• Q&A: Abe Liao, general manager, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington D.C.

    POSTED November 20, 2019

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to kassidy.tarala@tigeroak.com.

Abe Liao was recently named the general manager of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington D.C.

1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?

Everyone loves a homecoming and returning to D.C. is exactly that for me. I am excited to be taking the reins of Kimpton’s largest hotel in the D.C. market, and one of the largest in our brand. There’s a proud legacy here of strong culture, great service, and high employee satisfaction. I am excited to carry that tradition forward, and put my own twist to it.

2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?

You learn so much in each and every role. I’ve been lucky to have experienced, openings, transitions, new and legacy hotels throughout my career. From working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. to opening a brand new resort in Palm Springs and everything in between, all of those experiences have made me a better, more thoughtful, caring, intentional and business savvy leader. Through everything, at my core I’m still a down to earth and highly energetic go-getter that likes to make work fun for all. I’m very excited to take the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington DC to new heights.

3. How did you get into the industry?

It’s all in the family! My mother has worked in the hotel industry for 25+ years and my father was a chef. At one point, my family owned their own fast casual restaurants. Service and hospitality is something that I grew up with, and I’ve always felt like the eternal host – both in and outside of work. Like most in the industry, this wasn’t my first choice, as I pursued a military career out of school. In the end, I am so happy to have found hospitality, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else.

4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?

2020 presents an interesting opportunity for us at Hotel Palomar. I am excited to get our house in order and really capitalize on a thriving market. Competition is stiffer and more plentiful than ever, but I’m excited to get creative, to make sure that we exceed expectations. We will look to continue to leverage the power of the Kimpton and IHG brands, IHG Rewards Club loyalty program and talented sales force to expose our hotel to new customers. I expect in the New Year to have improved customer service scores, maintain high employee satisfaction and deliver great returns to our owners.

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?

I love how every day is different. It’s in the title, but a General Manager is a Generalist. By definition, this is someone who is competent in several different fields or activities. I love being able to move between departments, situations, and guest and client interactions, depending on that day. I also enjoy interfacing and working with ownership groups to understand their needs and priorities. I try my hardest to establish great relationships and working partnerships with owners to ensure we are always focused on the human elements of the business, while delivering above expectation returns and balancing the needs of our guests and core principles of our brand.

On a national level, Geoff Freeman, has been named president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association effective Sept. 1. He rejoins U.S. Travel after nearly a decade of association leadership, first as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association and currently in the same role for the Consumer Brands Association. Freeman succeeds Roger Dow, who is stepping down following a 17-year tenure as leader of the organization. 


A Chicago hotel and destination marketing organizations in Milwaukee and Oklahoma City have new-hire information of interest to the meetings and events industry. Read on to find out more.


There are several new appointments to announce in the U.S. Mountain West’s hospitality industry. Here are the latest of interest to the meetings and events industry. 

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, Utah 

Jeff Olpin, the new general manager of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City