Albert Mertz has overseen lavish hotels in the most glamorous metropolitan areas and locales in the world.
Now he’s enthusiastic to be in Greenville having the helm of a household legacy challenge – Lodge Hartness, scheduled to open this winter.
“My occupation has taken me all over the world,” states Mertz, who has put in 30 years in the hospitality small business. “I’m delighted to be creating a grand hotel in Greenville. It is really been a intention to are living in this place for several years.”
Mertz’s do the job 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 metropolitan areas like Miami and Washington, D.C.
He managed the launch of 24 villas in a jungle and 800-area qualities in Japan, Korea, and the Caribbean – “in the center of massive cities and in the middle of nowhere,” Mertz claims.
“I opened a home on the North Coastline of the Dominican Republic. It was a two-hour generate to the store,” he claims. “If you will find a will, you will find a way.” The hotel was named Greatest Hotel in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure in its initially 12 months.
The working day Mertz arrived in Greenville six months ago, the climate was chilly. “Do you know how good that is following doing work in the Caribbean and sizzling sites for a very good section of my profession? Owning seasons. It can be superb.”
Mertz stated he and his wife, Ginger, declined 4 other opportunities to occur to Lodge Hartness.
“I turned down some extraordinary initiatives. But none of them experienced the importance of this residence mainly because this residence has a family’s identify on it. It checked all the packing containers skillfully and individually,” Mertz claims.
Floor was damaged in December 2020 for Lodge Hartness, which is currently being designed by the Hartness spouse and children on the web page of the loved ones property close to Pelham Road and Hwy. 14. The 73-home lodge will be section of a 449-acre community of residences, organizations, recreational facilities, and open up areas.
“It’s an honor to open a home that is heading to be a legacy for the Hartness family,” Mertz says.
The resort will have an adjacent, glass-encased restaurant, called Patterson a spa party house and a bar inside of the lodge named The Captain, in honor of a household patriarch. The plan is for all to open concurrently.
Mertz is thrilled that Patterson, The Captain, and Village Kitchen, which opened in 2021 at Hartness’ Village Heart, will turn out to be element of the regional meals and beverage landscape.
“To take part, to make an affect, to make Greenville an even better position to reside … which is pretty gratifying,” he says.
Village Kitchen area is additional informal. Patterson will be high-quality eating with a watch of the tree line and a pond. The Captain will be the “gem in the crown.”
Each individual portion of the resort will be established around a courtyard. “There’s a good deal of pure light and a landscape that is unique to just about anything in the marketplace. It is really heading to be very beautiful,” he states.
“The Hartness family planned this in a 180-acre character protect, which will give you that retreat come to feel, give you a feeling of currently being away.”
In truth, the resort will be 11 miles from the Peace Center for Undertaking Arts in downtown Greenville and five miles from Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.
“We’re available and close to all the things. We’re not out in the center of nowhere,” Mertz states. “Guests will learn a gem inside of the town that would make you come to feel like you’re transported someplace else.”
Sean Hartness is CEO of the progress, and the resort will be managed by Hay Creek Inns, which specializes in exclusive homes. Tanner Marino is the government chef of Village Kitchen, as nicely as Patterson, The Captain, and catering. Michael Bonasia is Director of Profits and Internet marketing.
A staff of about 100 will join them.
“I job interview every solitary man or woman who we consider for a purpose in the lodge,” suggests Mertz, who began doing work in resorts following significant university and later graduated from the University of Houston, the place he studied the hospitality field.
“I’ve labored almost every single placement in a hotel. And I am happy to say it. Each place is just as vital as the other. Some positions demand a skill established, but speaking broadly, I can educate you how to serve at a luxurious restaurant … I can teach you how to make a mattress … But I can’t instruct you how to be heat and genuine. And that is what I look for.”
He also has a listing of at the very least 1,000 goods that need to have to be obtained.
“A great deal goes into the opening of the hotel. I have been fortuitous to open around a dozen lodges, so it can be a skill that I’ve honed,” Mertz claims.
“My job is to develop activities. That’s what I am in this article to do. It is not just to outfit a resort.”
There is no handbook, no catalog. And Mertz is gratified that Hay Creek and Hartness want to create an independent luxury hotel that however feels like Greenville.
“The thought is not to be the finest. Which is surely portion of the intention, but being the ideal is not really wherever my focus is,” he says. “Being a terrific lodge is 1 thing. Getting the only lodge that does particular factors in a sure style, that’s what helps make the difference.”
Real luxury is personalizing a guest’s encounter.
“No two men and women have the identical flavor. We’ll be in search of all people little particulars that make a guest really feel very good. To set it in one phrase, it is extremely easy: It is really caring,” Mertz claims.
“We’re demonstrating legitimate treatment, we’re getting heat. Those are the features of luxury. We are listed here to provide. That is our role. As a hotelier, that’s what I do, and I want to make certain that from the minute you arrive to the minute you go away, and soon after you might be absent, you are still contemplating about how excellent you felt whilst you have been below.”