Kurt Macher has hospitality running through his veins. He is the General Manager of one of London’s most successful hotels, Shangri-La The Shard, London and watching him weave through the hotel multi-tasking is like watching a Strictly Come Dancing final routine. Kurt Macher does things a little differently and brings an element of experience to the luxury hotel product. From hand written notes on windows to in room mixology, Kurt has taken Shangri-La The Shard, London to new heights.
We caught up with Kurt to talk about life and luxury hotels.
How did it all start?
I grew up in the world of hospitality, with my mother working as a pastry chef and always in and around many different restaurants. I started as an apprentice chef 33 years ago and subsequently worked in roles in front office, guest relations, concierge, food and beverage and housekeeping. I gained a breadth of knowledge and experienced luxury hotels in some of the fastest growing markets in Asia.
You have one of the best hotel General Manager jobs in the world. Describe your job in a few words.
Unexpected, passionate, agile, business-savvy, innovative.
Tell us about your new responsibilities within The Shangri-La Group and what your plans are.
My role has recently been expanded to include Innovation & Luxury Customer Experience Lead for the MEIA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. This will be a responsibility in addition to my position as General Manager at Shangri-La The Shard, London.
In this role, I will support regional and individual hotel teams to enhance our luxury experiences further in order to build stronger connection with our luxury consumers and differentiate ourselves.
We will look at creating both new experiences, as well as identifying best practices that already exist. There are a lot of amazing ideas already in our hotels today which we can look at with the intention of making them available across other properties in the region.
We hear you have a gorgeous dog called Rocky. How does he help you when you are at work?
Rocky assists me with greeting all of our guests. He is our pet relations manager and is especially well-loved by children and other dogs. He definitely puts a smile on everyone’s face.
What is the secret to team success in a fast changing hotel environment?
It is key to look after team members with care and empathy. We have to constantly communicate and help to develop staff, supporting them in their growth and also motivating and inspiring them to do their best work. In London’s overcrowded marketplace, agility is key to standing out.
How do you keep fit?
Third Space is my local gym, I go to regular classes there. I’ve also recently started going to Surge Fitness, which provides EMS training personal training. It’s a 20-minute full body workout and really gets the endorphins going!
What do you like to do outside work?
I enjoy hanging out with friends, visiting parks and going to restaurants for good food. I love travelling, but equally enjoy spending time at home with Rocky and my cat, Layla.
Top 3 restaurants in London?
Kol, Brat and Pizarro on Bermondsey Street.
What is the next big thing happening at Shangri-La The Shard, London?
The hotel will be entering a Jubilee theme, in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We are launching our biggest ever installation throughout the hotel in April, in collaboration with McQueen’s Flowers. The entire hotel will transform, taking guests through an immersive Jubilee experience, celebrating royal life and the Queen’s travels over the duration of her reign.
Partnering with Historic Royal Palaces, guests will be able to book a luxurious Shangri-La Jubilee Celebration stay. They will enjoy a Jubilee cocktail in the privacy of their room or suite and private tour at the Tower of London with their stunning ‘Superbloom’ wildflower display this summer, or alternatively Kensington Palace or Hampton Court Palace.
TĪNG Lounge will turn into a wildflower meadow, with hanging wisteria, giving the sense of a quintessential English garden. Here, a Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea will be served with the option of Nyetimber sparkling wine.
We will also be exhibiting portraits of The Queen by Hugo Rittson-Thomas, one of the few photographers who has spent time one-on-one time photographing Her Majesty.
To discover more, visit: shangri-la.com
All imagery courtesy of Shangri-La The Shard, London.
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