Hotel Hugo GM Pablo Migoya talks hospitality and what’s ahead for the excellent boutique SoHo hotel

Bar Hugo / Photo: Hotel Hugo

Bar Hugo / Photo: Hotel Hugo
Bar Hugo / Photo: Hotel Hugo

Located in West SoHo on Greenwich Street, Hotel Hugo is a wonderful boutique hotel. Ideal for visitors traveling on business — yet also a local seeking a staycation — Hotel Hugo is full of great features and amenities. Beyond its Italian-themed Café Hugo on the street level, the establishment includes two rooftop bars with mind-blowing views, Bar Hugo and the Cuban-themed Azul. The hotel also includes an exercise room and a business enter, while its guest rooms include Italian tile bathrooms, hardwood floors, flat-screen televisions, modern coffeemakers and minifridges.

Following a pleasurable stay at Hotel Hugo, Downtown had the opportunity to speak with Pablo Migoya, the hotel’s General Manager. Prior to his work in West SoHo, Pablo was the GM at hotels within the SIXTY Hotels and SoHo Grand Hotels ranks. Even before that, Pablo had spent years with Swissôtel New York-The Drake. In turn, it is not particularly surprising that Pablo came across as driven, knowledgeable and personable.

As Pablo mentioned within our Q&A, Hotel Hugo’s sister property will be opening uptown in less than two months. For more information on that and all things Hotel Hugo, keep checking Hotel Hugo can also be followed on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Cafe Hugo
Cafe Hugo

What inspired you to work within the hospitality field?

Pablo Migoya: I wish that my story was more interesting; however, truth be told a dear friend of the family — a considered pseudo-uncle of mine — designed hotels around the world. He had just completed one that opened near my home in the Washington D.C. area and, upon my first summer home from college, asked if I would like a job. Being hungry to make immediate cash, I took the position as a bellman. The grand opening had many celebrities and my first guest I escorted up was Mickey Mantle. I walked him to his suite, he tipped me and I went on my way. At the elevator I looked at the tip and low and behold, he had given me a $100 bill! I fell in love with the industry immediately.

What is the first New York hotel you ever worked at?

PM: After nearly six years of working for the Swissôtel New York-The Drake, the owners of Thompson Hotels were just opening up their first, flagship property Sixty Thompson. I began as the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

How did you wind up working at Hotel Hugo? Did you know anyone here before being hired?

PM: The ownership group was looking for a GM that could assist them in developing a brand and was drawn toward my experience.

Do you have a favorite amenity offered by the hotel?

PM: I feel that we have a wide variety of amenities we offer, from a bottle of Prosecco upon arrival to rooftop sunset views from our Cuban-inspired bar, Azul.

Pablo Migoya / Photo: Hotel Hugo
Pablo Migoya / Photo: Hotel Hugo

What is your favorite item on the Café Hugo menu?

PM: That’s difficult, but I would lean towards the Avocado toast for breakfast, or the roasted Branzino for lunch or dinner.

Do the menus for Café Hugo or Bar Hugo ever change? Who are the people behind them? Is it Sammir?

PM: The menus recently changed in Café Hugo and they have, mostly on the Specialty cocktail list at Bar Hugo. Sammir does have a big influence on what appears.

Bar Hugo has an impressive view. Is it only open certain months of the year? Does a person have to be a hotel guest to experience Bar Hugo?

PM: We are very fortunate to be able to use Bar Hugo year-round. It is completely enclosed and climate-controlled. Azul is a seasonal bar, on the other hand. You do not have to be a hotel guest and we strive to target the local neighborhood as our guests. We are part of the community and thus want the bars to be local hangouts for our residents.

At the front desk there’s a beautiful grass wall. Who designed that? Marcello Pozzi?

PM: The living walls are amazing accents and talking points for the hotel. Both were designed and are maintained by Parker Plants.

Azul / Photo: Hotel Hugo
Azul / Photo: Hotel Hugo

Is there something you wish more people knew about the hotel?

PM: Hotel Hugo is about to have its first sibling in the city. Hotel Hayden will be launched on Feb. 1st and is located in the Fashion District.

When not busy with the hotel, how do you like to spend your free time?

PM: Free time does not exist. I have two extremely-active teenagers who are both successful soccer players, and our weekends are spent driving from one game to another, year-round. That could mean driving to Washington, D.C or Boston.

Hotel Hugo aside, do you have a favorite restaurant in lower Manhattan?

PM: My wife and I love sushi and the best of the best is BondST, hands down.

Finally, Pablo, any last words for the kids?

PM: Be leaders and not followers. Stand for something and always listen and be respectful.