THE WOODLANDS (HOUSTON), Texas—Benchmark Hospitality International has named Laine K. Blaker director of food and beverage for ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa, a Personal Luxury Resort located oceanside in North Miami, Fla.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Laine to our resort,” said Rikki Boparai, general manager of the property and managing director for the Personal Luxury collection of Florida. “He comes to us with vast experience gained at top luxury properties throughout the world. Given our international clientele, Laine will provide invaluable leadership within ONE Bal Harbour’s food and beverage department and our culinary programing.”
A two-decade hospitality industry veteran, Blaker comes to his new position with extensive food and beverage and operations experience. Prior to joining Benchmark Hospitality, Blaker served as corporate food and beverage operations director for the Washington, D.C.-based eXceed Hospitality Asset Advisors. While here he developed numerous F&B concepts, including opening successful sustainable farm-to-table restaurant concepts in Northern California.
Earlier in his career, Blaker served as the food and beverage director at multiple five-star luxury resorts, including Viceroy Anguilla Resort in the British West Indies, the Boca Raton Resort and Club, and the Tides Hotel in South Beach. He served in the same position at the four-diamond Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Fla., and the Heritage House Resort, Mendocino, Calif.
A native of Vienna, Austria, Blaker began his food and beverage career working in the kitchens of Vienna. It was his experience in Austria that inspired him to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
Blaker obtained an International Baccalaureate from the American International School, Vienna. He attended the University of Vienna, Austria, as well as NYU in New York City, focusing on business and marketing. Blaker has also studied at Flagler College, located in St. Augustine, Fla. He is a certified sommelier who has trained with some of the top chefs in Europe and the United States. He has relocated to Miami.