Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)
- 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California, 90212, U.S.A.
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1995
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Catering Manager, Four Seasons Hotel London
- Four Seasons Hotel Seattle; Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto; Four Seasons Hotel Dublin; Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, England; Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre; Four Seasons Hotel London; Hilton Corporation, UK
- London, England
- Postgraduate degree in Marketing, Thames Valley University, London; Economics and Geography degree, London University
For every star burning in the Los Angeles firmament, there are untold numbers doomed to fizzle. The key to assuring that Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) remains among the city’s brightest spots for hospitality is doing what the Hotel does best. “Our continued success as an iconic address relies on creating a really amazing experience for every guest,” says Ben Trodd, who arrived as General Manager in September 2011 to a city crackling with new and newly renovated competition. “That’s how we’re going to distinguish ourselves. It won’t be difficult, because that’s what Four Seasons does.”
If ever there was a team member who knows what Four Seasons does, it’s Trodd. He fell for hotels at a young age while staying at the “grande old dames” of Europe on travels with his family. “There was a certain formality to how the staff would dress and talk back then. I really enjoyed the experience.”
In college, Trodd studied not hotel management, but business and economics. He jumped into hospitality running bars and restaurants and then moved into hotel marketing and sales. He recalls a “very interesting year” as opening Director of Marketing at Four Seasons Hotel Dublin amid a Europe-wide health alert. He opened Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire as Director of Rooms, a job that included minding equestrian and fishing operations. “I wasn’t much for a fisherman then,” he recalls, laughing, “and I’m still not.”
As opening General Manager in Seattle prior to his current assignment, Trodd focused on building upon local goodwill. “There was no need to identify our brand as Four Seasons wasn’t new to the city, but the property was definitely a different hotel from the one that had existed before.” The key, he found, was understanding that Seattle-area businesses are less impressed by pretension than friendliness, efficiency and reliable service – aka, “what Four Seasons does.”
LA is a galaxy all its own, of course. Trodd knows how to play it thanks in part to his former role as Hotel Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. There is a far greater public relations role for a general manager than in other cities, he says, noting that the only way to feel comfortable with the extensive media- and sales-oriented demands of the job is to jump right in.
While many Four Seasons hotels have recently fashioned new restaurants targeted to the local scene – such as ART Restaurant that he helped get off the ground in Seattle – Trodd counts two established success stories among Beverly Wilshire’s greatest assets: CUT with Wolfgang Puck’s celebrated cuisine wrapped in Richard Meier’s timeless design, and The Blvd overlooking Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. “Whether you are an A-list film star or a bucket-list leisure traveller, there is no other spot like a seat on the patio at The Blvd for an iconic LA experience,” he says.
Between openings past and family present, Trodd admits he has never had much time for downtime pursuits. He remains, however, a long-suffering fan of West Ham United Football Club, which played so poorly in the Premier League that it was recently relegated to Football League Championship. “We’re just not very good,” says Trodd. Well, the Golden State Warriors always need fans.