Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced the appointment of Michael Mestraud as General Manager ofFour Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole – the only address in Wyoming to earn a Five-Star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide.
Mestraud arrived in Jackson Hole after 15 years with Four Seasons. He started in late 1999 in the front office ofFour Seasons Hotel Chicago and moved into food and beverage before relocating to become Room Service Manager of Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. A little over a year later, he left the company briefly but returned in 2003 to manage room service at the former Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche.
Surrounded by the beauty of Southern France, Mestraud climbed the management ladder, becoming first Banquet and Pool Manager, then Assistant Director of Food and Beverage. Then, in 2008, he skipped across two oceans to become Director of Food & Beverage of Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. Three years later, he was appointed Resort Manager of the island property, a position he held for close to a year and a half.
In 2012, Mestraud returned to the US as Resort Manager of Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara on the coast of California. Serving long stay guests as well as transient travellers, the property was good match for Mestraud’s experience, which was divided between resorts and urban hotels. Over close to three years in Santa Barbara, he made it his priority to maximise the experience of guests whatever their length of stay – the better to establish relationships that created satisfaction and inspired return visits.
Throughout his Four Seasons career, Mestraud has embraced the company’s core tenet of connecting positively with managers and employees. “I learned early on that you can’t change anything if you don’t get to know the people,” he says. Similarly, he is always careful to listen to guests rather than think for them, likening his attentiveness to client comment cards to “pressing a lemon and extracting the juice of what people really need.”
Growing up in the northeast corner of France, Mestraud was inspired to hospitality by his mother, who had a passion for entertaining and hosted houseguests with comforts laid out in hotel style. With encouragement from his parents, Mestraud waited tables on summer breaks. It dawned on him that he really enjoyed making people happy.
After earning a diploma in marketing, Mestraud headed to the Dominican Republic with plans to open a bar. His dream was cut short by a run in with a motorbike resulting in an injury so severe he had to return to France for treatment. While in the hospital, Mestraud met a man his sister was dating who spoke positively of his studies at hotel school. The conversation inspired Mestraud, who went on to earn a degree in restaurant and hotel management from École Hôtelière de Lausanne.
Back in Jackson Hole, Mestraud replaces David Bernand, who has moved on to the Nation’s Capital to become General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC.