Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando named the executive leadership team for Universal’s Aventura Hotel, which is set to open in August. Rising 17 floors with 600 rooms, this hotel is the sixth on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort and offers views of all three Universal Orlando theme parks, in-room technology, the destination’s first rooftop bar and a virtual reality game room.
“What excites me the most about the executive team is the vision we all share to create a new hotel experience that’s unlike anything else we offer here at Universal Orlando Resort,” Stephen Cummings, managing director of the Loews Aventura Hotel, said in a statement.
His leadership team will include the following executives:
Raj Mehta has been promoted to director of rooms. Mehta has experience across the Universal Orlando Resort hotel campus having served in various roles at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and the regional support center. He also was part of the project team tasked with opening Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Mehta is a recipient of the Loews Legacy award.
David McKeever has been promoted to director of food & beverage. He was previously assistant F&B director for Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and was instrumental in the success of this 2,200-room hotel since it opened in 2014. Prior to joining Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, McKeever held several leadership positions with Hyatt, Marriott, Universal and Hilton. He also is a recipient of the Loews Legacy award.
Mouhssine Benhamacht has been named executive chef. Most recently, he was executive chef at Meraki Market in San Francisco. His culinary career also includes sous chef posts at Spice Market under chef Jean George Vongerichten and at Loews Atlanta Hotel alongside Master Chef Olivier Gaupin. Chef “Mousse” was chef de cuisine at the former Loews Don CeSar Hotel’s Maritana Grille. Born in Teflit, Morocco, Benhamacht’s expertise in French, Moroccan, American and Asian cuisines will influence the flavors served throughout Universal’s Aventura Hotel.
Jake Plata has been promoted to director of housekeeping. He was previously assistant director of housekeeping at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Plata is a hospitality industry professional with more than 10 years of experience. Prior to joining Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, he held positions at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Elroy Dalmida is director of engineering. He previously served as chief engineer for Loews Royal Pacific Resort and assistant director of engineering for the former Loews Don CeSar Hotel. Dalmida began his hospitality career as an electrician with Ritz-Carlton Hotels and rose to become director of engineering at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas during his 13-year tenure with the company.
Stephanie Legros has been promoted to director of human resources. She was previously associate director of human resources for Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Legros began her career with Loews Hotels & Co at Loews Philadelphia Hotel and served in a variety of human resources roles in her 16 years with the company.
Joseph Romano is director of finance. He spent 29 years with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and has experience in Florida’s hospitality industry. Romano was previously director of finance at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago.