It’s an “exciting time” to take over as the general manager of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.
This from Allan Federer, who took over the post earlier this month and is “thrilled” to be in Bermuda.
Mr Federer has a distinguished history of managing luxury-brand hotels, including his last job at the Ritz-Carlton Moscow. Prior to that he was the general manager at several Ritz Carlton properties, including the ones in Dubai, Singapore, Istanbul, Montreal, and Ireland.
He comes to the Hamilton Princess when it is not only buzzing with activity but full of buzz as the resort is working its way through a $90 million renovation, which has seen the addition of a new infinity pool, restaurant 1609 and a signature Marcus Samuelsson restaurant.
Mr Federer told the Bermuda Sun: “It’s a very exciting time. The redevelopment of the hotel is about a third complete. So far we’ve had tremendous feedback from the guests and the media about the changes that are occurring here.”
While going through the interview process for the GM position, he found out about the renovation and he thought “the ownership group is going through the renovation process with great passion. They are very proud of Bermuda and very proud of this property. It was fascinating they were doing this with such great taste”.
He said the fact that world-famous chef Samuelsson’s restaurant — the Hamilton Princess has a pop-up version now with the goal of launching it proper next year — “is tremendously important. Aside from being a spectacularly accomplished chef, Marcus Samuelsson as an individual is tremendously appealing. He has the zeitgeist down pat. The success of his brand proves that. It was a non-obvious choice for Bermuda and for the Hamilton Princess.
“It is a key component going forward.”
He’s sampled the chef’s cuisine and his favourite item on the menu is the steak tartar.
“It’s just superb. I’m guilty of ordering French fries with it so I can get it in a semi-classic delivery — it’s just outstanding.”
Mr Federer said his vast experience with the Ritz-Carlton is with global destinations serving luxury guests.
“That skill set travels well. It’s understanding that it’s the guest’s opinion that counts and not mine or any of my colleagues.”
He said the focus and passion that goes into great service is something that he can bring by leading “by example. When others see that it translates to seeking change in the hotel. If you love what you do, then you become what you love. That’s key in the hospitality industry”.
Mr Federer said these changes will be made by degrees to help the hotel “obtain a great reputation, both as a result of the product and as a vision that the ownership group is putting into the planning and design of the product”.
He said those changes will also come in the perceptions by the affluent and corporate guest.
“The one absolute change that I can make is bring a new style of service to the hotel — one that is very warmly welcomingly, even more so than is currently in place; one that anticipates our guests’ needs; one that believes in authentic service delivery. This should be comparatively simple because the Bermudians that I have encountered are warm, friendly and outgoing. Just by adding a few small elements to that is going to lift the guests’ experience.”
He said the vision being applied to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess by the Green family, who own the hotel, “is creating something very special”.