Sincerely, BLLA

The Awards Series 2022: Justin Grimes

The BLLA Team sits down with Justin Grimes, Regional Managing Director at Kennebunkport Resort Collection & Runner-Up for the Boutique Hotel Gene...

The BLLA Team sits down with Justin Grimes, Regional Managing Director at Kennebunkport Resort Collection & Runner-Up for the Boutique Hotel General Manager of the Year Award! Hear what Justin has to say.

BLLA: How did you enter the hospitality industry?

JG: “Growing up in Ogunquit, Maine – a hyper-seasonal, ‘fueled by tourism’ town – presented me with countless summer opportunities to try my hand at hospitality. My first job was as a baker, before eventually getting a taste of guest services while working at the front desk of a beachside hotel. In addition to everything that I encountered early on the job, my love for the world of hotels was further cemented during a family vacation in eastern Canada as a teen. These salient experiences were at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews By-The-Sea (then a Fairmont property), where I learned firsthand how novel, transportive, and magical a hotel can be. As to complete the full circle, I followed a job offer to conduct my Leadership Development Program with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts upon graduating from Cornell University.”

Kennebunkport Inn | Kennebunkport, ME

BLLA: How do you stay authentic to the boutique essence?

JG: “The essence of boutique hospitality is at the center of where selflessness and sense of self intersect. The journey to achieve this balance is my touchstone and why I am forever inspired by this industry. As such, I strive to create an environment of hospitality that is indulgent, genuine, and reflective of the locale in which we exist. It is important to me that a guest returns home from one of our properties knowing not only why they want to go back, but why they went in the first place.”    

BLLA: Why do you believe in the boutique movement?

JG: “Independent hotels possess the unique ability to be true to self and march to the beat of their own drum while remaining threaded together by common tenants – innovation, creativity, curation, and consideration – to name a few. I love how fellow hotels within this movement can feel vastly disparate and familial at the same time. I believe this movement will be everlasting due to its propensity to evolve continuously.”  

BLLA: How does being a boutique hotelier provide fulfillment in your life?

JG: “I am fulfilled by the opportunity to surround myself with teammates who are open-minded and mutually motivated by the world of boutique hospitality. I revel in the opportunity to work with a group of professionals who measure their impact by the moments they create for our guests, our community, and for one another. In a world filled with a lot of noise, being empowered and empowering others to focus on the details brings me a great sense of joy.”   

The Cottages at Cabot Cove | Kennebunkport, ME

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