Christian Waltmann Returns To Breidenbacher Hof As Front of House Manager

Christian Waltmann

After spending a year in Sidney, Christian Waltmann, our former Assistant Front Office Manager at the Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel, has returned as our Front of House Manager.  Reason enough for another interview, I thought.  As you know from previous posts on the Capella Blog, I love to get to know my colleagues a bit better, especially when they can look back at a long history at the Breidenbacher Hof, as Christian does. Just read for yourself:

You are no stranger to the hotel, what was your position before and what was the reason for your coming back?

After completing my apprenticeship, I started working at the Breidenbacher Hof in 2008 as a Guest Service Agent.  In 2010, I was promoted to a Guest Service Coordinator and later to Assistant Front Office Manager.  Then, I decided to spend one year in Sidney, but felt the urge to return home to Germany.  When it comes to the hotel business, there has always only been one choice for me:  The Breidenbacher Hof, of course!  Luckily, I stayed in contact with the hotel the whole time during my year abroad and was informed about the free position as a Front of House Manager. It was just the right time to come back!

What are your daily tasks as the “Front of House Manager”?

Of course, it’s my job to ensure that operations at the Front of House run smoothly.  This includes ensuring a warm welcome and proactively catering to all of our guests’ needs.  I’m also in charge of planning the schedule for my team and I am always available to my team when they need me.

Christian Waltmann

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is having the chance to meet so many people from all over the world on a daily basis.  Also, I love to be in front of the Hotel, because my team and I are the ones who create the guests’ first as well as last impressions.  That’s an honor!

What do you like about the Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel and why did you choose to work for Capella Hotels and Resorts?

I strongly identify with the philosophy of the Capella Hotel Group and their goal of surpassing the guests’ expectations and wishes and providing individual and personal service.  Furthermore, I like the career opportunities at this expanding hotel chain.

What are your favorite places in Düsseldorf?

My favourite place to relax is the beautiful Rhine promenade.  When it comes to meeting friends my favorite place is the brewery Kürzer on the Kurze Straße.

Christian Waltmann Kehrt In Den Breidenbacher Hof Zurück

Christian Waltmann

Nachdem er ein Jahr in Sydney verbracht hat, ist Christian Waltmann, unser ehemaliger Assistant Front Office Manager, in den Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel als „Front of House Manager“ zurückgekehrt.  Da dachte ich mir:  Grund genug für ein weiteres Interview!  Wie Ihr bereits von früheren Posts auf dem Capella Blog wisst, liebe ich es, meine Kollegen ein bisschen besser kennenzulernen – besonders, wenn sie auf solch eine lange Zeit im Breidenbacher Hof zurückblicken können, wie es bei Christian der Fall ist.  Aber lest selbst:

Sie sind kein Unbekannter im Hotel, welche Stelle haben Sie vorher im Breidenbacher Hof ausgeübt und was hat Sie dazu bewogen zurückzukehren?

Nachdem ich meine Ausbildung 2008 abgeschlossen hatte, habe ich meine Karriere im Breidenbacher Hof als Guest Service Agent begonnen.  2010 wurde ich dann zum Guest Service Coordinator und später zum Asisstant Front Office Manager befördert.  Dann beschloss ich, ein Jahr in Sydney zu verbringen, doch es zog mich schnell wieder zurück in die Heimat.  Wenn es um die Hotellerie geht, gab es für mich immer nur ein Hotel zur Auswahl:  Den Breidenbacher Hof natürlich!  Glücklicherweise blieb ich während meines gesamten Auslandsaufenthaltes in Kontakt mit dem Hotel und war so über die verfügbare Stelle des Front of House Managers informiert.  Das Timing meiner Rückkehr war wirklich perfekt!

Nun sind Sie „Front of House Manager“, was sind dabei Ihre täglichen Aufgaben?

Natürlich gehört es in erster Linie zu meinem Beruf, einen reibungslosen Ablauf am Front of House sicherzustellen.  Das umfasst vor allem einen herzlichen Empfang und das proaktive Erfüllen der Wünsche all unserer Gäste.  Es gehört auch zu meinen Aufgaben den Dienstplan für mein gesamtes Team zu erstellen und immer für sie da zu sein, wenn sie mich brauchen.

Christian Waltmann

Was lieben Sie am meisten an Ihrem Beruf?

Das Beste an meinem Beruf ist es, täglich die Chance zu haben zahlreiche Menschen aus der ganzen Welt zu treffen!  Ein weiterer Grund, warum ich meine Arbeit vor dem Hotel liebe, ist, dass mein Team und ich sowohl für den ersten, als auch den letzten Eindruck der Gäste von unserem Hotel verantwortlich sind.  Das ist eine große Ehre!

Was gefällt Ihnen am Breidenbacher Hof und warum fiel Ihre Wahl damals wie heute auf Capella Hotels and Resorts?

