“We are in the entertainment world, not in a static world of beds and breakfasts”. Paraphrasing an insight from the legendary South African hotelier Sol Kerzner, Steigenberger Wiltcher’s newly arrived General Manager Claude Rath sat down with BIGBOOK to explain just how the Brussels expansion of the German hotel chain aims to redefine the business of modern hospitality.
« although I’m not the one who will be physically mixing your cocktail or serving you breakfast, it is essential that I transmit a certain impulse, setting the attitude I would like to see in my staff »
From both his inspiring focus and obvious experience is immediately clear that Mr. Rath is on a mission to realign expectations. Wishing to both respect and renew the capital’s view of the historical building, Mr. Rath describes how the newly rebranded Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel, overlooking Place Stephanie in central Brussels, will follow a four axis business plan focused on the values of leadership, culinary creativity, modern marketing as well as honouring human resources with humility. “Prior to my arrival, a restructuring and resizing of the business model of this hotel was put in place, in particular looking at the variable and fixed costs of staff. Retaining human resources as the alpha and omega of the business, the hotel leadership needed to remain strong. - seen perhaps analogically as a frontmounted locomotive pulling the train and driving change but also, more importantly, steadily pushing the back end, as a constant element of support.”
Seeing the removal of the “ex-Conrad” image as an immediate
priority, he describes with excitement how the brand and its exceptional staff is set to introduce a series of experiences that aim to showcase the hotel’s personality. Speaking of the value of leading by delegating responsibility, Mr. Rath explains “although I’m not the one who will be physically mixing your cocktail or serving you breakfast, it is essential that I transmit a certain impulse, setting the attitude I would like to see in my staff”. Sending a clear message to both shareholders and customers, the coming introduction of a Northern and seasonal
cuisine at the Wiltcher’s Bistrø, a greatly anticipated Sunday Brunch and cosy library lounge celebrating a Belgian Afternoon Tea and many other delicacies, the General Manager remains confident that Brussels will fall back in love with the historical location, if not through its hospitable heritage then through an expression of modern elegance that clearly exudes from every corner of the hotel.