With so much information online, you can quickly find out where the locals go for the best food. I love to try a lot of different dishes and have found tapas-style menus to be my favorite.
Q: What, if anything, do you always take with you when you travel?
A: I always travel with my computer, a good book, emergency cash, and some protein bars for snacks.
Q: What’s your best piece of travel advice?
A: Do your research; do not leave your vacation to chance.
Q: Is there a destination to which you can’t imagine not returning?
A: Amanyara in Turks & Caicos. I was married there, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Amanyara also has one of the best food and beverage programs of any place in the world.
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A: We love our Vegas stay-cations. Every couple of months we pick a hotel in Vegas for a night away. We usually pick a new restaurant, show, or concert to enjoy. The advantage of being in Vegas is that you have access to great food, great entertainment, and friends who are passing through town.
Q: Where would you like to travel to next?
A: There are a few places on the list. Sometime in the next couple of years I’d like to plan a trip to Sardinia, a road trip through New Zealand, and a Christmas in Germany.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
A: We just wrapped up our first season of Travel Channel’s “Resort Rescue,” and now I am back with my team at SGEi working on the openings of some really high-profile, global hotels. It is very exciting to be involved in the launch of new hotel brands; the three we are involved in this year will be spectacular.
Shane Green’s Bio:
Shane Green was born in New Zealand and received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and business psychology from Canterbury University. He then moved to the United States, where he acquired 20 years of experience in the hotel and hospitality industry, nine of which were spent with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. His consulting experience with the well-known hotel brand led him to found his own consulting business, SGEi, where he grew a client roster that not only includes some of the world’s most recognizable hotel brands but also BMW, Christie’s Auction House, and the NBA. In Travel Channel’s new original series “Resort Rescue,” Shane uses hidden cameras to observe potential problems at a hotel or resort—such as poor customer service and dysfunctional owner-employee dynamics—and presents owners with an action plan to make improvements. The show debuts on October 7.
Follow Shane on Facebook and Twitter.