Georgios M. Daskalakis has been assigned as the new General Manager of Abaton Island Resort & Spa.
We share a discussion with Mr. Georgios Daskalakis about his background and his insight on the qualities needed to run a Luxury Property.
-Who is Georgios Daskalakis, give us in few words your professional background
Coming from a hotelier’s family, I was naturally drawn to the hospitality profession. For this reason when the time arrived, studying Hotel Management was a one way road and having the Swiss nationality, choosing one prestigious Swiss Hotel School was the obvious choice.
Upon graduation and after having completed 3 successful and productive in-training periods in various different departments in 5-star hotels in Montreux and Geneva in Switzerland, I have decided to pursue my career, focusing on of the 5-star Hotel Segment and specializing in the Rooms Division Department
My first destination was the United Kingdom and London, where during my (almost) 5 years in the United Kingdom, I held various training, supervisory, junior and middle management positions in 2 landmark 5-star properties.
Next destination was Spain, where over the course of 4 years I reached my first positions in senior management and have thoroughly enjoyed my first contact with the niche segment of resort boutique hotels.
In 2006 was my first attempt to return to Greece, as Rooms Division Manager in an emblematic resort of the Attica Riviera and from 2008 until 2014, I held the same position in a prestigious 5-star resort in Cyprus. 2014 saw my second attempt to return to Greece, this time in my native and beloved island of Crete, assuming the responsibilities of Assistant General Manager until 2016 in an exclusive resort of a major Greek hotel chain in the Heraklion prefecture. In 2016 I had the opportunity to oversee as General Manager the opening of a Lifestyle boutique resort, member of an International Hotel Chain in Chania. My last professional endeavor between 2018 and my recent appointment as General Manager of Abaton Island Resort and Spa, was as General Manager in an Exclusive Boutique Resort of a major Greek hotel chain in the outskirts of Rethymno.
-What are the main values of your management strategy
Total guest commitment by offering a holistic stay experience through a culture of inclusive team leadership.
-What makes a 5-star hotel being a luxury property
There are many many definitions and perceptions of Luxury. In my opinion and experience Luxury is the opportunity to experience something innovative, something unique, to find and offer new and not predictable or already seen services. Within this context, a Five-star hotel, in terms of facilities, style, architecture and services, becomes luxurious when it successfully combines the above with a personalized, non-intrusive service according to the needs of each guest individually, offering them a unique lasting experience.
-Looking 10 years back, which ones do you think are the main changes on our industry
1) Online Communities.
The booming of social media and review sites is undoubtedly the biggest change. The fact that travelers are able to research far more easily their preferred destination and hotel according to their needs and can be provided feedback through so many sources has given transparency and thus improved quality in the services and facilities offered by hospitality operators.
2) Guest Experience
A decade ago, the main selection decision factors of travelers was Location and Price. Today as the No 1 factor is guest experience, hotels are called to create unique tailor made guest experiences that will exceed their expectations rather than just meet them.
We are all becoming more and more conscious about issues that affect the environment and society in general, therefore many corporations have found themselves in need of developing and applying a more sustainable business model.
-What are the main advantages of Abaton towards the competition?
Accommodation, Facilities, Location, services that impress our guests and guest care that impresses again and again!
-What is your favorite food served in the hotel?
Although each and every restaurant here at Abaton Island Resort & Spa, is unique in style, atmosphere and of course cuisine and is worth visiting, I truly believe that one of the major highlights of a Cretan holiday is experiencing the local Cretan Cuisine. It is world famous for its healthy and high nutritional values, as well as its wonderful taste and our guests are able to savor a unique local dining experience in our Elemes restaurant
-Favorite room type?
With a multi-rom portfolio of fourteen different room types, our guests are able to find their perfect retreat for their specific needs and wants and I truly adore the fact that most of the room types are facing the sea, either with a sea view or the sea front. If I were to choose one of the fourteen room types of Abaton Island Resort & Spa, I would say the Loft Luxury Seafront Guestroom with Private Pool, due to its seafront location, its split-level layout, its unparalleled views of the Cretan Sea and of course the advantage to be able to take a dip into your private pool at any given time you wish.
-You come from a hotelier’s family, what assets did you get growing up in a hotel environment.
Dedication and devotion to a rewarding, but sometimes challenging and demanding profession, combined with customer care and service.
-Do you feel more Greek or more Swiss?
Having been born and raised in Greece, I feel a little bit more Greek than Swiss. Having said that I would like to believe that the Swiss DNA has more to account for the organizational traits I possess and the Greek one as far as the heartfelt hospitality mentality.
- What is your favorite gateway on the island?
This is the most difficult question as far as Crete is concerned, as it has so many gateways that cater for the discerning traveler. We can literally say that it has got “everything”. You know and you have the feeling that you are in an island, due to the long sandy beaches and coves and yet not due to the rapid change of scenery with magnificent mountain ranges. You can visit cosmopolitan cities, sea resorts and also small villages. Personally, I adore the blue of the sea and being (time permitting) a Scuba aficionado, I simply cannot resist visiting the many diving sites of the Cretan Sea.
-What are your goals for Abaton?
Our aim is to be the property that, through its services and facilities, redefines the luxury segment in its local area and slowly but surely become a successful and popular hotel destination, in the in Crete and Greece. In order to achieve that and bearing in mind that Abaton’s facilities where conceived, planned and built with the guest comfort and well-being in mind, we must establish an enthusiastic and committed team, aiming to furthermore enhance the stay experience of our guests