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Bringing Dreams to Life

Creative and diverse meeting experiences inspire Hotel Viata’s David Putnicki

By Amy Durham

From the first meeting with a planner to the day of the event, dreams matter to David Putnicki, general manager at Hotel Viata in Austin. “It’s crucial that we actively engage and truly listen to what planners are expressing, both verbally and nonverbally,” he says. “These early interactions provide a valuable chance to discern the planner’s priorities, enabling us to concentrate on the pre-event preparations and execute the event with their vision in mind.”

David Putnicki || Photo by Joi Conti

In his two years at Hotel Viata—and his prior leadership roles at AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria and the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa in La Jolla, California—Putnicki has placed great value on creativity during the planning process. “I strongly advocate for avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach,” he says. “Instead, each event should incorporate a custom touch, adapting to the unique profile of the meeting or celebration.” 

One key to this custom approach is having a team with wide-ranging perspectives. “I am continually inspired by the diverse individuals I work with—people from varied backgrounds, life paths, and viewpoints,” he says. “It’s the rich diversity within our hotel team that truly conjures the enchantment our guests encounter daily.”

Hotel Viata is an independent hotel, which Putnicki says allows planners freedom of expression. “You’ll often hear me say, ‘If the guest envisions a tea party on the roof, let’s find a way to make it happen.’ This quote encapsulates our philosophy—nothing is off the table,” he says. Recently, Putnicki and his team turned the hotel’s ballroom into a disco club and a breakout room into a standup comedy venue. “Through numerous calls and meticulous planning, everything seamlessly fell into place,” he recalls. “These spaces now embody the client’s vision as originally outlined in our initial planning session, bringing their dreams to life.”