Jan 20, 2023

THE JOURNAL

/

Travel Inspiration

Keeping Community Top-of-Mind: Meet the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore's General Manager

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

Icon Share

SHARE

JUAN WEBSTER, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE SAGAMORE PENDRY (LEFT) AND THE BAR AT THE HOTEL (RIGHT) • IMAGES COURTESY OF SAGAMORE PENDRY BALTIMORE

Head to the home of Hairspray, Old Bay seasoning and yes, lots of crab, and you’ll find one of the proudest little-cities in the US. 

“It’s the resilience, the charm and the people I love most about Baltimore,” said Juan Webster, General Manager of the city’s Sagamore Pendry, which sits on the city’s glistening harbor (specifically “Rec Pier,” as locals call it). The five-star hotel attracts not only visitors, but Baltimore’s who’s-who, thanks to its swanky restaurant and over-water pool with panoramic views of the city skyline.

We spoke with Mr. Webster, who also serves as the Corporate Director of Social Impact for the entire Pendry brand. Read on for Mr. Webster's plans for the Pendry brand, and how the Sagamore embraces the city's community at every opportunity.

Sagamore Pendry Baltimore Exterior

Image courtesy of Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

You’ve been in the industry for 20 years. Did you always want to work in hospitality? 
I got into the industry by accident, actually. I wasn’t looking for a career in hotels; I was pursuing a career in nursing. While training, I worked a shift during a snowstorm in North Carolina, and ended up having to stay in a hotel for ten days. It opened my eyes to the inner workings of hotels, and I got hooked. I saw the hotel and hospitality industry in a new light and decided I wanted to be a part of it.

After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Sociology, I became a front desk agent and laundry attendant part-time, while also running a party-promoting business. During my time as a front desk agent, I met a hospitality professor who was very involved in the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH). He encouraged me to study hospitality administration and get involved in NSMH as well.

This propelled my career, and I moved up through the ranks, starting with room operations and eventually getting to where I am now. This is definitely the career I was meant to be in.

Rec Pier was built in 1914 and Pendry Hotels converted the pier into Sagamore Pendry Baltimore in 2017. How did you develop the hotel into what it is today while still paying homage to Baltimore's history?
By staying authentic and connected to the local community. Even though we’re a luxury hotel, we always want to remain genuine and find new ways to embrace the city of Baltimore — whether through our outreach initiatives, our storytelling, our events or our style. We really haven’t changed who we are; we’ve just enhanced it. It's the people in our community that make our hotel a special place.

Sagamore Pendry Baltimore Hotel Room

Image courtesy of Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

What can we expect with a visit to the Sagamore Pendry?
Come ready to sunbathe! You have to hit the pool, and, even better, rent a cabana.  

What’s next for the Sagamore Pendry?
We want to continue to level up our programming, and are always on the hunt for innovative and unique ideas that involve and entertain the community: we’re talking brunches, pool parties, live music, community partnerships and even a new sailing yacht.

Earlier this year, you were appointed as Corporate Director, Social Impact — congratulations! Tell us what you have planned for your new role.
Out of the gate, I’m planning an initiative to revamp the company’s overall focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. I’m also working to foster key community impact partnerships and growing our business model through community engagement.

What’s on your bucket list?
More travel, writing a book, starting a podcast. I also want to own a small farm/ranch and own a hotel or small group of hotels.

What’s one thing you can’t travel without?
A camera. I want to capture those meaningful moments and remember them forever.

Sagamore Pendry Baltimore Pool

Image courtesy of Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

Ready to plan your trip to the Sagamore Pendry? Book with a Fora Advisor and receive:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author - Fora Travel

    Fora Travel

    We empower anyone with a passion for travel to transform it into meaningful revenue. Sign up to become a travel advisor today.