Reaching The Top: These Six GMs Share Their Success Stories
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Reaching The Top: These Six GMs Share Their Success Stories

Does a life of hard work pay off? For those who strive for success in the hospitality industry, it’s a question we ask ourselves frequently. Many of us also ask ourselves this one: when will I become a GM, and how will I get there? Well, look no further for the answers to your burning questions!

hosco.plus has spent the last year traveling the globe to interview top industry Players, including six GMs who shared their success stories with us while offering key advice on how YOU can follow in their footsteps.

Ready for a recap? Grab a pen, start taking notes, and – who knows? – maybe you will be one of our next interviewees!

1. Focus and re-focus: A Dubai GM’s modus operandi for pre-opening success

Mikael Svensson - General Manager at Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Mikael Svensson - General Manager at Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Meet Mikael Svensson, GM of the soon-to-be-opened Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai. He gets asked the same question a lot: what does a GM actually do a year before a hotel opens its doors? A whole lot of things, as it turns out. First and foremost, he says, is establishing a plan with key milestones and meeting them on time – no small task for a 477-room luxury property with 10 outlets! Those milestones include finding the right people, sourcing operating equipment and FFE, and insuring the communication plan comes out at the right time. One of his biggest challenges? Fielding the 1’000+ applications that have come in, and reaching out to every single candidate to ensure he gets the best staff. Svensson says the most important skill for a GM to have is focus, as every detail counts when setting the tone for a new operation. To hear more of this thoughts on the Dubai hotel market and how Viceroy will make its mark on the unique city, watch the full video!

2. Dreaming In Deià: A GM On Running One Of Spain’s Finest Luxury Boutique Hotels

Ulisses Marreiros - General Manager at Belmond La Residencia

Ulisses Marreiros - General Manager at Belmond La Residencia

Join hosco.tv as we soak up the sun in the lovely village of Deià, Mallorca, and chat with Ulisses Marreiros, the GM of its exclusive, 68-room luxury boutique hotel, Belmond La Residencia. Nestled in the mountains of the northwest coast of the Spanish island, La Residencia is a longtime favorite destination of artists, writers, and, more recently, rock stars and film celebrities alike. According to Marreiros, who has over 20 years of experience working mostly with small hotels, what draws guests to La Residencia is its “tailor-made” approach to service and hospitality. The main challenge to being open just seven months of the year? Marreiros says it’s recruitment—finding candidates willing to take seasonal versus full-time contracts—but notes that the team is also quite busy during the off season with maintenance, refurbishments, promotional travel, and training, among other projects. His advice to those just starting out in the hospitality industry is simple: Have patience, be flexible, and question everything. For more on this stunning property, watched the full video!

3. Dare To Dream: The Emirates Palace GM On Running The World’s Most Lavish Hotel

Holger Schroth - General Manager at Emirates Palace by Kempinski

Holger Schroth - General Manager at Emirates Palace by Kempinski

Holger Schroth, GM of Kempinski’s Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, sits down with hosco.tv to talk about what it’s like to run one of the world’s most luxurious, iconic hotels—and about what it took to get there. A true Kempinski veteran, Schroth served in several executive positions with the company and managed both the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok and the Hotel Kempinski Mall of the Emirates prior to taking the reins at Emirates Palace. According to Schroth, what sets this challenge apart from the others is its scale: Emirates Palace sits on one million square meters of land, holds 72 elevators, and boasts 1’204 Swarovski crystal chandeliers! With over 1’400 staff members of 62 different nationalities to oversee, Schroth says he has learned to delegate and to follow two important rules: treat people the way you would like to be treated, and stick to your promises. His top key to success? The willingness to be mobile in his career, which has led him so far from Germany to China, Spain, Thailand, and the UAE, twice. Curious to hear more about his distinguished career and plans for the future? Watch the full video!

4. A Human Adventure: Bringing The Peninsula Paris To Life

Nicolas Béliard - General Manager at The Peninsula Paris

Nicolas Béliard - General Manager at The Peninsula Paris

Nicolas Béliard, GM of The Peninsula Paris, sits down with hosco.tv to talk about what it’s like to manage the opening of a 200-room, ‘exquisitely Parisian’ luxury hotel. From the ‘human adventure’ of hiring and training staff to the official handover of keys from the construction team, Béliard says what he loved most about the project was the pride that both parties felt in watching the hotel come to life in 2014. Having worked at nine different properties over the last 18 years, including four hotel openings, Béliard has climbed the ranks of hospitality patiently and humbly. His advice to young talents? Don’t think about the top, or you will be frustrated. Have pride and passion in your work, and enjoy what you do, and things will happen naturally. To hear him talk about the changes he’s observed in luxury hospitality since the start of his career, including his opinion on what guests want in luxury today, watch the video!

5. It's Not A Job, It's A Way Of Life - And Other Advice For Aspiring GMs

Eric Favre - General Manager at The Alpina

Eric Favre - General Manager at The Alpina

Join hosco tv as we step inside one of the most exclusive hotels in the world, The Alpina in Gstaad, and meet its General Manager, Eric Favre. Favre shows us around the luxurious property and answers the question: What does it take to be a great GM? With no hesitation, he tells us it’s all about flexibility, investing yourself, being willing to compromise and, above all, never saying no to an offer. With over 25 years of experience as a hotel GM and over 35 years in the hospitality industry—Favre knows his stuff. Watch our chat with him to find out what he loves most about his career in hotel management.

6. Pardon Our Dust: A GM Discusses The ‘Human Venture’ Of A Hotel Pre-opening

Alain Kropf - General Manager at Royal Savoy

Alain Kropf - General Manager at Royal Savoy

Alain Kropf, GM of The Royal Savoy Hotel in Lausanne, has a job that many hotel managers dream of—leading a hotel pre-opening. From blueprints to breaking ground and through recruitment and training, Kropf has been at the helm since the hotel’s conception. What makes a pre-opening so special? For Kropf, an international hotelier with 20 years of experience to draw on, it all comes down to what he deems the ‘human venture’—a team of people working together through the many challenges that present themselves when starting a hotel from scratch.

Did you take all the notes you needed to become a GM? Remember, just like Mr. Beliard said, the most important thing is not to think of the top but to enjoy every single step on the way.

Now is your moment to shine!

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