Luca Finardi, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Milan
ETI: What is your official title and how long have you been in this role:
LF: General Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Milan since July 2014
ETI: Title aside, tell us what do you really do on a day to day basis?
LF: Prioritizing objectives, trying to reverse problems in to opportunities, motivating colleagues and entertaining guests and clients. Trying to increase revenues and cost savings also with creativity.
ETI: What did you do before your current role? What was the most unexpected aspect of your career path?
LF: I was working with Belmond Hotels initially since 2008 as General Manager of Villa San Michele and then since 2010 as Area Manager in Sicily and General Manager of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo. The most unexpected thing has been a dream becoming true. In 1992, when I was 19 years old, right after the high school bachelor degree, I made an interview for a receptionist role at Villa San Michele but I was not hired because my English was too poor and no experience. 16 years later, in 2008 I returned to Villa San Michele as General Manager. It was a great dream becoming true and a fantastic personal achievement.
ETI: If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what direction do you think you would have followed?
LF: Well, I always dreamt of becoming a professional football player, but I was too slow. Then a famous singer, I so much love singing, but I was really too off-key. I would like to add becoming a great chef…but eventually prefer to delight myself with trying different delicacies from other great chefs, I love tasting good food and wine.
ETI: As someone who travels frequently, tell us three things you cannot travel without?
LF: 1) My iPhone, to be always updated and available as well as taking pics and share them on social medias. Also to listen to preferred rock music, U2. 2) A jacket and tie, you might always need it. 3) My credit cards.
ETI: Best thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling?
LF: To meet a friend totally by chance in a far away airport as well discovering and tasting local experiences and food.
ETI: What to you constitutes a true luxury hotel experience?
LF: To experience the real rustic and local best sites, restaurants and most of people.
ETI: Where in the world have you experienced the absolute best hotel stay of your life and why?
LF: Maroma, Yucatan riviera, the real free rustic luxury experience.
ETI: Favorite places to shop and dine around the globe?