In the highest honor that can be bestowed on an individual by the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA), President and Partner of Tecton Hospitality and Desires Hotels, Raul Leal was named the first Estrella Award's Hotelier of the Year.
Leal was selected by an independent panel of judges as someone who exemplifies leadership and commitment to the highest standards in the hotel industry. The award also recognizes Leal as the person who has made the greatest contribution to the well-being of the Association during the year-based on the following criteria: career accomplishments, reputation in the industry and community involvement. When asked about the award Leal said, "I am so appreciative; this moment was definitely one of the highlights of my career!" Nominations were open to all industry professionals of Latino decent and companies owned and/or operated by a Latino.
The Estrella Awards are an honor by the HHOA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the number of Hispanic-owned, -developed and -operated hotels. Additionally, they aim to further the participation of Hispanic-owned suppliers serving the industry and increase executive level employment opportunities for Hispanics within the lodging industry.
Leal recently spearheaded the effort for 27 associates to participate in Team Build, a Habitat for Humanity project, in raising a home. This is just one more example of a different type of hospitality exhibited by Leal which betters the community and strengthens the organizations' team spirit.
About Desires Hotels
Desires Hotels is a modern collection ofindependentlycreated boutique hotels founded in 2005 as the boutique division of Tecton Hospitality. The cornerstone of The Desires brand is the company's ability to create hotels which are made in the vision of the owner / developer. Desires provides individual strategies focused on driving profits through sophisticated marketing techniques, including the "Your Desires" loyalty program, an innovative website, strong relationships with the travel trade, and strategic marketing partnerships. Desires branding success delivers profits by using a successful model of operational synergies, finance, sales and marketing, and human resource management. Desires Hotels offers a complete and comprehensive hotel management tailored to the needs of each property.
The Desires portfolio currently includes the award-winning 93 room, Sagamore Hotel, and the 87-room condo hotel The Strand Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, FL, the San Juan Water & Beach Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the 100-room Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, the 229-room Hotel Mela in New York City. Scheduled to open in late 2008 is the 63-room Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive in South Beach.