My Kingston - Jeffrey A Lesker
General Manager, Wyndham Kingston, Jamaica
What are your earliest memories of Kingston?
The coconut jelly roadside stands, complete with mangoes forever, and plenty of other seasonal fruits and cut cane.
What do you miss when you're not in Kingston?
Scotchie's jerk pork and the Wyndham Cafecino's red velvet cheesecake.
How do you sell Kingston to your overseas clientele?
"The Heartbeat of Jamaica," with a varied and vibrant entertainment scene, lots to do and see, great dining, and special events. "When you go, you'll know!"
What would be your advice to a first-time visitor to Kingston?
Come with an open mind and without any "preconceived notions". A world of pleasant surprises awaits you; so bring a good camera along with plenty of energy. Ladies, bring flats, as well as your highest heels, and a hearty appetite.
What would you do if you were mayor (of Kingston) for a day?
Introduce and enforce zoning regulations for signs, and preserve the authenticity of heritage districts and historic/cultural sites.
Business mogul Gassan Azan and entrepreneur Adam Epstein have just opened Vault Gaming Lounge at the Wyndham Kingston. How beneficial is this in your opinion?
This is big, very big! It provides a distinctive competitive advantage for the Wyndham Kingston versus any of the New Kingston corridor competitors who offer nothing comparable. The opportunities to promote this beautiful new gaming lounge complements our already well-known reputation for value and sets us apart from the rest.
Share with us the title of the last book you read.
Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander.
And the last bit of music that stirred your soul?
She's Royal by Tarrus Riley; reminds me of my fiancée Catalina Camacho, and I was spiritually moved by Whitney Houston's I Look To You.
Where and what was the best meal you've eaten in Kingston?
Fillet of beef with classic Béarnaise sauce prepared by Chef Mario Machado at a Skål dinner.
What was your last bit of retail therapy?
A pair of Ralph Lauren jeans with paint-splash patterns. People think that I just came from a construction site, but I tell them the truth — that they cost extra that way — and a pair of suede Gucci loafers.
Which cologne are you currently splashing?
Antaeus by Chanel with a dash of self-added Patouli. I call it the 'Lesker Lustre'.
Which is your preferred beverage?
Champagne, Brut Rosé of course.
What upsets you?
When people don't deliver on their commitments.
You're an established hotelier. What advice would you give to someone about to enter the profession?
Work hard, have fun, and listen to your customers, both internal and external. And don't take yourself too seriously.
Where are your favourite chill spots in Jamaica?
Strawberry Hill, the Blue Mountains, Rick's Café in Negril, and Lime Cay.
...and globally (country, city and actual place)?
Les Champs Elysées, Paris, France, for shopping and people-watching.
Share with us your first project for 2013.
Flames Pool Bar and Burger Grill at the Wyndham Kingston — Kingston's Business Resort!
Finally, what's your philosophy?
Make a genuine effort to get to know and understand people. Be empathetic and take a personal interest in them, regardless of their station in life or from whence they come. We are all equal, but just do different things. Never condescend.