Albert Mertz has overseen lavish hotels in the most glamorous metropolitan areas and locales in the globe.
Now he’s enthusiastic to be in Greenville having the helm of a spouse and children legacy undertaking – Lodge Hartness, scheduled to open up this winter season.
“My profession has taken me all over the globe,” suggests Mertz, who has used 30 decades in the hospitality business. “I’m delighted to be setting up a grand lodge in Greenville. It’s been a goal to dwell in this region for quite a few decades.”
Mertz’s get the job done with Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. took him to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Spain. Mandarin Oriental Team moved him to London, China, Singapore, and American cities like Miami and Washington, D.C.
He managed the launch of 24 villas in a jungle and 800-space qualities in Japan, Korea, and the Caribbean – “in the center of huge towns and in the middle of nowhere,” Mertz states.
“I opened a residence on the North Coastline of the Dominican Republic. It was a two-hour travel to the store,” he states. “If there is a will, you will find a way.” The resort was named Finest Hotel in the Caribbean by Journey + Leisure in its initial 12 months.
The working day Mertz arrived in Greenville 6 months back, the weather conditions was cold. “Do you know how excellent that is right after working in the Caribbean and hot sites for a good aspect of my job? Possessing seasons. It can be wonderful.”
Mertz said he and his wife, Ginger, declined 4 other opportunities to appear to Lodge Hartness.
“I turned down some incredible jobs. But none of them experienced the importance of this assets since this assets has a family’s identify on it. It checked all the containers professionally and individually,” Mertz states.
Ground was damaged in December 2020 for Lodge Hartness, which is staying developed by the Hartness loved ones on the web site of the household house in the vicinity of Pelham Road and Hwy. 14. The 73-room resort will be aspect of a 449-acre local community of properties, organizations, leisure amenities, and open up areas.
“It’s an honor to open up a residence that is likely to be a legacy for the Hartness loved ones,” Mertz says.
The resort will have an adjacent, glass-encased cafe, identified as Patterson a spa occasion room and a bar inside of the lodge named The Captain, in honor of a family patriarch. The approach is for all to open up simultaneously.
Mertz is thrilled that Patterson, The Captain, and Village Kitchen, which opened in 2021 at Hartness’ Village Centre, will become component of the local foodstuff and beverage landscape.
“To take part, to make an impression, to make Greenville an even improved put to dwell … that’s rather rewarding,” he claims.
Village Kitchen is extra informal. Patterson will be wonderful eating with a perspective of the tree line and a pond. The Captain will be the “gem in the crown.”
Each section of the resort will be set about a courtyard. “There’s a lot of normal gentle and a landscape that is unique to something in the market. It’s going to be fairly lovely,” he suggests.
“The Hartness spouse and children prepared this in a 180-acre nature preserve, which will give you that retreat feel, give you a emotion of being away.”
In actuality, the hotel will be 11 miles from the Peace Centre for Performing Arts in downtown Greenville and five miles from Greenville-Spartanburg Intercontinental Airport.
“We’re obtainable and close to almost everything. We’re not out in the center of nowhere,” Mertz says. “Guests will find out a gem within just the metropolis that will make you really feel like you might be transported somewhere else.”
Sean Hartness is CEO of the advancement, and the hotel will be managed by Hay Creek Accommodations, which specializes in exceptional attributes. Tanner Marino is the government chef of Village Kitchen area, as perfectly as Patterson, The Captain, and catering. Michael Bonasia is Director of Gross sales and Promoting.
A staff of about 100 will sign up for them.
“I job interview each individual one person who we think about for a position in the hotel,” claims Mertz, who began operating in inns following large school and afterwards graduated from the College of Houston, exactly where he analyzed the hospitality sector.
“I’ve worked almost each situation in a lodge. And I am happy to say it. Every posture is just as important as the other. Some positions demand a talent established, but speaking broadly, I can educate you how to provide at a luxurious restaurant … I can instruct you how to make a bed … But I are not able to educate you how to be heat and genuine. And that is what I glimpse for.”
He also has a listing of at least 1,000 objects that have to have to be purchased.
“A whole lot goes into the opening of the lodge. I have been fortuitous to open up around a dozen accommodations, so it’s a talent that I’ve honed,” Mertz claims.
“My purpose is to build ordeals. That’s what I’m here to do. It’s not just to outfit a resort.”
There is no handbook, no catalog. And Mertz is gratified that Hay Creek and Hartness want to set up an impartial luxurious resort that nonetheless feels like Greenville.
“The strategy is not to be the ideal. Which is definitely component of the intention, but currently being the very best is not seriously where my emphasis is,” he suggests. “Being a good hotel is 1 matter. Remaining the only resort that does certain issues in a particular fashion, which is what makes the variance.”
True luxury is personalizing a guest’s expertise.
“No two people today have the same style. We’ll be trying to get all people small facts that make a guest truly feel very good. To set it in one phrase, it’s very simple: It truly is caring,” Mertz states.
“We’re exhibiting genuine care, we’re remaining heat. Those people are the components of luxury. We are below to serve. That is our part. As a hotelier, that is what I do, and I want to make confident that from the minute you get there to the moment you go away, and immediately after you’re long gone, you’re nonetheless thinking about how excellent you felt although you were being listed here.”