The Hamptons are in full swing right now, and Sylvia Wong is definitely feeling like one Roundtree Hotel in Amnesty. For the New York lawyer, the road to the hotel was a winding one, but a natural turn due to his love of travel.
After studying law at New York University, Paul began his career at Weiss, Rifkind and Wharton & Garrison, a big city law firm focused on mergers and acquisitions representing clients who bought or sold businesses.
“As a young lawyer, it was a great learning experience to work alongside some of the best American lawyers who are smart, creative and client-focused,” he said, adding that while it was a demanding job, it helped build the foundation stronger. . From legal and business skills and personal development. “I think of those years with fond memories.”
Wong then joined IBM and settled in Asia for about ten years. In 2012, he returned to New York and was named Director of Compliance to lead the company’s global ethics and compliance program.
Then, in 2015, another breakthrough: Wong was hired by Western Technology Investments, a private equity firm with a large real estate portfolio. As the company sought growth, hosting became an organic extension of its holdings.
“Travel has always been one of my passions,” he said. “I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit so many amazing places in the world. I have many great memories from visiting interesting places and staying in small hotels that offer restrained luxury and excellent service.
Notably, it wasn’t Wong’s initial plan to open a store in the Hamptons, but an online property listing in early 2019 changed all that. At the time, the hotel, which was a family property called Cansett Green Manor, and a winter weekend getaway, took over Hampton C. said Wong, who co-starred with WTI in the film that would become Roundtree. “Its extensive grassland and surrounding farmlands provide a calm and peaceful environment,” he added. “However, it’s right on Main Street, close to great local shops and restaurants, and just a short walk or bike ride from miles of beautiful white sand beaches.”
Wong was also fascinated by the history of the property. “It was the home of one of the first four families to settle in Magnist in the 1950s – we have a barn and a few hundred cottages that are hundreds of years old.”
After purchasing the property, the renovation process proved to be a feat. “There was a lot of work to be done, and the fact that there were so many historic buildings on the property made the process more complicated,” Wong said, adding that the plague created another hurdle.
“In the middle of the process, New York State has halted most construction projects except for very specific projects, and we can’t decide if we can continue, so we’re cautiously halting, not knowing when we can or even finish. Keep up the good work we’ve been doing.” Ultimately, they were able to complete the renovations behind their original schedule. In 2022, Roundtree unveiled Beach House, a two-story complex minutes from the main property owned by playwright Neil Simon.
The site renovation was “nerve-wracking and exciting” as the pandemic heightened the challenges of opening a hotel.
“In addition to making sure we love the guest experience, we need to understand how to create an environment where our guests feel safe and how to best protect them. In the early days of the plague, there were no rules,” Wong said.
Fortunately, when the hotel opened in June 2020, everything turned out fine.
“We decided to take a simple approach – if we were hosting friends and loved ones, that’s what we usually do. When we opened, we didn’t have any calls. We were too busy and didn’t have time to worry,” he said. “Very quickly, when we found the first guests, we received a huge amount of praise and support from them.”
In their first year of business, about 80% of their guests came from New York and the Tristate area. Now, they have about half of their guests, the rest coming from the West Coast, Texas, Florida and most recently Europe.
“For a lifelong dreamer of opening a restaurant, Wong finds his secret advantage in remembering the little things.
“In my opinion, passion, originality and attention to detail are some of the most important success factors,” he said. “You have to love what you do. It’s hard work, but it doesn’t feel like it when you’re enjoying it. Do your research and use the resources at your disposal for personal learning, relationships, and mentoring opportunities.
The developer also emphasizes the importance of learning from life experiences to create a vision of “what your guest experience will be like and how you want guests to spend their time at your property.”
In the process of creating Roundtree, she had countless people tell her, “This is how it’s always been done.” However, relying on his instincts to decide between good and evil is invaluable.
“It’s important to listen to advice, but make your own decisions,” he said. “Ask questions, be curious, and trust your gut.”
“Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic.”