Pinoy makes it to Stelliers Awards 2020
The best of Filipino hospitality is set to shine on the world stage.
Rey Moraga, a graduate of Enderun Colleges, is one of the finalists of “Front Office Hotelier of the Year” at the Stelliers Award 2020, representing the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Stelliers is the only accolade in Asia that gives recognition to the most talented and dedicated professionals in the hospitality industry.
Moraga joins 98 leading hoteliers in Asia recognized across 20 award categories. The winners will be announced in the grand awards ceremony on Dec. 4 in Macau.
After completing a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management degree in 2012, Moraga joined the pre-opening team of the Raffles and Fairmont in Manila.
He started as a concierge and eventually gained membership into the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or, an elite society of the world’s leading concierges, in two short years.
To deepen his understanding of the rooms division, Moraga decided to transfer to housekeeping.
“It was during this time when our parent company, AccorHotels, one of the world’s largest hospitality groups, noticed my work and named me ‘The Most Outstanding Heartist in Asia Pacific,’ which recognizes the most outstanding employees across the group’s 80,000 employees in 825 properties in the 22 countries of the region,” he shared.
In 2018, Moraga relocated to Siem Reap after being promoted as front office manager of the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, arguably Cambodia’s most distinguished and storied hotel.
“It has been an exhilarating experience. Each day is different. You can be welcoming heads of state, royalty or rock stars. Our job is to make sure that their experience of Siem Reap, the site of the majestic Angkor Wat, is something they’ll never forget.”
Moraga’s dedication to his work is in part fueled by a lifelong inspiration of Chef Alain Ducasse. “I will always remember his words back when I first met him at École Ducasse Manila at Enderun Colleges.
“He said, ‘work harder, faster and smarter.’ I have always admired him for his appetite for excellence and perfection, and his passion for sharing his savoir-faire (know-how). For him, knowledge is worthless if it isn’t shared.” Over the years, they met again in Paris, Milan and in Manila, and the same message resonates: excellence in practice.
Moraga has also worked with many aspirational leaders in the industry – Tom Meyer, David Batchelor and Oliver Dudler, as well as Tourism Secretary Berna RomuloPuyat, who has become a friend.
“I am grateful to them for showing me what inspiring leadership and true excellence looks like.”
For young Filipinos who dream of a career in hospitality, Moraga has some advice: “Hospitality is not only an industry but also an attitude.”
“First, stay curious, learn as much as you can, be flexible and willing to move around and try different disciplines within our field.
“Second, be creative, open-minded and think out of the box. There will be many challenges along the way but creativity can solve anything!
“Finally, and the most important part, is to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing. Hospitality is about caring for people, and creating exceptional moments both for our guests and colleagues, and if you’re having fun, this will definitely echo in everything that you do.”