Ich identifiziere mich sehr mit der Philosophie der Capella Hotel Group und ihrem Ziel, die Erwartungen und Wünsche unserer Gäste zu übertreffen und ihnen einen individuellen und persönlichen Service zu bieten.  Außerdem schätze ich die Karrierechancen in dieser expandierenden Hotelgruppe sehr.

Was sind Ihre Lieblingsorte in Düsseldorf?

Mein Lieblingsort zum Entspannen ist das Rheinufer, besonders die Rheinwiesen.  Wenn es jedoch darum geht, sich mit Freunden zu treffen, ist mein Lieblingsort auf jeden Fall die Brauerei Kürzer auf der Kurzen Straße.

Get To Know Ethan: A Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant

Ethan Personal Assistant CWDC 2

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ethan, a fantastic Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant.  Around here, Ethan is known for being both clever and genuine.  As Ethan will be leaving the team for college shortly, I thought this was the perfect time to hear a bit about his experience as a Personal Assistant.

D.C. Personal Assistant

Tell me about yourself. What are two experiences that have made you who you are today?

I am 19 years old and come from a family that has always been involved in public service. My aunt was Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy advisor for a large number of years and my parents own a gas station in Pennsylvania. I’ve grown up seeing guest interactions firsthand and have always had a passion for business, especially the dynamic industries where no two days are alike.  Guests come and go, but you want to make a memorable impression on them and that’s what draws me to hospitality.

Can you tell me about a time where you planned and executed a memorable and unique experience for our guests here at Capella Washington, D.C.?

We had an influential author and his family who expressed interest in taking a tour of Washington, D.C.  They originally were looking at the big bus and the old town trolley, but I told them that the best way to tour the city is by foot underneath the city lights.  I put together a walking guide that started out on the Potomac River Waterfront, to the National Mall and everything in-between. I made sure to include unique destinations that they would not find on the Internet, such as the Watergate complex, giving insight on the Nixon Scandal and many more destinations sharing Washington’s history.  The guest loved how we personalized all the information, with walking directions, maps and suggestions. The next day, the author signed a copy of his book to show his appreciation. I love having guests that stay with us for more than three days for instance. This is when you really have the opportunity to learn about them and establish a connection to give them that home away from home feeling.

Ethan Personal Assistant CWDC

How do you wow a guest?

I think you wow a guest by what you do when they are not around.  Often times it is the least verbally appreciated things we do, but it’s those little things over the course of the stay that establishes that wow factor.  Getting it right on the first try and picking up on small details is crucially important.

Being so young and hungry, what motivates you about working at Capella D.C.?

I believe in the product. I think it’s really easy to work hard when you love your job. You love your job when you really believe in it. When you have a property as amazing as this and a team as great as this it comes naturally. Each one of us goes above and beyond for every single guest and that’s what inspires me to keep striving for success.

What will you take away most with you from Capella D.C. experience when you move onto hotel school at Cornell?

I will always live, breathe and sleep by the Capella Canon (A card that each employee carries everyday that aligns each of us behind the philosophy and mission of Capella Hotels & Resorts). The knowledge of hotel objectives and taking the time to understand individuals and personalize their experiences is something I will never forget.

What advice can you give to future guests of Capella?

The happiest guests who stay with us are the ones who take the time to speak with their Personal Assistant prior to their arrival. In order to be certain that we have all our guests’ preferences and details, the guest conversation is very important. When your Personal Assistant calls you, these few minutes can make the difference between having transportation arrangements, personalized newspapers in your room, refreshment center stocked with your favorite food and drinks and even a family photo to welcome you. Our service will always be exceptional, but with the support of guest preferences, we can tailor your experience in a personalized way, just how you like it.  This is what we consider luxury.

For more information about Capella Personal Assistant services and how to get in touch with them, please e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com or call 202-617-2416.

Jacques Backhaus Joins The Team At Brasserie 1806

Jacques WP

It give me great pleasure to introduce the newest member of the Breidenbacher Hof family!  Jacques Backhaus joins the team at Brasserie 1806 as the restaurant manager.  I am always excited to get to know our new colleagues, and fortunately the Capella Blog provides the perfect cover to ask all my questions!

You are the Restaurant Manager at our “Brasserie 1806”, what are your daily tasks?

Of course, one main task is the organization of the entire restaurant.  Furthermore, I am the host of the restaurant, which includes serving my guests at all times.  This means everything from recommending the best wines to addressing any questions a guest may have.  Training our staff is also a very important task.

Jacques Backhaus join the team at Brasserie 1806

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most is the contact to the guests! Anticipating the wishes and needs and just being there for my guests at all times – that’s what I love about my job!

 

Where do you come from originally and how did you come to Germany and Düsseldorf particularly?

I was born and raised in France, right between Versailles and Paris. Eighteen years ago, after numerous jobs in Paris, I had the wish to do something new and totally different and to learn German. I came to Germany and originally planned on staying for only one year.  But due to very good job opportunities, I ended up staying.  What brought me to Düsseldorf in particular, was my self-employment in the wine trade.  Here, I finally re-discovered my passion for the gastronomy – that’s why I am here now!

