Tom Donovan discovered the hospitality trade early in life. As the youngest of a Long Island-based brood of eight, he liked helping in the kitchen, and earned his keep as a cook while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history and economics at Northeastern University.
Donovan began his hotel career as a front desk agent and over the next 31 years rose through the ranks to sales and then management at several luxury resorts. His long tenure with The Ritz-Carlton included five years as general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, in Beaver Creek, Colorado, one of the company’s first ski-in, ski-out resorts. During that time, Donovan played a key role in shaping the future of this new, high-altitude niche market for luxury resort brands.
While he has worked in locations as diverse as Jamaica and Phoenix, Donovan spent the last several years on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he oversaw a $180 million renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and then accepted the post of vice president at the Waldorf Astoria’s prestigious Grand Wailea.
Having returned to the mainland along with his wife and two dogs, Donovan is enthusiastic about rolling up his sleeves and working side by side with the hospitality specialists at The Resort at Pelican Hill.®
“A great team makes a great resort — and that’s what general management is all about,” he said in defining his role. “Pelican Hill® is magical. Guests tend to stay for long periods of time, and they return again and again because everything is at their fingertips. They are very well cared for.”
Donovan also believes that Resort guests benefit from the seamless structure that exists when ownership, management and brand are overseen by one company. “It makes for a dedicated, across-the-board vision,” he noted.
And what is Donovan’s vision for this five-star, five-diamond resort? “Preserve what’s great and work every day to reinvent perfect.”