Jonas Treffers, GM of Aloft Dublin, is an Amsterdam native, with over 20 years’ experience in the Luxury Hotel Industry. Jonas spent several years in the UK where he worked in a number of prestigious hotels, including London’s Savoy Hotel, The Royal Horseguards Hotel and The Exclusive Collection.
Ask the Manager – Jonas Treffers – Aloft Hotel, Dublin
In Ireland Jonas worked at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin. In addition, he was the General Manager of Village at Lyons. Jonas moved to Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean), where he served as General Manager for Harbour Village Beach Club.
He later became Food & Beverage Director at Carlisle Bay in Antigua and the same position in Anguilla at CuisinArt. On return to Ireland Jonas joined the O’Callaghan Collection as General Manager, before joining the Marriott Aloft hotel.
When did Aloft open, and how many rooms does it have?
The Aloft opened in February 2019 and has 202 rooms
How has business been since opening?
2019 took off like a rocket! And this was largely due to the link the hotel has with Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott has a huge pull from the US and guests from the US are very brand loyal. That helped tremendously with assisting to fill the hotel. Bonvoy has around 150 million members.
Did you stay open during the pandemic?
No, we had to close our doors there simply wasn’t enough business around to stay open and make a viable business out of it.
Aloft is in one of the oldest areas of Dublin, the Liberties, how do you feel the hotel has integrated in the community?
I think extremely well. We are connected to a great charity called Little Flower Penny dinners and try to help out there. Apart from that, slowly but surely the neighbourhood is starting to use us as well. We have a good few groups of friends, couples and families meeting on the 7th floor and using our facilities.
The more this happens the more we will integrate with the area. But also the Gastropub we have on site The Tenters that is assisting in creating an inclusion into the area. People love the food and banter with the team. We are getting many repeat guests who live just around the corner from us and this is very good to see.
How are bookings doing this year?
I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing changes but bookings are looking stronger than predicted a few months back. Let’s hope we fly on that rocket again from 2019 very soon.
Have you seen an increase in overseas visitors yet?
I have indeed! The American accents are back and that is great to see and hear.
What type of outdoor dining does your hotel have?
We have lovely area on the 7th floor where you can watch the sun rise and can sit and drink an excellent cocktail in the evening.
How did you cope with staff shortages, if you had any?
We, of course, as many other industries had a challenging start reopening after all the restrictions. But in general we have done extremely well. My management team has always been positive and it is my belief that due to that reason we are still a magnet for happy, positive and hard working people.
We should stop talking about shortages, as I firmly belief this doesn’t help or attract any new people into the industry. The hospitality industry can build and give people good careers. We in Marriott have now launched a platform called Become.
It gives you the tools to set out a training plan that will assist you in accomplishing your goals. The Hotel industry is an industry where you can start as a Kitchen Porter and Become a General Manager as long as you are willing to work hard and never stop learning.