Crystal Springs Resort, New Jersey’s only four-season resort and a premier leisure and culinary destination, is excited to announce the promotion of Robby Younes to Chief Operating Officer. Robby is a dynamic hotelier who has risen through the ranks from management positions in food and beverage to now overseeing the entire resort’s operations.
Robby moved to Crystal Springs ten years ago as Director of Food & Beverage and was most recently serving as its Vice President after a career working in renowned boutique hotels as well as for the Waldorf Astoria, Starwood and Hilton properties. During his tenure at the resort, he has undertaken initiatives that have led to substantial growth in revenue, including the creation of the New Jersey Wine & Food Festival which is gearing up for their largest event yet and their 10th anniversary this May, as well as renovating the resort’s hotels, recruiting top culinary talent, creating innovative partnerships with farmers and producers to increase their sustainability efforts, and soon reconceiving the resort’s culinary jewel, the four-star Restaurant Latour. He is also currently working on a recapitalization project to continue the resort’s growth.
Robby Younes is a dynamic, accomplished senior hospitality executive and industry expert. A successful background in international fine dining and hotel management has laid the foundation for his role as Chief Operating Officer and Wine Director at Crystal Springs Resort.
As Chief Operating Officer, Younes is charged with continuing Crystal Spring’s extraordinary growth and the resort’s commitment to excellence in hospitality and the culinary arts. He oversees the sales department, culinary outlets, IT and operations for multiple properties including luxury hotels, golf courses, award-winning Wine Cellar and multiple food and beverage outlets. Guided by his vision, the resort’s revenue has tripled in the past three years and pro forma profit has more than doubled, positioning it for continued growth.
Originally from Lebanon, Younes experienced many hardships in his youth as the country went through a period of turmoil. However it was through these hardships that he came to understand that with hard work, ambition and resilience you can achieve the unimaginable. Hospitality is an inherent part of Mediterranean culture and the art of honoring your guests has been passed down through his family for generations. His family never failed to display generosity towards their guests and instilled this in Younes. As a boy, he was taught about the concept of seasonality and the importance of using quality products. This education has stayed with him throughout his hospitality career and been imperative to his success.
French educated and fluent in four languages, Younes spent years working in renowned boutique hotels as well as for Starwood and Hilton hotels. He rose quickly through the ranks of their exclusive dining rooms, becoming an executive in his mid-twenties. The year 2008 marks a pivotal point in his career, as Younes joined Crystal Springs Resort as the Food & Beverage Director of the Grand Cascades Lodge. Due to his success in the role, he quickly advanced to the position of Regional F&B Director. Leading the culinary division with entrepreneurial vigor, he conceived and opened the Chef’s Garden with the vision of creating a garden to table experience.
Keen to expand his repertoire, he explored his love of fine wine and attained sommelier certification, as well as membership to the exclusive Les Chevaliers du Grand Vin. As Wine Director, a position he still holds, Younes immediately invigorated the wine program, and under his direction, the prestigious Wine Cellar has continued to amass an enviable and impressive collection of rare and prized wines. He also created the state’s most prestigious annual wine and food festival, drawing some of the world’s best chefs to Crystal Springs including Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, David Bouley, Francis Mallman, and many more.
In his current role, Robby’s vision is propelling Crystal Springs into the future. He oversaw the renovation of Minerals Resort & Spa in 2017 and is planning a renovation of Grand Cascades Lodge and four-star Restaurant Latour this year. He is also revamping the world renowned Wine Cellar to update and expand its offerings in everything from unique spirits to house-aged cheeses and charcuterie.
Younes was also the driving force behind the construction of the Red Tail Lodge at Mountain Creek in 2011. He guided the construction of this 55,000 square foot property in just seven months. Overseeing Mountain Creek, he implemented systems and programs that doubled that resort’s profit and positioned it for a successful sale. Highly entrepreneurial, he also recently started a new company providing Triple Play Internet, TV and phone services to the Vernon Valley.