NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Lilian Roten: Vice President of Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts

My NativeAdVice:

How did you get into the hospitality industry?

My grandmother was a restaurant and hotel operator – and my summer holidays I spent behind the scenes watching her and my aunt, who also entered into the hospitality business. I loved the wine and spirit cellar with the exotic bottles / names which kept me daydreaming from far away locations; but I also liked our fridges where we stored the local products and kept all the flavours of the seasons. I loved spending time with my family and our guests who visited us regularly, and who told us about their adventures and their culture back home. As I grew up in the mountains in Switzerland the hotel and its guests were my entertainment – giving me a glimpse of the world out there.

(Swissotel Dresden AM Schloss)

In such a competitive industry, how does Swissotel stay so successful?

We believe in sustainable management practices. Our journey began in 1988 when we started to set clear targets in regards to minimizing our impact on the environment and we remain committed ever since.

Today we believe that successful business and sustainable development go hand in hand. With a responsibility to meet the economic, environmental and social needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future, Swissôtel's focus is on minimizing each property’s impact on the environment by incorporating energy-efficient design solutions and reducing water and energy consumption as well as CO2 emissions. To bolster local communities, hotels purchase from reputable local suppliers and support respected charitable organizations, including SOS Children's Village, who the brand is partnered with globally. To ensure accountability, Swissôtel sets clear targets to improve upon sustainable performance and provides reports to inform guests and other key stakeholders about long-term sustainability strategies, goals, initiatives, success stories and performance.

(Swissotel Dresden AM Schloss)

What partnerships/marketing strategies did you implement that attributed to the success of Swissôtel?

To understand how the brand is marketed today, one needs to understand the role in which I played in the past. As VP of Operations, I drove the process of building quality from the bottom up. We were and still are dedicated to providing our guests with peace of mind. This is ensured by implementing our internal program called “operational excellence”, which aims to provide guests with a safe and comfortable environment, quality food and beverage offerings and reliable service.

Some key initiatives to ensure a pleasurable and safe guest experience have led to trolley-free guest floors, clearly defined hygiene procedures, and 5-star quality sleep comfort through amenities such as high quality mattresses, 300-thread count bed linens, and a pillow menu.

(Swissotel Resort Phuket Thailand)

Once we defined our processes and standards, all Swissôtels worldwide were officially rewarded in 2010 with ISO certification for Quality Management, Environmental Management and Health & Safety Management.

Besides our strong brand pillar “Sustainability” we also began to define “Swissness” in 2008. We started with introducing 3 strong, recognizable icons that are authentic, interactive, tactile, surprising, humorous, and sensual. Our Swissôtel icons are a mix of design, local crafts, art and tactile materials and include the following:
1.    Swiss Circles: graphic element. Switzerland is one of the world‘s smallest countries, and a country of living contrasts. It is multifaceted, industrious, proud of its traditions, bursting with innovative power, precise and romantic. The diversity of these contrasts was visualized in 9 circles.
2.    Doorman and Bellman uniform: understated in design, equipped with fine details and worked out to perfection, the uniform is authentic, functional and comfortable.  
3.    Swissôtel scent:  We grow our own Alpine garden and partnered with Suissessences, nine Swiss farmers, and an aroma- therapy and skincare specialist. We currently bottle the scent and offer a little bit of Switzerland in all of our bathrooms. Our bath amenities are made with naturally produced essential oils, 100% grown and distilled in Switzerland by the Swiss farmer partners. The packaging is made out of recycled material and is biodegradable, and the scent is inspired by the fresh air, the dense verdant forests and the flower-filled pastures of the Swiss Alps.

Today I lead a team which sets a clear brand business and brand experience strategy. We continue to create and capture what is and can be unique about the Swissôtel brand.  

(Swissotel Resort Phuket Thailand Cafe)

Your greatest successes as proprietor?

Two of the most rewarding product development successes I’ve experienced include the launch of Swissôtel’s Spa brand Pürovel Spa & Sport in 2011, and the creation of the brand’s first Concept & Design Manual, introduced worldwide in 2012.

