Thriving at the Heart of Tourism
Today we have a pleasure of hearing from Antonio Bignone, General Manager of The Serras Hotel, Barcelona, this year’s Grand Trophy winner of Luxury Lifestyle Awards. We will discuss work in one of the hottest tourist destinations on the planet, perks and challenges of the hospitality business, their victory in Luxury Lifestyle Awards and find out what it takes to create and manage the leader among the hotels.
Antonio, Barcelona is a magnet for tourists. Do you think it is a risk to start a hospitality business here?
It really depends on the type of hospitality business you are considering. If you are targeting the luxury segment, it wouldn´t be very risky as it is a growing market, but this type of clientele is certainly a connoisseur of life and you need to be able to offer something different, innovative and brilliant. On the other hand, hospitality businesses that focus on massive tourism are in intense competition, and I think there is no more room for that at the moment…
What do you think are the main factors that contributed to your company’s success?
Definitely having created a different concept that did not exist in Barcelona. But it certainly wouldn’t be a success without the hard work of a fantastic team and the corporate culture of bespoke luxury services provided day by day for sophisticated clientele.
We know that your hotel is very customer-oriented and takes pride in providing attentive personalized services. What kind of staff do you seek to hire to deliver all these promises?
Our work is 100% focused on the satisfaction of our clientele, and in order to work in this type of hotel, you definitely need to possess certain characteristics like PASSION, GENUINENESS, BRIGHTNESS, HONESTY, WARMTH… I would firstly look for these types of souls and only then move on to their experience and background.
Name one most pleasant and one most difficult thing about working in the hospitality business.
Most pleasant thing: definitely being lucky enough to meet and share experiences with fantastic travelers from all over the world every day. The most difficult thing is probably the nature of hospitality itself – that is being available and reachable 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year.
This year The Serras Hotel was included in the shortlist of the best Luxury Hotels in Spain, Barcelona according to Luxury Lifestyle Awards. What does this recognition mean to your company?
Knowing that LLA are exclusively dedicated to recognizing unique excellence among luxury goods and services, it’s definitely a great acknowledgement of our endless hard work since we first opened our doors and something that continues to be true every day since.
What exciting new features and services do you have in store for this summer season in sunny Barcelona?
Just recently, we have opened a new restaurant on our Rooftop Terrace – El Sueño, which we are very excited about. We already had the pleasure of offering delicious cocktails and jaw-dropping views over the Mediterranean, so being able to complement that with a fresh, light and deliciously healthy menu seemed like the perfect addition for this summer season, and we can´t wait to have our guests try it out!