 

Do you miss France sometimes?

Not really, because I “live” France, right where I am.

 

What do you like about the Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel and why did you choose to work at Capella Hotels and Resorts?

I especially like the philosophy, the heart felt kindness, the great hospitality and that we really do everything it takes to make our guests happy. Here, the saying “the customer is king” is lived every day!

Get To Know Auriga Spa Director, Alan Navarrete

rsz_c1a_093-poolb

rsz_alan-3

 

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.

And that is exactly what Alan did! Alan was a part of the Auriga spa opening team in 2009 and now the spa welcomes Alan back as the new Spa Director.  As soon as I heard Alan was named the new Auriga Spa Director I couldn’t wait to talk to him about his plans, his goals and what’s to come at the spa.

Alan, welcome back to Auriga spa! Tell us, where did you go after you left the spa in 2010?
Thank you! It’s wonderful to be back. When I was here as the Assistant Spa Director and part of the opening team, I worked closely with Sylvia Sepielli, the visionary behind the Auriga spa concept. After spending time with her, I knew I wanted to be the Spa Director someday. I also knew to achieve this goal I needed to learn more about the world of spa and gain some valuable experience. So I traveled around the world as Spa Director for Canyon Ranch Spa Club on-board Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. I learned different technics and treatments in many countries in different regions of the world. After three years of traveling and learning, I felt I was ready to come back to my country and pursue my dream at Capella Pedregal.

You literally have seen the world seeking knowledge to follow your dream. I find it interesting you joined the Personal Assistant team while waiting for your dream job. Tell us about this experience.

Yes, it was very important to me to be a part of the Capella team and the Personal Assistant role was a perfect position for me to perfect my customer service skills and build relationships with our guests. The Personal Assistants here are a professional group of individuals and have true passion to service the guest. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them for a year.

rsz_c1a_093-poolb

It’s like you planned everything perfectly and you were ready when the opportunity presented itself.

Yes, I knew I was ready! As we say in the spa world, the stars were aligned and it must have been the right phase of the moon when my dream finally came true. It is a true honor to be appointed to this very prestigious position.

And now, what are your plans for Auriga?

My plan is to build on the foundation that has already been set which earned the spa the recognition as the “World’s Best Spa”.  The plan for Auriga has always been to transcend into our guest’s lives and incorporate spa and wellness into the overall experience. I will work with the team to incorporate our land and take advantage of our unique location to provide amazing Baja inspired treatments and memorable guest experiences. Great things are to come. I will keep you posted!

 

Auriga Spa Designer Sylvia Sepielli Visits Capella Pedregal

rsz_img_4330-2 (2)

rsz_sylvia_sepielly

Last week the team at Capella Pedregal had the honor of welcoming renowned spa designer and planner, Sylvia Sepielli.  This was her first visit back since Auriga spa opened and I was excited to catch up with her.

 Sylvia, we are so happy to have you back with us! What brings you to Capella Pedregal?

I am so excited to be back! During these past years, Auriga has evolved and grown, so I came to add some new training and re-energize the team. I wanted to see with my own eyes how the concept has changed.

What do you think about the evolution of Auriga spa in Cabo?

I am truly amazed by how much the team really understands the concept and personally conveys it to the guests. Auriga spa is named after the constellation, of which Capella is the brightest star.  When Mr. Schulze and I were developing the concept, the moon came to our minds immediately.  It is so powerful and can help our guests re-connect with their origins.  The Capella Pedregal Auriga team completely understands the purpose of each element. They have created the perfect balance between the moon, the sea and “pure Baja” by incorporating local traditions.  It has become such a special place and I am really proud of them.

rsz_img_4330-2 (2)

Can you help us understand more about the Moon connection to life?

I always like to compare it to the seasons of the year:

  • New Moon = Winter or the beginning
    Similar to bears hibernating, it’s time to save energy and build strength.  You sow the seeds in your life`s ambitions, reflect and make a wish.
  • Waxing Moon = Spring or plant new life

It is time to refocus your energy and nourish yourself so you can reach your goals and a higher potential.

  • Full Moon = Summer or the height

Most cultures traditionally celebrate the full moon as a time when the mind and body is most fertile. Embrace creative impulses and say yes to what might come your way.

  • Waning Moon = Fall or cleansing

Just as trees lose their leaves, this is the time to release tensions and toxins.

If you were to recommend a treatment each guest should experience, which one would it be?

I would say a Moon Treatment to start your vacation with balance and also the Ancient Traditional Massage, it’s fantastic!

 

Mr. Horst Schulze, Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group, and Sylvia visualized Auriga spa as a relaxing retreat during a vacation and a way to transcend our guest’s lives. Make sure you ask your Personal Assistant at pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com to help set up your own Auriga experience.