You have spent your life travelling the world and exploring new cultures. What have you learnt along the way?
People want to be seen as individuals. We are all different with our own cultural backgrounds, philosophies, styles and opinions. Our surroundings and our upbringing make us who we are. And I am fascinated by this diversity. I take great pleasure in welcoming every individual guest and their wonderful idiosyncrasies to our hotel.
So what do you think it is that brings people together?
You have to find some common ground. Some people can while away hours chatting about wine, whilst others would rather sit and smoke a cigar together. Events and activities are another great way of bringing people together. Our hotel provides a platform for sharing ideas and opinions, with the vehicle being events or even the art on our walls.
Which values guide you through life?
Talk less and listen more. Active listening is a skill that is often undervalued. Social media has such a strong hold over us and we are forever sharing information about ourselves. In fact, we share everything these days. What we are eating, what we like and even where we are. But we forget to take on board the information others are sharing with us. For me, it is crucial to listen, absorb and analyse before giving an opinion. Other important values are authenticity and sustainability in all its manifestations.
How is that reflected in your work as General Manager?
There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness. That means being aware of things – including food and consumables – and their background. We always have to ask ourselves where a product comes from, how it was produced and how long it should last. We even applied this process to something as simple as hotel slippers and now we provide our guests with a sustainable product made from pure wool rather than some polyester and plastic creation they are sure to just throw away after a couple of uses.
Where is the luxury hotel sector headed?
You have to be really flexible in this industry. The current situation has taught us that. We would like to focus on the concept of quality time. We are seeing our guests thinking more and more carefully about how they live, how they travel and how they deal with work-related stress. And we want to be there for them. On hand to give them what they need. We aspire to be a source of inspiration for our guests – that we are able to contribute to enhancing their mental and physical wellbeing while with us and after their stay.
Words Martin Hoch
Photo Nico Schaerer
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