David Bernand has been appointed General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, the city’s only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel. Bernand, who served previously at the Georgetown hotel for six years and received three promotions starting as Assistant Director of Food and Beverage to Hotel Manager, is called once again to manage the 222-room Hotel, Seasons Restaurant, BOURBON STEAK, M29 LIFESTYLE, and a diverse staff of more than 450 employees. He is the eighth General Manager at the helm of the first Four Seasons hotel to open in the United States 35 years ago.
“Returning to DC is like coming home. All of the best memories I have with the company are here in Washington. From attending to high-profile clientele to working with loyal staff, each aspect of the operation made a difference in my decision to return to this iconic hotel,” says Bernand.
Leading his seventh renovation with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Bernand is eager to continue evolving the Hotel into a destination on par with the luxury hotels coming to the area and maintaining its position among the world’s best hotels as recognized by Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List 2014, Travel + Leisure World’s Best Hotels 2015 and U.S. News and World Report Best Hotels 2015. He will oversee the Hotel’s USD 13 million guest room renovation set to begin this summer. “Luxury means convenience, reliability and proactive service. I am committed to creating an exquisite product while focusing on the small details and customer experiences that make our guests feel at home,” says Bernand.
Creating a sense of place with local experiences is also of utmost priority for Bernand. The Hotel’s unique location in Georgetown adjacent to the C&O Canal gives guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history the quaint neighbourhood offers. The vibrant and diverse retail and restaurant scene, coupled with Georgetown University and The George Washington University, nestle the Hotel in a most desirable tourist location, supported by its outstanding outlets and hassle-free services. “We want to be accessible to everybody, so that people walking down the street in Georgetown – our customers, tourists and city residents – feel there is something for them behind our doors,” shares Bernand.
Being involved in the local community is important to Bernand, who is already gearing up for the Hotel’s annual fundraising events, Drive Four the Cure and Sprint Four the Cure benefiting the Washington Cancer Institute and Medstar Washington Hospital Center. After dressing up as a turkey eight years ago, Bernand is enthusiastic to designate who will be this year’s turkey at the Hotel’s longstanding Thanksgiving on the Mayflower luncheon feeding all of the city’s public servants working on Thanksgiving Day.
A 16-year Four Seasons veteran now on his sixth post, Bernand’s food and beverage background trained him to expect the unexpected in the dynamic restaurant scene. He also acquired the skills and agility to think outside the box. These talents where all put to use during President George W. Bush’s two inaugurations and President Barack Obama’s unprecedented 2009 inauguration. With three presidential inaugurations and countless diplomatic visits under his belt, Bernand is excited to be back in this cosmopolitan city and committed to leading his team to great success.
A native of Roanne, France, Bernand’s hospitality vocation began at his family’s bakery, which his grandfather founded. He later pursued front-of-the house positions in restaurants across France before starting his hotel profession at a five-star international hotel in Luxembourg. He then joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in 1999 as Assistant Manager and Sommelier at Café on the Green at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. His career with Four Seasons includes professional successes as Resort Manager in Scottsdale, Arizona and the promotion to General Manager at Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Bernand is a certified sommelier who looks forward to rediscovering DC’s evolving restaurant scene. He is also an outdoorsman and an avid runner participating in numerous marathon and triathlons. Bernand is thrilled to once again run among the city’s historic monuments while serving as a tour guide to the Hotel’s guests who join him for Run My City, a complimentary three- to six-mile run every Tuesday at 6:30 am.