I worked at Sunstone Hotel Investors
Pros – I felt appreciated as an employee. Upper management frequently prasied my hard work and I felt like I was a valued team member for the most part. I liked that we got reviews on time when we were due for them and felt that the raises they gave were appropriate.
Cons – While they say they believe in promoting from within the company, they screwed me over more than once for a position that I was well qualified for. They let the employee who was leaving change their mind and comeback and no one told me about this until 4 weeks later, when I had already heard just through gossip. This employee was eventually fired, by the way...
Advice to Senior Management – Promote from within and foster a learning environment for people who want to grow within the industry!
2010-08-04 08:26 PDT
I worked at Sunstone Hotel Investors full-time for more than 3 years
Pros – Some nice properties in the portfolio, Managerial bonuses were good. More recently the company has focused on shedding assets to manage a smaller portfolio of properties.
Cons – I worked for a property the REIT owned/managed, and while SOX compliance kept an invisible wall between the operator (at the time, Sunstone Hotel Properties) and the REIT (Sunstone Hotel Investors), there was a clear attitude that the value of the property the asset was on was paramount to employee or guest satisfaction.
It was a very difficult time to be in hotels and SHI didn't fare any better--surrendering keys to its more heavily financed properties, and dissolving the management company to reduce employee headcount. (It was particularly tactless when flash-animated cards were sent to all associates with the names of their colleagues at the headquarters office who were let go due to staffing reductions--the entire office's closure was heralded by two of these e-cards).
While I likely felt more direct effects of decisions implemented by the managers of the operator, there was a clear message that the values and pressure were applied by SHI, and the operator was merely the tool to implement the vision they had.
Advice to Senior Management – Learn from circa-2008 mistakes and make shrewd real-estate investments, not risky ones. Don't let the value of the land/building be the only factor when asking the operator to make decisions or capital investment--a successful business is worth more than a building and land. (If you do this, the satisfaction of guests/employees will take care of itself.)
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2014-03-05 08:04 PST
I worked at Sunstone Hotel Investors full-time for more than a year
Pros – -Properties had autonomy over day-to-day operations.
-Line level employees were treated well when supportive local management was employed.
-Good bonus scheme for management.
-Benefits package was standard to the industry and local property was able to supplement benefits to keep employees happy.
-Property was union-free, allowing 1 on 1 interaction with groups of employees.
-After I left, a new managment company took over to turn the business around, after it got too much to tolerate.
Cons – -When contractors were hired by the corporate office to complete projects, they were often unprofessional and didn't have a specific scope of work to be held to.
-Capital expenses were rarely (if ever) granted, resulting in a very run-down property that often failed franchisor inspections due to physical plant issues.
-Management was only encouraged to save money while sales was pushed to drive occupancy; because of this service suffered--much of the profit was returned to dissatisfied guests as a refund.
-Management positions were halved to promote savings while remaining managers were often expected to work "with" their employees because hourly labor was cut too.
-There was no work-life balance, "such a thing doesn't exist in the hospitality industry" was something my supervisor often said.
-Managers were often set to tasks that could easily be completed by extra hourly labor--but since managers were salaried, they were required to stay.
Advice to Senior Management – I'm glad the management contract for this property wasn't continued and Sunstone's Management business was absorbed by IHR. The revenue promises Sunstone makes to stakeholders are unrealistic to running a hotel property.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
2013-03-25 15:05 PDT
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