Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entry into Kempinski.
I am a German national, and my family runs a small fifth-generation hotel in North Bavaria. From an early age, I was exposed to hospitality, and it became my passion. I did a 2.5-year apprenticeship in Freiburg, Germany, before taking on two traineeships in Thailand. I joined Kempinski in 2002 as an event coordinator at the legendary Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin and am honoured to have received tremendous support from mentors along the way, which led me to exotic destinations like Indonesia, China and now Kenya, where I am the GM of two amazing properties.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
It is so diverse and full of surprises – most of them positive ones. No day is like any other. My job allows me to meet different people with different backgrounds, and I love the engagement and interaction with guests and employees alike, and the feedback I get for the hard work we put in every day is very rewarding.
My favourite place at our hotel is the garden of K-Lounge, which is a place of such serenity in the middle of a lively city. My favourite thing is that Villa Rosa Kempinski is a place where we host presidents, CEOs, business travellers and tourists, as well as special family occasions. It is the mix of guests that makes this hotel really special.
There are so many things really. What I really appreciate is the connection I have built with so many loyal guests over the past years that I have been with Kempinski. Several of them I have been able to welcome at several Kempinski hotels I have worked at.
How is Kempinski different from other places you have worked at?
It is a small hotel group, and we all know each other. On top of this, the flat hierarchy makes it easy to connect with Head and Regional offices, as well as counterparts in the divisions. Working here has allowed me to combine my passion for travelling and diving into different cultures with my passion for hospitality. In my position, you are never off the job; we are always representing the brand.
From my first arrival in the dark hours at 5:00am on a Monday morning, I felt welcomed immediately. ‘Karibu Kenya’ is not only a saying; it is a way of living. 30% of the current team will celebrate their tenth anniversary with Villa Rosa Kempinski next year. This speaks strongly for the work environment and team spirit we have.
My favourite moment with the team so far was when we celebrated after we reached 100% occupancy again in February 2022 after two tough years. Everyone worked so well together to make it happen, and everyone was so proud when we celebrated in the cafeteria.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining or someone who has just joined Kempinski?
Be open-minded and love what you do. Be proactive and build your network. Kempinski offers great opportunities for Task Forces, Promotions and Transfers. It is your responsibility to make your career happen through outstanding performances, passion, flexibility and mobility.