Meet the Staff: Arman Soukiassian at the Library HotelPublished: November 29th, 2014
Any guest that has stayed at the Library Hotel would recognize Arman immediately. He’s always ready to assist in any way possible…whether is checking someone in, retrieving luggage, or suggesting a restaurant or Broadway show. He definitely knows what he’s talking about! We’ve been lucky to have Arman on our staff for over 8 years, starting as a Front Desk Agent and currently, as our Assistant Front Office Manager. He might be soft spoken but he ALWAYS goes above and beyond to make sure that every guest has a fantastic experience!
Tell us about yourself?
I am an Armenian living in the United States since 2006. I am especially fond of fine chocolate and coffee, Dr. Who and a good, heavy read. Currently I’m reading three books: Capital in the Twenty-First Century by French economist Thomas Piketty, The Eight by Katherine Neville, and Autobiography of a Yogi, which is an autobiography of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Why did you decide to move to New York City?
There are two reasons. My sister was actually the first one in my family to move to NYC so I decided to follow her a year after. I was also beckoned by this romantic idea I had about the city – a mixture of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, the Manhattan skyline, the Broadway lights. You can say that I wanted to “make a brand new start of it in old New York…”
Have you always been interested in hospitality?
My home town – Burgas, is located on the Black Sea and during the 100 days of summer, the locals are outnumbered by tourists, mainly from Scandinavia or the former Soviet Republics. Until recently, my mother was a manager in a beautiful hotel in Sunny Beach and my grandmother was an employee of Balkantourist, the oldest tour operator in Bulgaria. As I’m sure you can guess, my first job was in the hospitality industry!
How did you come to work at the Library Hotel?
A friend from Bulgaria worked at our sister hotel and she was able to introduce me to the Front Office Manager of the Casablanca Hotel. He was the one that referred me to the Library Hotel where I was eventually hired. I am proud to say I have not left since my first day in 2006!
What’s the best part of your job?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I want to say the team I work with – our staff is fantastic; a lot of my friends in the city are either former or current employees at the Library Hotel. The truth is that our guests are the best part of my job. Most of the people who choose the Library Hotel as their home away from home are book lovers and they love to share their stories – authors, professors, bloggers, poets, publishers, rare books hunters and photographers. The conversations I have with our guests are amazing experiences that enrich me daily. It’s an incredible feeling to meet a guest and later read his or her book! How lucky am I? We’ve even had guests stay that have done book signings right in our Reading Room. To be able to read someone’s book and discuss it with them in person the next day is an absolute dream.
We know your recently got married. Congratulations! What do you and your wife like to do for fun outside of work?
Thank you! Meggie and I are trying not to change our weekly routine. We continue to visit our favorite Greek restaurant in Astoria – Taverna Kyclades. We try to see a musical on Broadway at least once a month and we both love going to the MET Opera so we try to see a performance as often as we can! We enjoy exploring new restaurants and revisiting old favorites in the city that truly never sleeps!
What’s your best advice for someone traveling to New York City for the first time?
Don’t overwhelm yourself with an impossible itinerary! The city has so much to offer and one visit is simply not enough. Give yourself enough time to explore things that are not included in your travel guide. Take the time to talk with the concierge! I firmly believe this is a better way to discover our city’s extra special gems than from your guide book. All of our staff have their favorite recommendations but of course, during your conversation with the concierge, be up front about what you’re looking for. If you want adventurous cuisine for example, say so! If you want to splash out at a Michelin starred restaurant- say so! If you want something easy on the wallet- say so! There is something for everyone in the Big Apple!
Thank you so much, Arman! We’re so glad that you’re a part of the Library Hotel team!