Q: What motivated you to go into the hotel industry?
Being passionate about mathematics I got my first degree in Finance and Insurances and started my carrier in an American multinational company. In 2005 I got contacted by an international hotel chain and this is how my love story with the hospitality industry began. I became fascinated with this gigantic industry that uses so many various resources to maximize guest satisfaction. Simple but still so complex. It was a mathematical algorithm created to make people happy.
Q: At work: what puts a smile on your face / what puts a frown on your face?
Smiling comes by default, I start my day with a smile and I try to remain positive for the entire day. Happy colleagues, happy guests make me always smile more, a blue sky or the rainbow that appears quite often at our resort puts a smile on my face as well.
I try to remain balanced throughout the day and not to frown. Frowning does not solve the problem anyway. But of course, sometimes too much tension can bring a frown on my face.
Q: How have you changed in the past five years?
It is said that change is the only constant in the Universe and I definitely agree. I hope that I became wiser, more balanced and more tolerant, but this is for the people around me to observe and evaluate.
Q: What challenges are you looking for in this manager position?
Coming from a corporate market, I found this opportunity to work in an eco-friendly luxury mountain resort extremely intriguing and appealing. The challenges are numerous and I enjoy every single one of them: starting from the business mix and segmentation, moving to the sales and revenue strategy, different target emitting markets, new organizational culture, so many things to learn and experience.
Q: Describe a typical work week for a general manager?
Well in hospitality world every day is unique and every week can be completely different from the previous one. It is a very dynamic and exciting world full of drive and action especially because a hotel and more particularly a resort never sleeps, there are always things happening and activities going on. I start my day with a quick walk around the resort, followed by the HOD meeting, for a short recap and an overview of the strategic planning agenda of the day. Then, of course, I am in constant communication with our partners with our guests and with our ambassadors. I strongly believe that managers are the ones who bring motivation and inspiration to their teams, therefore, they should be as much as possible on the front line supporting and motivating their colleagues.
Q: Are the companies’ standards and policies in consonance with your own?
Absolutely, I am delighted to be part of the Accor family, with more than 250’000 hospitality experts sharing the same passion for welcoming people from the heart. I also adhere to the brand values which reflect Accor’s commitment as a civic-minded company that shows solidarity, taking care of the planet and of millions of people every day. Sustainability, gender equality and empowering women as an essential aspect of sustainable development, is actively promoted by Accor and it is something that I strongly believe in.
Q: What kind of MICE events and incentives does the hotel offer?
We are proud of our generous and elegant meeting facilities. Our two stylish conference rooms, Nerona I and Nerona II, offering unique panoramic mountain views, are equipped with state of the art technology and are suitable for board and team meetings, training sessions, presentations, banquets, weddings, and exhibitions. For larger groups, the partition between the two meeting rooms can be folded away to create a bigger meeting area for up to 290 guests (theatre style). Our meeting venues are complemented by a spacious foyer with direct access to the outdoor terrace lounge which offers a stunning view of the surrounding nature.
Q: Can you tell us more about your Magnifique Meetings concept?
Magnifique Meetings, – a Sofitel Brand Concept -, is a fully integrated, experience-focused concept, designed to transform meetings into magnifique experiences and exceed the expectations of our partners by providing the essentials, infused with new French art de vivre. Through innovative products and services driven by our guest insights, every meeting is tailor-made to be magnifique.
Q: Have you ever been a guest in your hotel? What would you change?
Of course being a guest in the hotel is part of our internal procedures and it applies to the entire team. Sofitel My bed concept is a magnificent experience and all our ambassadors are part of it. There is always room for improvement and there are always fine tunes that need to be addressed, and being guests in our hotel is the perfect way to anticipate and to immediately react to anything that can potentially affect our high standards of customer service.
Q: What was your dream when you were a little girl?
Since very little I was fascinated by the stars and the sky so for a long period of time, I dreamt to become an astronaut or an astronomer. Hence my inclination towards mathematics and physics.
Prepared by: Ajda Borak