Our goal with Pürovel is to provide guests and local clients with an Alpine-inspired solution for a natural and vital lifestyle. That same year, we also took the essence of this spa/lifestyle philosophy and turned into a holistic program for guests called “Vitality”, making it easier for guests to maintain a healthy lifestyle while staying at Swissôtel. Ever since, Swissôtel has engineered all of its F&B menus and introduced Vitality coffee breaks in all meeting and conference packages.

The first edition of the Concept & Design Manual provides guidelines for the design of our hotels. Excellence in quality is intrinsic throughout Swissôtel and design is an essential transmitter of Swiss quality within our hotels. Today our design is modern, uncluttered, sensitive and intelligent. Our value proposition is all about balanced choices:

The greatest success story of all is to be part of a team which can show off a solid business performance improvement in the areas of colleague engagement, guest satisfaction, quality assurance and overall operational profitability and productivity.

How important is location selection to the success of your hotels?

 Location is very important for our success. Swissôtel properties are conveniently located in the heart of key gateway cities globally, providing guests with the opportunity to access businesses, transportation hubs, top local attractions, and shopping districts. Locally-inspired flair mixed with contemporary Swiss style provide a unique look for each property, attracting both business and leisure travelers who enjoy high-end hotels but prefer fresh innovation to stale pretension. Swissôtel properties are found in over 30 convenient locations around the world.

(Swissotel Chicago)

What qualities make a 5 Star Hotelier?

For me, it is not about being a 1 Star or 5 Star hotelier. A great hotelier embodies authenticity, integrity and commitment, and hires the right people. Swissôtel’s business culture has always been to hire for talent and then train them to develop excellent skills. A great hotelier knows how to look for the best talent out there – and often those individuals might not actually be found in the hospitality sector. Assembling a management team in which the whole is much more than the sum of its parts is key.

(Swissotel Chicago)

Ultimately, we want our colleagues to make our guests happy. At the same time, the Swissôtel team strives to help our colleagues to find their calling, find fulfillment and happiness.

Describe the ideal customer experience at Swissôtel?

We at Swissôtel are proud of our Swiss heritage - but we also embrace the new mindset and lifestyle of the next generation of our guests. Looking at our roots – our inspiration – we realize that Switzerland is a country known for its long tradition in hospitality and its high standard of living. In fact, Switzerland is rated number one in the world for ‘Quality of Life’. We know that striving for quality of life is the most profound desire all people have in common, yet the definition of it differs in each location and culture. Because of this, the ideal guest experience is something very personal.

(Swissotel  Sydney Australia)

The question we ask is: “Do we deliver what our guests are looking for?” I believe they are looking for a hotel experience that fits with the way they travel, is dictated by them, not defined by others / us, has moved with the times, and is efficient and effective. Swissôtel certainly delivers all of these elements!

(Swissotel Sydney Australia Kids Room)

Life Motto?

I do not have a life motto but each year look for a slogan - some inspirational words which guide my decisions.

For the past few years, my team and I have had a motto for the next year to come. The credo of the Swissôtel brand team for 2014 is “connect and inspire”. Our focus being to reach out, to learn from each other, and to listen what other people have to say, while at the same time remembering to spread the word about what the Swissôtel brand stands for.

(Swissotel Quinto Ecuador)

Favorite travel destination?

Spa retreats worldwide – It’s important for me to disconnect with the world and to connect with myself.

Role model - business and personal?
•    Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook
•    My mother – always inspiring me to experience new things

What literature is on your bed stand?

Lately tons of magazines about fashion and interior design / architecture and here and there a recipe book.

(Swissotel Grand Shanghai China)
What's next for Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts and yourself?

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts will open 15 hotels over the next few years, in countries including China, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Azerbaijan. Swissôtel is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 105 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and brands. But no matter how international Swissôtel becomes, just like the country it was founded in, it's important that the brand remains true to its Swiss heritage.

As the company grows, I look forward to being a leader of a team that develops and ensures best practices for FRHI’s individual brands - Swissôtel, Raffles, and Fairmont. I want to be part of an FRHI leadership team which helps the brands to carve out their unique selling point to ensure competitive advantage; and I want FRHI to be an innovation leader in the hospitality industry.

For me personally, I want to ensure I can grow and learn; and it is important for me to spend quality time with family and friends.