Join us this week as we embark on an insightful interview with the visionary General Manager of Sintra Marmòris Camélia, Carlos Matutu. In this engaging discussion, we delve into the essence of this exceptional hotel and uncover the fascinating journey of its mastermind. Learn about the inspiring moments that shaped Carlos' path into hotel management, explore his innovative strategies for fostering a positive work environment, and gain valuable insights into his approach for navigating the dynamic and ever-changing hospitality landscape.
CAN YOU PROVIDE US WITH AN OVERVIEW OF SINTRA MARMORIS CAMELIA’S UNIQUE FEATURES AND WHAT SETS IT APART FROM OTHER LUXURY HOTELS IN THE REGION?
Sintra Marmòris Camélia is a brand-new property that was carefully designed to offer all the modern comfort incorporated in the authentic style of Sintra. This, allied with the extra personalized service, creates a unique experience for the ones who want to absorb the true essence of Sintra.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN HOTEL MANAGEMENT, AND WHAT PATH LED YOU TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE AS A GENERAL MANAGER?
I really love people. The elegance of understanding and absorbing different cultural information, being able to listen and share useful information for the ones trying to know more about a destination, is enriching. As a host, I am the bridge between their intent and the destination potential. Seeing they were able to experience it the right way, departing with an honest smile and sense of achievement is something that fills me up.
What led me to my current role was the possibility – more than to be part of the experience – but be part of the experience design team. In a small property like ours, we can listen to the needs of our guests as well as upgrading our service according to it.
AS GENERAL MANAGER OF SINTRA MARMORIS CAMELIA, WHAT ARE YOUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES IN OVERSEEING THE HOTEL’S OPERATIONS?
My primary responsibility is to assure that our team understand the project, is motivated and happy being here. All the rest comes almost automatically.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A GENERAL MANAGER, AND HOW DO YOU APPROACH THOSE CHALLENGES?
The biggest challenge is to accompany all the changes that happen worldwide and affects the travelling movement and consequently our operation. Staying up-to-date and aware is my approach about it.
WHAT STRATEGIES DO YOU USE TO CREATE A POSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR STAFF, AND HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT THEY ARE ENGAGED AND MOTIVATED?
Each member of our team, independent of their positions, has a different opinion, vision and approach about a specific matter, as well as our guests. Being open to listen, and try to validate their suggestions helps us to design a service that suits different POV and therefore makes more people identify with the experience. There are others but this might be the main one considering it improves the engagement and at the same time the quality of service.
THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING. HOW DO YOU STAY UPDATED WITH THE LATEST TRENDS AND ENSURE THAT SINTRA MARMORIS CAMELIA REMAINS COMPETITIVE IN THE MARKET?
Nowadays, there are several business intelligence tools that helps us to stay up-to-date and take measures almost instantly. This, combined with accompanying the public information that arrives to the guests in general and being aware of their needs locally helps a lot in that matter.
AS THIS EDITION OF OUR MAGAZINE FOCUSES ON SUMMER IN EUROPE, HOW DOES SINTRA MARMORIS CAMELIA LEVERAGE ITS LOCATION TO OFFER GUESTS A UNIQUE SUMMER EXPERIENCE?
Sintra is a prime destination for summer, it is not too warm and offers a variety of experiences such as heritage (including old history and fairy tales) mountain activities, beaches that are comfortable and beautiful at the same time. In a very short distance you have coastline, mountain, and town activities. We consider ourselves as a comfortable “headquarter” for the ones that are willing to experience all of it.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING HOTELIERS?
Travel, know places, be a guest. Getting to know other cultures and countries is very helpful but not mandatory. Look around when visiting your small cafe, restaurant or bar, when going to your preferred clothing store or market. Visit other hotels. As a guest, what captures your attention? What do you dislike? All these small details that look unrelated may be helpful when creating an experience. They are focusing on the guest, the same as you would. Just absorb the best all of them have to offer and align it with your instinct.
ANY EXCITING FUTURE OR SUMMER PLANS FOR THE HOTEL?
There are some plans in the pipeline for the future but, unfortunately, we cannot disclose them at this point.