Gen­eral Man­ager

Nuno Se­queira

DNA Magazine (Portugal) - - Table Of Contents -

You worked at sev­eral ho­tels in the DHM -

Dis­cov­ery Ho­tel Man­age­ment port­fo­lio be­fore you took up the chal­lenge of man­ag­ing the Rio Douro Ho­tel & Spa. How do you view the way Dis­cov­ery has evolved, the evo­lu­tion of its units, its projects, its con­cept?

It's been a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion. Learn­ing by do­ing, lis­ten­ing, in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple, teams, and clients. They are our great­est al­lies and teach­ers. They are the voices we want to "hear"

Ev­ery­thing then sim­ply hap­pens. The units have un­der­gone an in­cred­i­ble trans­for­ma­tion and as a re­sult, they have been con­verted into invit­ing spa­ces. Adapted to the re­gions where they are lo­cated, in­cor­po­rat­ing lo­cal cui­sine, lis­ten­ing to the lo­cal peo­ple, ab­sorb­ing their cul­ture. The sim­plic­ity of the rooms blends with truly emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences. You feel like stay­ing, wher­ever you hap­pen to be. Ev­ery de­tail is much more than just a de­tail, ev­ery smell, ev­ery color, ev­ery ges­ture, ev­ery gen­uine and gen­er­ous smile from our teams. Our teams are our an­chors. They are re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing and nur­tur­ing this con­cept, which is so re­mark­able, so uniquely ours!

DHM - Dis­cov­ery Ho­tel Man­age­ment is pro­mot­ing a new kind of hos­pi­tal­ity, which is more laid back and closer to guests. Do you be­lieve that this dif­fer­ence is truly re­flected in op­er­a­tions and in guest re­views?

Ab­so­lutely, there's no doubt about that. Our op­er­a­tions are never iso­lated, never im­per­sonal. Ev­ery­thing we do re­flects this prox­im­ity. We adapt to each client, to each sea­son or to ev­ery hour of the day. That's how we cre­ate out­stand­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions. The ex­cel­lent rat­ings ap­pear nat­u­rally, as a re­sult of what we do. Ac­co­lades are not, nor will ever be our ob­jec­tive, they are al­ways the re­sult of our work.

Is the dif­fer­ence, or this new form of hos­pi­tal­ity, only re­flected in ren­o­vated units or can we speak of a trans­ver­sal Dis­cov­ery con­cept?

The true ren­o­va­tion and cre­ation of the con­cept lies in our peo­ple, in our teams and that hap­pens very quickly. The ren­o­va­tion is not al­ways a nec­es­sary in­gre­di­ent to pro­duce a smile. True in­vest­ment is in the way we in­ter­act with teams, how we cre­ate valu­able re­la­tion­ships, in the hum­ble­ness and sim­plic­ity of each of us.

What are the main traits of Dis­cov­ery's DNA which you feel are across-the-boards to the en­tire Dis­cov­ery uni­verse? Mak­ing things hap­pen. Au­then­tic­ity. The gen­uine warmth of all our staff. The way each of us, with­out ex­cep­tion, is com­mit­ted to each project and al­ways strives to achieve the best re­sults. You can­not have re­sults with­out com­mit­ment.

For some­thing to be across-the-boards, there has to be con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween pro­fes­sion­als and units. How are knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion shared?

Even be­fore we in­ter­act with guests, there is the way we re­late to each other, how we cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­ter­ac­tion and train­ing among the teams. This con­cept is based on shar­ing and it is ev­i­dent in ev­ery de­part­ment. We pro­mote such in­ter­ac­tion, we use so­cial net­works to over­come the bar­ri­ers of dis­tance, we share what we do, events and opin­ions, we learn from the er­rors that all of us make. We learn and grow to­gether!

Why did you ac­cept the post of gen­eral man­ager at the Rio Douro Ho­tel & Spa?

In re­cent years, I've had the op­por­tu­nity to be at some of the units of the Dis­cov­ery uni­verse and par­tic­i­pate in the in­au­gu­ra­tion of some of the best units in the coun­try. I am the sum of all those ex­pe­ri­ences and their teams, of which I am an en­thu­si­as­tic mem­ber and client. This was the right chal­lenge to take up. You only have to come to the Rio Douro Ho­tel & Spa to see that. There are places which charm us from the out­set, which make us smile in­stantly. In this pro­fes­sion, we have to be ca­pa­ble of mak­ing some­one hap­pier, to pro­duce a sense of well­be­ing, to make dreams come true, to cre­ate mem­o­ries. I felt that was pos­si­ble here. It's some­where you can go be­yond the or­di­nary.

What can we ex­pect from the new Rio Douro Ho­tel & Spa and what are the ex­pec­ta­tions for the fu­ture? We are go­ing to have a ho­tel where one can ex­pe­ri­ence and en­joy its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings, the Douro River, and good food, for guests who seek a more ac­tive stay or guests who sim­ply wish to re­lax. The seren­ity and tran­quil­ity of the waters en­able true sen­so­rial ex­pe­ri­ences in our Spa. The sun­set pro­vides the per­fect light for en­joy­ing a cock­tail at the bar be­fore try­ing out some tra­di­tional dishes in the restau­rant. Our great­est am­bi­tion is to know if we man­aged to ex­ceed the ex­pec­ta­tions of our vis­i­tors. We wish to trans­form ideas into re­al­ity! That is our fu­ture!

PHOTO Left: José To­maz de Mello Breyner - Gen­eral Man­ager of the Fur­nas Bou­tique Ho­tel Cen­ter: Nuno Se­queira - Gen­eral Man­ager of the Rio Douro Ho­tel & Spa Right: Pe­dro Alvel­los - Gen­eral Man­ager of the Azor Ho­tel

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