Not every Boston neighborhood has a hotel and not every hotel has a Claudio Pereira as General Manager. The Cambria Hotel, across from Broadway Station has sweeping rooftop views of the city, restaurants, event space, and this inspired manager who has made South Boston home.
“I like how friendly everyone is in South Boston, and there is a beach with volleyball and beautiful views. I enjoy seeing the people who walk their dogs, and there is just a sense of community. I didn’t just want to work at the hotel, but to know the barber, grocery stores, and other businesses,” he said. “I knew in about a month in that I liked it better than New York City, and that’s a big deal, plus my mother liked it when she visited from Brazil!”
Getting to know new places is familiar to Claudio Pereira,37, who early in life wanted to study many things and to apply his obvious curiosity with a wish to travel. Speaking four languages, he graduated with a degree in Hotel Management and an MBA in Brazil, and then went to Italy, back to Brazil, and then to Stamford, Ct. to explore boutique hotels and then to New York City where he remained working in luxury hotels until coming to Boston in September 2022. Through interesting and successful work and travel, he is clear about the important influences. “It is my parents,” he said. “I owe them everything.”
He knows better than to think that you step into management without knowing and honoring all the hotel positions that contribute to the reputation of a hotel. “I started working on the front desk at a hotel for five years, and thought I am good at something! There are people who make their life’s work mastering one part of the hotel business and doing it with pride. People remember the staff they deal with and rarely with the general manager. The goal is excellence at every level, and we try never to say “no,” he said. “Guests know when the hospitality is authentic.”
“The days of a yearly evaluation are over. It is about steady feedback and consistent quality and working closely with all levels to provide a high norm,” he said. In fact, he chose Cambria because he thought that “no one is just a number. It’s small enough to have impact and make people proud to be part of it.”
There is a polite vigor to Claudio Pereira, who manages with a sharp mind, an eye on all aspects of the hotel, and a warm interpersonal style. In just six months, he has partnered with Artists for Humanity and other organizations to serve guests following events and has become familiar and appreciative of many local haunts in South Boston.
Following years of pandemic and slowed hotel business, the right man has come on the scene and his seriousness, sophistication and congeniality are sure to promote this cornerstone hotel uniquely connecting South Boston, Downtown, the South End and Seaport.
“There is room for events, and I will work with community groups,” he said. “In addition, the gym is so nicely designed and there could be space for personal trainers to offer classes,” he offered. His expertise and interest in collaborations seems unlike other hotels and his personal touch more than marketing.
Despite familiar challenges of hiring and retaining motivated staff and dealing with high costs in Boston, Claudio Pereira is undaunted.
“This feels like the right place,” he said and as someone who could be anywhere nationally or internationally, that is quite a compliment.
(Carol Masshardt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)