Photo of Hotelier Guillaume Benezech

When you’re the GM of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto, you’d expect style to be part of your imprint. That’s clearly the case for Guillaume Benezech, who is crafting success with a focus on sophistication, passion and attention to detail.

Born in Bordeaux, France, Benezech landed in Toronto four years ago, just as the pandemic was wreaking havoc. His appointment marked a return to Canada, where his journey with the Ritz-Carlton began with the re-opening of its Montreal location in 2012. 

Though Benezech started in the legal field, he quickly realized “It didn’t align with me,” he recalls. “Driven by my passion for luxury hospitality, I made a pivotal decision to re-locate to Switzerland, renowned for its world-class hospitality. There, I pursued my diploma at the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.”

His first venture in hospitality industry took place in Lyon, France, where he served as managing director of the renowned three-Michelin stars chef Paul Bocuse. “Under the guidance of Mr. Paul ― as we affectionately called him ― I absorbed invaluable knowledge about food. His mentorship left an indelible mark on me, thanks to his boundless generosity, unwavering passion and visionary approach to success.”

Subsequent stints followed in Miami where he joined Four Seasons. “I was immersed in a world of discipline, organization and consistency — essential traits for any aspiring leader in luxury hospitality. This experience provided me with a comprehensive set of skills necessary to uphold the challenging standards synonymous with excellence.” 

These days, with 15 years of experience in luxury hospitality management, and a proven track record of managing large and diverse properties, the charming hotelier has found his calling at the 263-room Toronto property, where he oversees a team of 400 associates.

“What distinguishes the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto property is its distinctive identity and forward-thinking vision. Through curated hotel and destination experiences, along with strategic partnerships and crafted stories, we’ve established ourselves as the number-1 Ritz-Carlton-managed hotel in the U.S. and Canada for guest engagement over the last three years, recognized as the top hotel in Toronto by Travel and Leisure magazine in 2023, and consistently awarded a five-star rating by the Forbes Travel Guide. We’re the only Toronto hotel to have received 13 Forbes Travel Guide stars in total.”

The hotel is currently focused on “implementing various initiatives centered around enhancing guest experiences, promoting sustainability, and this year our final phase will be about prioritizing wellness. These areas represent, in my opinion, the key trends driving luxury demand in the hospitality industry.”


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