Q&A: Commune Hotels CEO Niki Leondakis, on Palo Alto's sleek new Epiphany Hotel
It must have been something Niki Leondakis saw or tasted or heard as a young girl flitting about her Greek grandma's restaurant that first spawned her love for the hospitality industry. Whatever it was that struck her about Charlie's Diner, celebrated as the first stainless-steel eatery in Western Massachusetts, it stuck. Today, as CEO of San Francisco-based Commune Hotels & Resorts, Leondakis has become one of the country's most prominent women in the leisure and travel business. And with 38 hotels in three countries already under her command, including the oh-so-hip Joie de Vivre chain of boutique inns, Leondakis is about to cut the ribbon at Palo Alto's sleek new Epiphany Hotel. She says the sexy tech-inspired luxury property practically oozes the Silicon Valley zeitgeist.