Hay Creek Hotels is pleased to announce the appointment of Albert Mertz as general manager of Hotel Hartness in Greenville, South Carolina. With more than 30 years of international luxury hospitality experience, Mertz brings invaluable expertise to his new role. A boutique hotel uniquely located within the 449-acre award-winning Hartness community, Hotel Hartness will offer a luxurious and idyllic retreat in proximity to downtown Greenville. Managed by Hay Creek Hotels, Hotel Hartness is set to open this fall and introduce incredible amenities and a level of service currently not offered in the market.
In his new role with Hay Creek Hotels, Mertz will open and operate the 73-room Hotel Hartness, the fine-dining restaurant Patterson, and the property’s full-service spa boasting four suites. The property’s debut will mark Hay Creek Hotel’s first property in upstate South Carolina.
“We believe the best hotels celebrate the spirit, culture and character of their locales,” said Norman MacLeod, president and founder of Hay Creek Hotels. “Sharing this philosophy, and with his exceptional background in luxury hospitality and providing quality service, Albert is the perfect addition to our team. Hotel Hartness is poised to be a truly unique destination for the community and visitors alike.”
“The chance to work with an amazing hotel company and manage a property with such a special family history is a dream realized,” said Mertz. “The story and dedication of the Hartness family, together with our phenomenal setting and my passion for personalized service and care, promises that Hotel Hartness will raise the bar on hospitality in Greenville.”
Mertz has held positions with notable brands including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, providing strategic planning, financial management, and operational knowledge for concepts spanning the globe. Traveling the world to lead hotel opening and quality experience teams, he became a sought-after commodity to open new luxury hotels, and his experience at Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond level properties led him to specialize in team building and quality assessment across all aspects of hotels, resorts and food and beverage operations, many of which reached award-winning status under his leadership. Career accomplishments include collaborating with celebrated chefs such as Tyler Florence, José Andrés and Nobu Matsuhisa, as well as Michelin-starred chefs Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert and Eric Frechon. Mertz has also hosted presidents, vice presidents, foreign heads of state, and royalty including HRM Queen Elizabeth II.
Mertz’s career in luxury hospitality began at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company where over the course of nearly a decade, he held various leadership positions including executive assistant manager, director of food & beverage and director of operations. Tasked with establishing the brand overseas for the first time, he opened Ritz-Carlton hotels in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Spain. Mertz also spent much of his career at Mandarin Oriental Group. Based in Hong Kong and with plans to expand their footprint in North America, he was responsible for opening numerous Mandarin hotels in the United States. He also served in executive roles including general manager, resident manager, and food and beverage director for the Group’s award-winning properties in Miami, New York, Washington D.C., Mexico, London, China, and Singapore.
Mertz additionally held leadership positions at AMAN Resorts and Loews Hotels. At AMAN, he opened and operated the ultra-luxury Amanera in the Dominican Republic and with Loews Hotels, he opened and operated their Miami Beach property. He also acted as general manager and director of operations for Fisher Island Club in Florida, leading all operations of the exclusive private island including the hotel, spa, golf club, tennis club, dual marinas, conference center, seven restaurants and gourmet market.
Mertz is a graduate of the University of Houston and holds a master’s degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is an avid motorsports fan who enjoys spending time with his family and cooking at home.