Island Hotel Newport Beach this week announced the appointment of Gerard G. Widder as General Manager. “We brought in a seasoned leader who is highly regarded for the cultures that he has championed at other leading lifestyle hospitality brands,” said Ralph Grippo, president of Irvine Company Resort Properties. “Island Hotel is preferred by business and leisure travelers, for meetings and galas, as well as by those who live or work in the area and enjoy dining and entertainment at the hub of Newport Beach. Our choice for general manager of the hotel is dedicated to delivering service to every aspect of the hotel.”
Island Hotel is at the culmination of its innovative reinvestment project, which began in 2013 with 23,000 square feet of reinvigorated meeting and event space, the largest ballroom in Newport Beach, a distinctive al fresco wedding venue and introduction of its unique Island Club lounge. Positioned in central Newport Beach, Island Hotel is ideally close to shopping, the beach, Balboa Island and some of the nation’s premier golf clubs, including Pelican Hill, located just south of Island Hotel in Newport Coast. It’s the ultimate luxury coastal hotel location to host business meetings, weddings and social events.
Recently, the hotel unveiled the newest social and culinary destinations in the heart of Newport Center. In just a short time, Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have become the dual places for local trendsetters to go to see and be seen. Although it’s located in the heart of the city, Oak Grill boasts a sophisticated, yet relaxing ambiance, which extends from the artistically well-appointed interiors, with warm lighting and oak floors, to the scenic al fresco patio and fireside, featuring a locally-sourced menu of redefined classics and contemporary California cuisine. Aqua Lounge is a one of a kind lounge concept in the area, offering live entertainment with a resident DJ, casual shareable bites and a late night menu, with a truly imaginative and engaging approach to craft cocktails.
Now that Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge have found a place at the forefront of the Newport Beach dining and social scene, it’s time for completion of the next phase in the reinvestment project. The soft renovation of the guest rooms will soon conclude, showcasing a vibrant color palette and engaging contemporary feel. Island Hotel’s Marketplace will debut its inventive retail concept in the lobby of Island Hotel, presenting hotel guests, as well as locals, including nearby business tenants and apartment residents, a fresh, carefully curated and distinctive “jewel box” collection of refined “grab and go” food and specialties. Hot beverages, snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner options will be offered, including signature items with Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge motifs.
Widder has an extensive background in business, finance, leadership and interpersonal communication. He returns to California from New York City, where he was the general manager for the flagship W Hotel-Times Square. During his tenure there, he was responsible for delivering the renowned “W” experience to guests, including CEO’s, ambassadors and celebrities, touching every facet of their visit to New York. Previously, he served as general manager of The Westin New York at Times Square. Earlier in his career, he worked at the renowned Waldorf Astoria Hotel, The Regency Hotel and for the Loews Corporation.
Posted by Rachel Allan