Amery Burleigh GM Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach
Originally hailing from Carmel, California, a popular tourist destination with the highest ratio of restaurants and art galleries per capita in the world, hospitality has always been a passion for Amery. She graduated with a degree in International Trade and Politics and set her sights on diplomacy – now she considers herself a Hospitality Diplomat.
Amery started her career in Silicon Valley at The Fairmont Hotel. She then joined Fours Seasons Hotels and Resorts and over a 10-year span, climbed the ladder through all areas of Food and Beverage in Seattle, Atlanta, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and then transferred to Sydney in 2002.
Amery fell in love with Australia and moved to the Hunter Valley as Director of Operations for the Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat. Joining Accor in 2007, Amery worked briefly with the rebranding of Mercure and Novotel as Hotel Manager and joined Sofitel Brisbane Central as Executive Assistant Manager in 2010. Amery was promoted as the first female GM for the brand in Australia and transferred to the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach in early 2012.
Outside work she’s passionate about about developing young women in business and closing the gap in Indigenous employment…
What’s your career highlight?
Highlights are centred around people, those that I have seen blossom and realise their potential or meeting someone I have long admired and then realising they are just like you and me. Money does funny things to people, but genuine service equals the playing field. Finding common ground with people from all walks of life is rewarding and intellectually stimulating at the same time and why I love this industry so much.
What do you see in the future of GC tourism?
The Gold Coast is starting to realise its potential as a mega tourist destination, but it is now that we need to look into the future and ensure we are protecting its natural wonders for generations to come. We have beautiful natural assets, and as more people look to nature to reconnect in their lives, well-protected and maintained destinations will be highly valued.
What do you love about the Gold Coast?
There is a vibrancy of youth, ideas and innovation that’s been brewing on the Coast and with the dynamics of the upcoming Commonwealth Games, it seems to be growing. The improvements in infrastructure and service attractions are making the GC a world-class destination. Why would you want to be anywhere else?
Which is your favourite restaurant?
To be honest – my kitchen! With the abundance of farmers and organic markets, there is nothing better than cooking for friends and family in my own sanctuary. But I have my weaknesses: Bam Bam almond croissants, Gemelli’s gnocchi, Burleigh Baker’s sourdough, and Burleigh Brewery’s 70’s style…
How do you relax in your downtime?
Being from California, I am a natural tree hugging type. Getting into nature is always my first stop to relax, taking the time to connect to what is real, peaceful, beautiful. I find it restorative and inspiring at the same time, and fortunately there is an abundance of places to explore close to home here on the Coast.