Get to Know the Seasoned Hotelier at the Helm of Lake Nona’s Biggest Project Opening This Fall
A one-of-a-kind luxury hotel experience is taking shape in the Town Center as the Lake Nona Wave Hotel prepares to open later this year.
And while there are multiple teams working together to build, design, and program the hotel, there’s one woman guiding the entire process: long-time hotelier Suzie Yang, who was recently appointed as the hotel’s general manager. Earlier this year, she moved from San Francisco to Laureate Park and has been falling in love with Lake Nona ever since.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” she said. “When I first heard about Lake Nona, I was in awe of this beautiful and tech-driven community, and I could instantly see how the Wave Hotel would complement its innovation,” she said.
With more than 25 years of experience in hotel management, Yang has had a hand in everything from opening to renovating and repositioning hotels. At the Lake Nona Wave Hotel, she has a unique opportunity reimagining the guest experience while leveraging the latest technology and creating the welcoming sense of community Lake Nona is known for.
Yang believes the hotel will be an extension of our Lake Nona community. “There is this true sense of live, work, play in Lake Nona that I haven’t seen anywhere else,” she said. “I’m grateful to be able to experience everything Lake Nona has to offer as both a businesswoman and a resident and bring that unique insight to create custom experiences for our Wave guests.”
A self-described yogi, Yang said one of her favorite things about living in Lake Nona is participating in community wellness events, like Sweat Saturdays at Boxi Park. While she is looking forward to the opening of the hotel, she is also looking forward to the opening of the Chopra Mind-Body Zone and Spa at the Lake Nona Performance Club (LNPC) this summer. Wave Hotel guests looking to step up their workout will also have access to LNPC’s world-class facilities and performance-driven classes during their stay.
Another unique feature hotel guests can take advantage of is an app that will connect guests to their room, the hotel, and the Lake Nona community. While it is not uncommon for hotels to have an app, it’s rare that they connect guests to the larger community. Yang said the app will have functionality for guests and residents alike who can explore the hotel’s culinary offerings and special events and discover the hotel’s playful art and design, which is quite unexpected.
“The app will show our guests what’s going on in the community during their stay, what wellness activities are happening throughout Lake Nona, and what’s on the menu at our hotel restaurants and nearby dining,” she said.
In addition to providing a completely contactless check-in option, the app will act as a master key to the guest’s room and allow guests to control the lights, temperature, and curtains. The app will also connect guests to the customer care team, or “living room hosts” as she calls them.
Yang explained that the hotel lobby is not a lobby but a living room designed to function and feel like one because “we’re inviting you into our home, where memories are made and milestones are celebrated. We want you and your pets to feel welcome.”
You heard that right! Hotel guests can bring their furry friends to stay. Her team is working on special pet offerings like a doggy menu, which is something we will likely see in the app.
Other innovative features of the hotel include View Smart Windows which automatically adjust in response to the sun to increase natural light and special UV lighting by Healthe that kills bacteria in the HVAC system so clean air is constantly circulating throughout the building. You may recognize the sanitizing light solutions from WHIT in Laureate Park.
Leading up to the opening this fall, Yang is focused on getting involved in the community and curating an exceptional customer care team made up of people who live in Lake Nona and the surrounding communities.
“We have an amazing culture that fosters being able to express yourself and deliver excellent guest care,” said Yang, who is a new member of the Central Florida Hotel Lodging Association and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Her team is beginning to build out the sales department, food and beverage team, and room attendants. Visit www.LakeNonaWaveHotel.com for a full list of open positions.
Make sure to check out the website and follow the hotel on Facebook and Instagram (@LakeNonaWaveHotel) for the latest announcements and more reveals before the grand opening in November. Yang hinted that they are working on some special surprises that you will not want to miss!