Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero
- 222 Sansome Street, San Francisco, California, 94104, USA
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2017
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Hotel Manager, Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
- Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; W San Francisco; Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii; W New York – Downtown; 24 Grille, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
- Detroit, Michigan, USA
As General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero, Robert Megargle keeps his focus straight ahead – but he likes to look around corners, too. “I’ve been known to seek out new management tools and technologies to enhance our operations wherever I can find them,” he says, noting successes with everything from hospitality to sleeping software developed by local start-ups. “I’m always after what’s next to positively impact the team and elevate the guest experience.”
Whichever way Megargle is looking, the view from the Hotel is incredible. The Embarcadero property reflagged the top 11 floors of a 48-storey landmark building with panoramic perspectives on the city, the Bay, and especially the Golden Gate Bridge. “The views in this location are iconic,” he says, “and our design enhances them, creating our own sense of place with colours that frame the sights.”
Megargle, who goes by “Bob,” is well acquainted with the hotel scene in the city below. He arrived in San Francisco in 2014 as a manager for a luxury property and quickly made his mark as the first hotel professional ever named to the San Francisco Business Times’ “40 Under 40” round up of young leaders in 2016. He joined Four Seasons the following year, starting as Hotel Manager at the company’s original San Francisco address.
Megargle believes strongly that the two properties complement each other, seeing Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero as the future of luxury hospitality for the company as well as the city. “This Hotel truly has a ‘next-gen’ design perspective that’s enriched by stunning views and brought to life by our amazing people. With the city continuing to set an inspiring example for growth, we fit right into the heart of the action.”
Key to that action is services and amenities designed to appeal to a range of demographics. The Hotel is a hotspot for business travellers and leisure clientele alike, particularly for out-of-town guests and California locals on weekends with its steps-away proximity to Union Square, the Embarcadero waterfront, and Fisherman’s Wharf.
“So many Four Seasons guests and clients were thrilled that we were moving into this space. I feel like we’re setting the right tone at the right time to foster a truly unique connection with our employees and our guests in this special part of the city.”
Megargle has had a knack for setting the right tone throughout his career. Born in Detroit and raised in nearby Grosse Pointe, Michigan, he was inspired to success by his mother, a hardworking single mom who heads the nursing department at a local medical organization. She always showed him that if he welcomed people warmly and treated them personably, he would be successful. “She taught me at an early age to always take care of others, and that if you set out to create something, make it exceptional.”
His first work was as a busboy and valet. He accelerated into restaurant management in the early ‘00s and relocated back to the Motor City, which was on a downturn at the time. While managing a jazz supper club, he got acquainted with a real estate developer who liked Megargle’s hospitality chops as much as the music.
The developer became a mentor and later offered Megargle an opportunity to launch a restaurant within a newly reflagged hotel in downtown Detroit. Only 26 years old at the time, Megargle rode the assignment from concept to success, opening 24 Grille, a chic and sexy gastropub named in tribute to the hotel’s history, in 2008. “We were part of the first wave of restaurant openings that led to Detroit becoming one of the nation’s best food scenes.”
The experience inspired Megargle to shift gears into hotel work, which took him first to New York City, then to an oceanfront resort in Maui where, while directing food & beverage, he had the stroke of genius to set up a hybrid ice skating rink along the beach. The rink was a huge hit and became an annual festive season addition for the resort while living on as one the disruptive touchstones of Megargle’s career. “Isadore Sharp still mentions it every time I see him,” he says of Four Seasons founder.
Now right at home overseeing the newest Four Seasons in the City by the Bay, Megargle is actively involved a local foundation that grants scholarships to students with passion for hospitality. He is also nuts for the natural beauty surrounding San Francisco – “if I’m not in the water, I’m probably on a mountain bike” – and regularly joins his wife, a fitness professional, for her sculpting classes and outdoor adventures.
“I’ve always been into experiencing things that help me grow. It doesn’t matter who it’s from – my employees, my wife, my surroundings. I’m just a curious person who loves to learn.”