John Fitzpatrick interview: ‘You won’t find one big hotel in Manhattan that has an owner on the floor every day, but I’m here and I’m watching’

His relationship with his father wasn’t always easy, but New York hotelier John Fitzpatrick learned a lot from it, including ‘never to forget that you’re an innkeeper’

John Fitzpatrick: ‘They’re doing breakfast in a bag at the Hilton. They’re losing the personal touch. People go away to be pampered, not to be told there’s no room service.’ Picture: Corey Sipkin

Nearly 30 years ago, John Fitzpatrick sat on the balcony of the penthouse in his hotel on Lexington Avenue to contemplate what he had done. It was January 1992 and a month had passed since he opened his first hotel in New York. For the first time in his life he realised he could truly empathise with his father. He felt exposed.

At the time, Fitzpatrick was living in the penthouse, having just opened the ...