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The Unexpected Face Of Luxury Hospitality Prince A. Sanders pivot into hospitality was born of his upbringing and family life

By John Stanly

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Prince A. Sanders

Prince A. Sanders' foray into the world of hospitality is an unexpected and endearing one. A former professional ballet dancer looking to redefine his identity after an injury, Sanders found himself in an industry that sourced him with newfound inspiration. His achievements over the years highlight the way he is consistently driven by inspiration, believing "if you can dream it, you can be it and you'll find the time to do the things that you love the most.'

Sanders pivot into hospitality was born of his upbringing and family life. Fond memories of his childhood are the reason that hospitality resonated with him so strongly. In particular, his grandmother's joy for hosting loved ones in her home is acknowledged as a spark that ignited his shift into the hospitality industry. "She loved nothing more than welcoming people into her home and she made it her mission to acknowledge everyone's individual preferences and making their favorite dishes,' he notes. Sanders describes his grandmother's love for looking after others and ensuring their comfort in her home as the origins of his love for creating special moments for his guests.

It is from these humble beginnings that a life of great achievements within the hospitality industry has grown.Sanders, during his time running Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, was the only African American General Manager of a Forbes 5 star/AAA five-diamond hotel with a Forbes 5 star/AAA five-diamond, 2 Michelin starred restaurant. In his new role as Manager Director of Park Lane New York, he is the only African American GM on Billionaires' Row. With accolades such as these it's safe to say Prince A. Sanders is a stand-out in the luxury hospitality scene.

His most recent project at Park Lane New York was driven by the desire to bring to life an "accessible alternative to the more traditional hotels around Central Park. His commitment to "creating a lifestyle hotel rooted in inclusivity, despite its proximity to "Billionaires' Row"' shows a self-confidence and passion to pioneer within the hospitality space.

"One day I was leaving work and wanted to meet friends around the Central Park area for food and drinks, Sanders recalls. As I reviewed my options I realized there was really no place for me. No place where I felt I truly belonged and at that very moment, I knew it was time for a change."

The project commenced back in 2019 in collaboration with the famed international design firm, YabuPushelberg, branding by Mother Design and food and beverage curated by Scott Sartiano. The mission behind the renovations at Park Lane New York was to reinstate the property as one of the most unique and iconic in NYC, not only in aesthetics but in the way it feels for guests. Together, Sanders and the A list team of collaborators have pushed for the unexpected, achieving a unique blend of storytelling and design. The hotel, rebranded as "Formally Yours – Park Lane Reimagined', has opened its doors to new audiences that are likely to be very impressed by the Central Park inspired redesign of the iconic property.

Sanders' creativity and passion persevere beyond his life and work in hospitality. Sanders shares his passion for living a life guided by inspiration through his work as a published author. Sanders has written two children's books based on his own life experiences. His most recent book, "The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody's Good at Something', weaves together a relatable story of overcoming challenge to "show how pursuing one's passions despite the odds… can lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.'

The true beauty in Sanders' professional contributions at Park Lane is how it highlights the power of following one's passions. His drive to innovate in the luxury hospitality world not only allows him to lead a fulfilled life but also offers his guests the opportunity to experience a happier and more fulfilled life by engaging with his vision. It is his fresh reimagining of what luxury accommodation can be, with inclusivity and acceptance at its core, that shows how one person's pursuits can have a positive impact on others.

It is refreshing to see an unexpected face leading change within a timeless industry, such as hospitality. The refurbishment of Park Lane New York represents a positive shift in the luxury hospitality space, one that will see a hotel that resonates with people from all walks of life and welcomes them with open arms.

The inspiration continues as Sanders puts to good use his enthusiasm and charisma to share his message with younger generations through his children's writing. It is exciting to imagine how his writing will inspire young people to be the "unexpected faces' of the future,pioneering in new industries and further contributing to positive change.

John Stanly

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