I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mauro Governato, when he was the General Manager of the Hotel de Russie in Rome, during one of his trips through Paris. Now he is the general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Milano. We enjoyed a long discussion on the art of welcoming in the hotel industry. You are invited to discover more from the interview below.
What is your view on the art of welcoming in luxury hospitality?
The French art of welcoming is a combination of factors that contribute to providing the client with an overall positive experience throughout his stay. It has to do with showcasing everything that goes into the wealth of French expertise, including gastronomy, pastries, culinary techniques, concierge service…all this explains why the entire world is enamored with France.
For me, the French art of welcoming is a true expertise: high technical capability, the capacity to sell the product, and showcase in similar ways both the restaurant for its location and the chef for his creativity and cuisine. You have to know how to show the clients what is special about an establishment and lead them to understand why they have chosen this hotel or this restaurant.
Paris makes one dream; it’s the city of lights. The various agents involved in the tourism and hotel industries must rise to the expectations and desires of the clients. They must also surpass them, for the client has come to expect more and more upon arriving in France to live out the experience of the French art of living.
What makes up the Italian art of welcoming?
In my opinion, it is slightly different from the French art of welcoming. It involves much more spontaneity and generosity. We allow you to discover things not over a long-established and well-trodden path, but through the personality of the individual who receives you. For instance, the hotel of the Trattoria remembers the names of clients who came the year before.
In the Italian art of welcoming, we seek greatly to showcase the individual through their spontaneity and generosity. This is what takes place in the Rocco Forte family, anyway, and particularly in their Hotel de Russie in Rome. We want the client to feel that they are part of this family. To do this, we allow them to discover the Italian tradition, the region of the gastronomy, for instance, but also the hospitality as evoked through a spirit that is very spontaneous, very creative, and off the beaten path.
What are the distinctive features of Hotel de Russie ?
The prestigious location in the heart of a historic city! The hotel is located in an area where there are numerous boutiques; it is close to the Plaza de Sevilla and the Plaza Popolo and located in a remarkable garden in the center of the city where magnificent marriages are often held. It is a place where you can relax while listening to the birds, the sound of bells at noon. For lunch, you can choose from an Italian menu inspired by chef Pierangelini, who fuses the spirit of the city on your plate to bring fully to life the experience of being in Rome.
What more, we provide very spacious rooms—the smallest measuring 40 m²—that come with very beautiful terraces offering a panoramic view over the entire city.
We have 33 suites and 89 rooms. We are also able to host events for 90 people through 4 conference rooms that are filled with natural light.
Mauro Governato has worked in the hotel industry for 30 years. He has presided most notably at Four Seasons Resort Provence, One & Only Le Saint Géran (Île Maurice), and One & Only Kanuhura (Maldives). In the past, he served as General Manager of the Four Seasons Ritz in Lisbon.
He was born in the Piedmont region of Italy, speaks 5 languages, and holds a degree in management from Instituto Alberghiero G. Colombatto in Turin. He has studied at Cornell University and holds a Sommelier diploma from the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS) in Milan.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.