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An Interview of the Hotel General Manager

Leading the debut of the Chedi Lustica Bay, scheduled for 14 July 2018, is the General Manager, Marc de Ruijter, who, with his team, will bring to guests and stakeholders a new style of luxury that blends his modern work ethic with European comfort, alongside Chedi’s Asian charm. Overlooking Montenegro’s Traste Bay, Marc explains why the Chedi Lustica Bay was an irresistible opportunity after his several years working in hotels that span from the USA to Mauritius and Dubai. To Marc, it is the opportunity to work with kindred spirits who are determined to collaborate to craft a coveted experience of delight on the Mediterranean coast that brought him to Montenegro.

In this interview, we get a more intimate glimpse into Marc de Ruijter’s 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and talk about his take on The Chedi Lustica Bay.

IN: First of all, why did you choose hospitality as a career?
MDR: I decided to take on hospitality because of its diversity. On a daily basis, one is involved in all of the activities that have to do with the running of a hotel: marketing, sales, revenue management, people development and operations; making it the least boring profession in the world! The diversity does not stop there; you also have the opportunity to live in different countries and become culturally integrated there, which is another gift that many other jobs do not provide. 

IN: Where and when did your journey in hospitality begin?
MDR: For me, it all started in the USA in 1994. I began in a ‘small’ resort in Orlando, Florida. It was the Marriott World Center, with approximately 1600 rooms! This opportunity was an amazing first experience and made a lasting impression on me.
 General manager The Chedi Hotel Tivat

IN: What is the highlight of your career in hospitality?
MDR: Even though each hotel brings its own different highlights and possibilities, I have found that the best experience for me was when a former colleague calls to be part of a new team in a new location. 

IN: What is the key characteristic that every hotel General Manager should have?
MDR: For me, it has to be creating a formidable team by nurturing talent and allowing all key players in the team to shine. This has to happen while each and every member is working in sync. 

IN: What do you believe is the best and worst aspect of your job?
MDR: This might sound paradoxical, but it is time: oftentimes it is the flexibility of time, and equally, its quick consumption! 

Hotel The Chedi Lustica Bay opening in Montenegro

IN: What is your daily schedule like?
MDR: No day is the same! Anyone working in hospitality can attest to that. Each day brings its new duties and people to meet, and new ways to deliver the best possible experience for the variety of guests who stay with us. 

IN: Where is the most exotic location you have been to?
MDR: Mauritius; it made such an impression on me that I chose to work there, twice. Once with Starwood and the last one with the iconic Le Touessrok. 

Hotel The Chedi Lustica Bay opening in Montenegro

IN: In your opinion, which guest, dead or alive, you would love to welcome and host in The Chedi?
MDR: There are many iconic figures, but my top three would have to be the late Steve Jobs, former President Barak Obama, and my late grandmother.

INWhat is your definition of luxury?
MDR: In our modern lives, we have less privacy and even less time. So, for me, pure luxury would be to enjoy privacy and to find a way to make what little time we have more valuable through memorable experiences. 

Traste Bay Tivat Montenegro

IN: What is the quote or motto that you live by?
MDR: ‘Carpe Diem’, ‘Seize the day’. 

IN: Where have you worked before joining The Chedi?
MDR: Before coming here, I had the pleasure of working for the Sofitel Brand in Dubai on the Palm and at the Jumeirah Beach Residence. 

IN: What makes The Chedi, unlike any other hotel you worked for?
MDR: My experience here so far has been incomparable to my previous ones because in Rhe Chedi I am among kindred souls. Here, I have the opportunity to craft a team of hospitality specialists and like-minded enthusiasts, which, in my opinion, will be the greatest strength of The Chedi Lustica Bay. Working in hospitality means that we are in the business of creating unforgettable experiences for our guests, and adding value to them and to the stakeholders. The ability to do this in Montenegro as a part of the Lustica Development, and integrating the resort into the destination, with its marina, golf and retail units, makes my experience here even more unique. 

IN: Where is the one place in The Chedi that you visit when you need to escape?
MDR: It must be the gym. Early in the morning to start off the day, and visiting the Adriatic sea at night to rejuvenate. 

Montenegro spa hotel gym

IN: If you could relate the Chedi to an artist, musician, or a piece of music, which or what would it be?
MDR: Being part of the Chedi and leading its day-to-day activities is akin to a symphony orchestra; one that has numerous players, with different instruments, who all compose the guests’ entire experience by working together in harmony with the same passion and vision. 

IN: In your opinion, what is the most impressive part of the hotel?
Among its many attributes, the one that stands out the most is its location. The Chedi is situated directly in the heart of the Lustica Marina Village, with the villas and apartments surrounding the hotel premises overlooking Traste Bay

IN: What are the values that you learned from Montenegro?
MDR: The key value I have learned by being here is that there will always be opportunities, and it is a matter of not allowing it to pass, rather, to be assertive and take hold of it. The only way that such opportunities can be realized is through commitment, persistence, and dedication to watch it unfold into a reality.

TRASTE BAY Montenegro travel

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