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Meet our Hotel Manager
With years of experience in the hospitality industry, Barbara brings fresh ideas to managing the Grand Hotel Union and uHotel (former Grand Hotel Union Business).
Can you briefly describe your career path that led you to the new position at the Union Hotels?
Looking back and from a bit of a distance, I can definitely see some patterns. I have always admired working with people no matter my position or the industry I worked in. My roots are in Food and Beverage, then I shifted over to the hotel industry, more specifically to the Housekeeping Management, and from there to the Hotel Management. By advancing gradually and from the bottom up, I developed a different view on work and processes, co-workers and guests’ needs.
You have been active in the hospitality industry for quite some time now. Can you explain how the industry has changed in your opinion?
And what do you see coming up in the future? The hospitality industry has changed enormously during the past twenty and something years, mostly due to the economic shift and the accessibility of means of transportation. Digital technology has revolutionised the whole user/guest experience and, if I may say so, “democratised” the tourism sector with the online review platforms. I must say, I see a lot of opportunities still open. Breaking the uniformity, having much more creativity for transformation and inspiring the young hospitality generations are just a few of the perks of working in an independent hotel company.
What is your managerial strategy?
Lead by example is my number one rule. We have to be aware that in our day-to-day work and life, actions speak louder than words.
It is a common belief that women handle managerial functions differently than men.
In my experience, maybe we have a different way of tackling the whole problem-solving and decision-making process, but in the end, it always comes down to the person and their mindset.
What are the key challenges you will be facing in your new position?
I see all challenges as opportunities for transformation and renewal. With this comes also a chance to re-evaluate your goals and perhaps to rethink your priorities. We live in a fast-moving world. The greatest challenge is to keep up with new trends and to adapt to them. What I’m looking forward to in the near future are the new renovations set in motion at Union Hotels, which will include new hotel content for an even greater guest experience.
What motivates you to do your job when you have a bad day?
There are no bad days, but it’s true there are days which are more challenging. My greatest motivation are the employees, colleagues with their positive work attitude and their genuine attentiveness towards the guests. The ultimate goal is a true harmony of style and spirit every step of the guests’ experience.
What are you most proud of in your professional and private life?
Two things. My path, my career, which has started from the bottom up, and my family. The love for the hospitality runs in the family with both of my parents having an F&B, hotel background and this is where it all started. I adore working “in the field” and having the opportunity to think outside the box.
If you didn’t have to work for money, what would you be doing?
I would definitely one way or the other still be involved in tourism and hospitality.