Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
- 300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, California, 90048, USA
Esther Oh Kostecky
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1999
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Assistant Manager in Training, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
- Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Surfside, Florida; Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane; Four Seasons Hotel Seoul; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti; Bilila Lodge, Serengeti National Park; Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel; Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto; Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; The Pierre (formerly a Four Seasons hotel), New York; Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
- Seoul, Korea
- Bachelor of Science, Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; General Managers Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- Korean, English
Esther Oh Kostecky is, in a sense, back home again. Though really, what is home for a world-traveling hotelier? “This is where I began my career as a management trainee and built the foundation of how to be a hotelier and care for guests,” she says, recalling the path she first set on behind the Front Desk of Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills that, over two decades later, now finds her as Hotel Manager. “It was good for getting my start back then, and it is really good for where I am today.”
Born in Seoul, Korea, Oh Kostecky traces her interest in travel from a lifelong passion for other cultures. In 1999, with a Hotel Administration degree under her belt from the University of Las Vegas, she was ready to commence her career upon learning from a Four Seasons recruiter of the new property set to open somewhere quite familiar – Seoul, Korea. Intrigued and hopeful, Oh Kostecky interviewed and was told the company desired local talent, but that the wait might be a couple of years.
It actually turned out to be 15, but Oh Kostecky had already jumped in, starting with Four Seasons in Los Angeles and then moving up on the Rooms side of operations at properties across the US. In 2011 she joined her husband, who she met in LA, in opening Four Seasons first sub-Saharan address in the Serengeti of Africa. She was Director of Lodge Projects; he was General Manager.
During her time as the Director of Lodge Projects, Oh Kostecky focused all of her efforts on engaging with the community, not only embodying its culture herself, but integrating it with the identity of the Four Seasons property to ensure it also encompassed an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focus, to conduct community outreach to hospitals, orphanages, and schools, and working with the local government and research centres.
She propelled the new property to success, opening the door to her next long-awaited opportunity.
When Four Seasons at last began welcoming guests in Seoul in 2015, Oh Kostecky served first as Director of Rooms, then was quickly promoted to Hotel Manager. As in every country, Korea has its own style of hospitality, but she quickly realized the best way to deliver a Four Seasons experience was to provide plenty of learning materials to team members, quiz them on the same, and encourage them above all else to be genuine in their interactions with guests. “That holds true everywhere in the world: How much you care does not change.”
Today, Oh Kostecky is overseeing all operations at the luxury Los Angeles address in the heart of one of the world’s most sought-after locations, including supervising the heads of all departments. She also works to create connections with locals, new guests, and Four Seasons regulars who arrive from far and wide. Her travels are a definite plus for that, having worked on 4 different continents and travelled to more than 60 Four Seasons properties.
Oh Kostecky returned to Los Angeles as Hotel Manager in summer 2021, amid guests just recently starting to travel again as the global travel slowdown wound down. She quickly fell into place, reconnecting with a number of team members, many who have been with the Hotel for decades. With a supportive team and familiar allies, she quickly inspired the staff to encapsulate what hospitality truly means for Four Seasons and welcome back their guests with open arms. "I reminded them that I’ve been right here before, and let them know that we always need to be moving forward with the guest experience.”
Back at home in LA, Oh Kostecky savours time with her husband, now retired from the hotel scene and pursuing his dream of photography. “He gave me support when I was in Seoul, and I’m happy to do the same for him.” She also spends time at tennis, practicing yoga, and hiking – lots of hiking. “There are hundreds of trails here. You don’t have to go far to be surrounded by nature. I love the way it empties my mind.”
Nevertheless, Oh Kostecky’s story doesn’t stop there. Embarking on her Four Seasons journey as a manager in training, which in turn has led her to Hotel Manager, her professional and personal aspirations continue to grow. In the years to come, she hopes to continue to climb the ladder that hopefully will lead her to the remaining three continents, and cross more Four Seasons hotels and resorts off the ever-growing list from around the world.