Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta appointed a women-led leadership team of Krisit Cotten-Morris and Yajaira Torres.
Cotten-Morris has been named general manager and will be responsible for overseeing all hotel operations and staff training of the new, locally inspired hotel. Torres has been named director of sales and marketing and will establish strategic accounts and foster partner relationships to drive occupancy, maximize revenue, and elevate the hotel’s profile in key markets.
With a combined four decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Cotten-Morris and Torres will lead the Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta team in all aspects of pre-opening efforts, including team training and development, and beyond. Their efforts will seek to guide the property to become a sought-after lifestyle experience in Buckhead while also working to amplify the Hyatt Centric brand in Atlanta.
Both Cotten-Morris and Torres have worked at other Hyatt-branded properties in the Atlanta market in the past – Cotten-Morris at Hyatt Regency Atlanta and Torres at Hyatt Place Atlanta. The duo is excited to be back in the city, utilizing what they have learned in the years since to represent the Hyatt Centric brand and lead Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta to bring a new lifestyle hotel to the market.
Kristi Cotten-Morris brings over 26 years of experience in the hospitality industry, 24 of which have been with Hyatt hotels. Since beginning her Hyatt career as a front desk agent at Hyatt Regency Hilton Head Island in 1997, Cotton-Morris has led Hyatt properties through rebrands, renovations, and openings, taking pride in leading with care in an inclusive environment that encourages team members to be their best. Highlights of her experience thus far include leading a $73 million renovation at Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, which transformed every aspect of the property.
“We are excited to begin welcoming guests to our property and serve as a launchpad for travelers to explore the best that Atlanta has to offer,” Cotten-Morris said. “From our 15th-floor rooftop with panoramic views of the beautiful city skyline to our seven stunning suites, two restaurants led by an incredible James Beard Award-winning chef and design that pays homage to the artistic history of Georgia, our hotel will be full of personality and truly unlike any other in the neighborhood.”
Cotten-Morris also served on Hyatt’s opening task force for several years, playing a key role in opening Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and Hyatt Regency Jacksonville. Most recently, she worked in Philadelphia as the general manager of The Bellevue Hotel, serving as a business leader, strategic advisor and project manager while balancing relationships between ownership, colleagues, customers and guests.
Yajaira Torres has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 13 years where she has grown with Hyatt and the Hyatt Centric brand. She represented the second-ever Hyatt Centric hotel, Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, and has helped support the brand’s evolution in the lifestyle hotel space. Through her experiences, Torres has shown strength in connecting with transient and leisure guests, a key market segment for the new property, and attributes much of this success to her dedication to community involvement by immersing herself and her team with community partners and fostering local relationships.
“I feel incredibly honored to be a part of the leadership team at this dynamic property in the city where I started my career with Hyatt," Torres said. "The new hotel lends itself perfectly to the Buckhead lifestyle and we look forward to bolstering the community further through meaningful partnerships and activations.”
In returning to the Atlanta market to join the Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta team, she is excited to continue cultivating meaningful partnerships while spearheading the property’s sales and marketing initiatives.
Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta is designed to reflect the historical pottery heritage of Georgia while taking inspiration from the evolution of Buckhead as a fashion destination. The 218-key hotel will serve as a launchpad for guests to explore Buckhead, and will immerse guests and locals in a playful interpretation of the local culture, from the residential-inspired lounge area in the lobby with a curated art selection to the over 3,700 square feet of meeting and pre-function space reflecting the pottery design concept.
There will also be two signature food and beverage experiences operated by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson: Mount Royal, a Montreal-style steakhouse that will spotlight the work of the finest local farmers and artisans in the Southeast, and Spaceman, the 15th-floor indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge that will feature expertly crafted cocktails and a simple menu of shareable bites.