- 30 May 2019 9:39 AM
We closed a hotel and we are opening a new one. Buddha-Bar was sold after a beautiful time of operations, we were well positioned in the market, and we achieving good results.
Already before Buddha-Bar closed I started a new project, in the middle of 2018, and began focusing only on the new property Párisi Udvar operated by by Mellow Mood Hotels which will be opening soon.
At home, luckily everything is fine too. Our boys are growing, now at 12 and 10,5 they are very active, doing sports as well as school work. They need me as well and I’m more involved with them than ever. So it is all positive.
2. What is your favourite personal achievement to date?
Personally, definitely the two boys, and my family. Also worth mentioning, I was Canoeing World Champion on 1000 m in C2 and also a Dragon Boat Champion.
Work wise, after being in the industry for 25 years it is definitely opening such a beautiful property as Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest.
3. What are your current biggest challenges at work?
To find the proper quality employees for the new 5* hotel. Luckily we already have good people in key positions, however getting the right members in the service team, housekeeping, and front office is a challenge.
Of course you know this is one of the biggest issues in general across the whole hospitality industry in Hungary. On the other hand we are in a good position since Budapest has an increasing tourism sector at the moment.
4. Which superpower would you choose?
To fit 34 hours in 24!
5. What does your typical day look like these days?
I wake up relatively early, as luckily I usually sleep very well. I take the kids to school, then go to work. These days there are lots of meetings, lots of coordination, this takes up 90% of my time in this opening phase of the hotel. Communicating with my team members, with Mellow Mood Hotels owners, and coordination with Hyatt, are key tasks each day.
Also we started staff trainings for the opening, arranged with Hyatt following their program. I try to finish by 6ish but sometimes I need to work afterwards, but I try hard to avoid working at home. In the evening I enjoy spending time with my family, which gives me even more energy for the next day.
6. Who inspires your life most these days?
Luckily over the years I had very good people to work with, as well as great friends who were all mentors in some way. I keep in touch with them, and they still inspire me.
I think what we need nowadays are people around us who we feel give us energy, people you are happy to spend time with sharing pleasurable moments. So my partner and such friends are the ones inspiring me.
7. What behaviour do you most dislike in others?
Selfish and irrational people.
8. Unicum or pálinka?
At a good Sunday lunch with friends and family, it’s nice to start with a pálinka before I eat, and then finish with Unicum. Drinking responsibly of course!
9. What is (would be) your favourite karaoke song?
Something from Gun’s & Roses would be a top choice. At the last New Year’s Eve Party I joined a group of friends singing ‘We’re not going to take it’ from Twisted Sister’s.
10. What do you love most about your life?
Simply that it’s never boring! There are always new challenges. I am the type of person who always needs challenges, I know it and also discussed with a coach. I like to plant a tree, harvest the first fruits, and then go forward ready for a new challenge.
11. What is your most treasured possession?
Things I collected during my travels, mementos, for example the stuffed shark I got from Cuba in 1995, and a stuffed cobra from Thailand.
12. What was the luckiest moment in your life so far?
In general, I think I’m a lucky person. You need a lot of luck in this life for sure.
Maybe the luckiest was when we were once paddling in a 80 km race across Balaton and we got into a storm, our boat sank at Tihany in very cold conditions. We spent 40 minutes in the water before we were rescued by a boat named Fortuna. I only know this from a recording a helicopter made that I saw later on TV.
I also think if you want to be lucky, don’t just trust luck, you have to do something. Luck is not granted, you need to make your own luck.
13. Please share a guilty pleasure of yours…
Picking up sweets from my colleagues’ desks, I’m well known for it at work.
14. What issue ‘keeps you awake at night’?
15. How do you like to relax at the weekend?
I feel lucky I can switch off quickly, after a weekend I need to warm up again before work. I’m usually doing something with the family, or with friends or our parents, I like being active, to relax in an active way, such as biking around Balaton, going for good walks.
I believe in order to be able to get recharged; you need to get out of your usual environment, even if for just a couple of hours.
16. If you could change one thing about Hungary, what would it be?
More team workers.
17. What single thing would improve your quality of life the most?
Playing better on guitar, so I could play well in front of an audience.
18. If your next assignment was on a desert island, which three things would you take?
At the weekends I try not to take my mobile phone around with me, but this would be a must need item for a desert island. Also I would take stuff to help me build my own boat.
19. What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
Maybe I would have shown more patience.
20. What question would you ask yourself if you interviewed yourself?
What is your plan for the ten years’ time? I would like to teach, both professional business topics, and as a canoe trainer.
Interview 2: Tamás Fazekas, Former General Manager Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace