Paula Gonzalez, successful hospitality management model
The Argentine businesswoman began her career in content production, an industry that she left in the mid-1990s to dedicate herself to hotels and real estate
Paula Gonzalez is a successful Argentine businesswoman, an icon of entrepreneurship in hospitality and real estate in the Americas. During SAHIC 2022 we have been able to interview her. The executive shares her story with us.
How have the beginnings in the hotel activity been?
We started with my family with the construction of Hilton Buenos Aires in 1998, we took a year to build the hotel and the Convention Center. It is a building that has 60,000 square meters, of which 6,000 are for conventions and the rest for rooms and common areas. We came from the world of broadcasting, more precisely from the distribution of material for television and cinema, in 1997 my father sold the company and bought these lands in Puerto Madero. Unfortunately, he passed away the year the construction of the hotel was completed. There we took control with my sister, we had worked in the group since we were very young.
The first years were hard, because we were in an Argentina that was practically bankrupt back in 2001, but from 2003 we began to come back and together with Hilton we carried out impeccable management, very successful economically after so many difficulties and saved several problems with the banks. , and so on.
In 2008, I wanted to start a project abroad, there I bought the first hotel in Miami together with partners who accompanied me. We started with the Greenview, in that same year we added Aqua, then Crest, and immediately after the 18th that today is Uma House since we completely remodeled it. In that process of buying the 18th and remodeling, we decided, given a great opportunity, to buy the current Redbury and later merge both Uma House and Redbury properties.
In this period of time I learned a lot about the hotel industry, because I bought two and three star hotels to raise them up and position them at four stars. In fact, there are two of them that we already have with four and the other 2 come slower due to their location. I am going to reform the Aqua, I am going to take it to 100 rooms, today it is a 47-room hotel and I have permission to enlarge it in 2023.
How was the whole process of opening Hilton Puerto Madero?
My father has been a visionary, we were the first to develop that area. There was only one restaurant there that still exists on dock four. That decision was very important to reach the subsequent success and the choice of the architect who was Mario Roberto Álvarez, a great Argentine architect. Hilton has given us great support.
What is the reason why they took the Hilton brand?
At that time we did a preliminary analysis of brands, but we were very identified with the chain for having been clients when we traveled for business.
In these 22 years that we have been with the hotel we have been updating the property, at this moment we are precisely renovating one hundred rooms. It is worth remembering that we have 417 rooms. The plan is in two years to finish upgrading the entire hotel.