Having managed the Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica for eight years, Paul Hortobagyi has just moved four blocks down Ocean Avenue to become general manager of Le Merigot Hotel and Spa.
While at the Georgian, he received the Manager of the Year Award (in the small hotels category) by the American Hotel & Lodge Association in 2004. He also won a spot on the Top 400 Hotels list in American Lodging Magazine and, during his tenure, the Georgian was named the “Best Service Hotel in Santa Monica” by the American Film Market attendees, and became an AAA Three-Diamond hotel.
Previously, Hortobagyi was with Southwest Hospitality (flagships include the original Hilton Hotel/La Posada in Albuquerque), where he was a “turnaround” specialist, known for his ability to restore troubled hotels to good health.
Prior to his stint at Southwest Hospitality, he was a consultant, specializing in food and beverage service.
In the late 1980s he owned a delicatessen and a New York-style bistro offering casual fare in Orange County.
Hortobagyi also worked in Florida as a regional food and beverage manager for a diversified chain with specialty restaurants and aviation-themed venues on its roster.
An active member of the Santa Monica Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Hortobagyi is on the Executive Board, and serves as treasurer.
Originally from Hungary, Hortobagyi trained at the Hospitality Industry Institute in Budapest where he took a degree in Hotel Management as well as a Masters in Culinary Arts.
On graduating, he joined the family business: The Flying Hortobagyis, a well-known acrobatic team, and it became his ticket out of Hungary during a difficult time.
The family traveled all over Europe before going to Florida as a headline act with Ringling Brothers.He met his wife, a trapeze artist from Prague on the circuit.