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 Chef Victor Garrido of Capella Marigot Bay

Victor.Marina.Bridge 2

Recently I had the chance to sit down with Capella Marigot Bay’s Executive Chef, Victor Garrido.  Get all the mouthwatering details from our chat below!

Hello Chef Victor and welcome to Capella Marigot Bay!  Tell me and the Capella Blog readers a bit about yourself.
Hello!  I am Victor Garrido, I began cooking at a young age.  As a kid growing up in Mexico, I would always be in the kitchen with my mother, grandmother and aunts, while my brothers and cousins played football outside.
My love for food, cooking and eating has allowed me to travel throughout Mexico and the world giving me the chance to enrich my repertoire.  I am so excited about this current opportunity to place these culinary and cultural experiences together on one plate for our guests here at Capella Marigot Bay.

Victor Garrido Capella Marigot Bay

Describe your attitude towards food and your personal cooking style.
My attitude towards food is all about respect.  I have as much respect for a single bay leaf as for a giant spiny lobster.  This attitude helps me to understand each and every ingredient and its characteristics to get the best of them and create the proper balance and match for palate, nose and eyes.
But that doesn’t mean I take food too seriously!  In fact I would describe my style as fun, adventurous and full of flavor.

What are your impressions of St. Lucia? 
St. Lucia is the best!  It is full of magic and wonder.  The environment and nature is rich and beautiful and the people posses a genuine warmth.  I have no doubt that this island will be a top vacation destination in the Caribbean in the very near future.

What do you think of the local food?
It is rich in both history and flavor.  You can taste the French- British influence combined with Indian spices and enhanced by organic local herbs in every bite.  Imagine these flavors joining with luscious chunks of Caribbean Kingfish and ground treasures…all in the same coal pot.
It just makes it amazing and full of potential seasonal variations.

Can you share some of your ideas for the different food outlets at Capella Marigot Bay?
Certainly!  As part of our plans, we have the construction and development for two new outlets and a Pool Bar, featuring fresh and healthy seafood options in our menu, such as Tiraditos, Lobster Rolls, Watermelon and Spicy Shrimp Salad etc.…

Our main restaurant will offer a relaxing atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking our gorgeous Marina.  For those looking for a more secluded affair, a private dining room will also be available.

The Hurricane Hole, located Jetty side, will serve lunch and dinner under a casual relaxed ambiance. I can’t wait to bring some smoky charcoal and barbequed meat aromas to the setting!

All of our dishes will possess true “Caribbean Soul,” as we are working with local farmers and purveyors to provide the most authentic and fresh ingredients.  I can’t wait for our guests to taste it all for themself!

 

 

 

 

Get To Know Sean Carney Of Capella Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

Capella Marigot Bay

I am so excited that the latest Capella Hotels and Resorts, Capella Marigot Bay, has arrived in St. Lucia.  Since acquiring the property less than two months ago, Capella has already begun to instill its own brand of elite service under the guidance of interim General Manager, Sean Carney.

Since arriving eight weeks ago, Mr. Carney has hit the ground running and I doubt he’s stopped for even a moment!  I always see him rushing around the property, encouraging and training staff, discussing renovation plans and much more.  Luckily I was able to get him to squeeze in a few minutes for this interview so that you could get to know a bit more about him, Capella Marigot Bay and St. Lucia.

 Capella Marigot Bay

 Mr. Carney, we are so excited to have you here in St. Lucia at the helm of Capella Marigot Bay!  Tell me (and the Capella Blog readers!) a bit about yourself.
Originally from Ireland, I am married to an amazing woman, who is the not so quiet support behind me and we have one boy who just actually turned four years old last month.  Having spent the last 15 years working abroad with some great professionals and organizations has allowed me to gather a wealth of experiences to adapt and change with the various markets that I have been privileged to work in.  Passionate about what I do allows me to do something I enjoy doing on a daily basis and not have to think of it as work.  Meeting our employees and guests from all over the world allows me to get to know different people and cultures that one would not normally be exposed to.  Personally I enjoy swimming and cycling when time permits. Diving is another passion of mine.  I spent a few years also in the volunteer fire departments in Portchester NY and Waikoloa in Hawaii believe it or not.

You’ve been in St. Lucia long enough to get a taste for our beautiful island.  What are your first impressions?
It is a wonderful island with an amazing sense of warmth that flows genuinely from all of the individuals I have encountered.  It is great to see people from all walks of life coming together in Anse La Raye for Fish Friday or Saturday nights in Gros Islet.
The island itself is an amazing place with dense foliage, jungles and mountain scenery.  The breathtaking landscape from the Pitons down to the sea or the gorgeous sunsets here in Marigot Bay make for a picturesque setting everywhere you turn!

I think those are pretty spot-on first impressions!  So, what do you think Capella can bring to the island?
For an island that relies as heavily on tourism as Saint Lucia any positive impact from any organization is well received.  However I believe, Capella will take things further than just another resort.  By bringing its unique service based approach to the hotel, through our Canon and philosophy, we are determined to instill a sense of service confidence that our wonderful Ladies and Gentlemen will be able to match with their own hard work and desire to be the best that they can be.
Additionally, as a company we are always looking to contribute the areas we live in.  We partake in a variety of outreach programs and always look to work with the local community to preserve culture and traditions.  It is important for us to become part of our communities.

I know you’ve been busy, but what are the ways you like to spend downtime in St. Lucia and what activities are you looking forward to trying out?
Marigot Bay is very centrally located, which means all of St. Lucia’s major attractions are at most an hour away.   I love the adventure activities offered — from zip lining, diving, jungle and waterfall hikes to fishing off Marigot Bay.  And yes, I have done the Sulpher springs and covered my self in the black mud as well as relaxing in the hot thermal water!
Another great attraction just five minutes from the hotel is the only distillery left on the island and they do an amazing tour with a few samples at the end.  I have had the privilege of touring the facility with their master blender and tasted some products that they are working on for the future!  Definitely a great experience worth asking your Capella Personal Assistant about.

Last but not least, can you let us in on any details from the upcoming renovation?
Details are still being determined, but I can tell you a few secrets!
The new restaurant will have an extended balcony seating giving a great vantage point for bay view dining and watching the yachts sailing in and out.  This restaurant will feature an open show kitchen and a private dining room with both indoor and outdoor seating as well as some garden seating.
Another new food and beverage outlet will be located near the docks and will include a rum cave for private tastings and chef dinners.  The venue will also serve light fare for lunch and an everyday dinner menu.
The spa will also be transformed. The current fitness center will be moving upstairs and the spa downstairs.  This allows for the creation of a spa village with treatment “huts” in the middle of the garden that will allow for guests to really relax into the surroundings.

 

You can learn more about the latest Capella Hotels and Resorts HERE.