How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I got interested in the hospitality industry after spending 3 years on a large charter yacht with 25 crew and working in various roles within the ship. The Captain became my mentor and instilled those values that I lacked at the time ... respect and discipline! He was the one that suggested to go for hotels when I announced after 3 years on board that I would be buying a Norton 850 motorcycle and will spend 1 year riding around Europe: I spent 18 months and truly enjoyed the time on the road ...
Tell us about Fairmont Monte Carlo. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the hotel?
FMC is today the leading destinations hotel in the Principality of Monaco and Southern Europe .. The aim is to continue growing it's presence in the market through service excellence and innovative partnerships such as examples such as Nobu and Nikki Beach... A hotel today positions itself though it's F&B offer.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Fairmont Monte Carlo's success?
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
The trends are mostly to do with technology and F&B offers. These are mostly driven by the arrival of complimentary brands such as the ones already mentioned above. However the hotel needs to provide the widest offer possible to address the needs of a very discerning client.
Strive to win
Fairmont Monte Carlo's Motto?
Offer the best and most engaging hotel experience through caring staff and first class products.
Your greatest success as Regional VP/GM of Fairmont Monte Carlo?
Being recognized with industry awards as a leading European hotel discerned by leading organizations in the business (in the last few years the FMC has received the TripAdvisor “Certificate of Excellence 2013, 2014 and 2015” based on opinions of millions of travelers; the Pinnacle Award - Successful Meetings: voted as “Best European Hotel ” by decision makers for planning meetings, events, conferences, and incentive programs for 3 consecutive years 2013, 2014 and 2015; the Meeting & Incentive Travel: Gold Award as “Best Overseas Hotel” 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; Silver Award as “Best Overseas Hotel” 2014, based on readers’ opinions).
Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
When business demanded that we reduced headcount in order to face the last recession. We achieved it through careful and caring dialogue and a strong dose of empathy.
Your advice to an aspiring hotelier?
Be ready to work hard and enjoy the fruits of your work to the full. It's a great industry ..
Describe the ideal experience at Fairmont Monte Carlo.
A magnificent breakfast at the Horizon roof terrace ... A energizing and trendy lunch at Nikki Beach by the pool followed by a relaxing spa experience and topped with a tantalizing dinner at Nobu.
How important are architecture/design to the success of Fairmont Monte Carlo?
Relevant but more important is its location overlooking both the Mediterranean and the world famous F1 Fairmont hairpin.
How do you motivate your employees?
By making them feel part of the success and ensuring that their contribution is recognized and valued.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
An FMC burger and a Monaco beer!
What literature is on your bed stand?
John Grisham .. brain wash !!
Role model - business and personal?
Margaret Thatcher & Jose Morinho
Favorite travel destination?
Anywhere warm and sunny, with good food and wine and in good company!
What's next for Fairmont Monte Carlo?
Watch this space ... Sshhhh !