Interview with Andreas Stöckli, GM Hotel Schweizerhof, Zurich
Let us start with an essential question - What got you to here?
Wow, this is quite a question. I started off as a cook with an apprenticeship when I was 15 years old. I ended up travelling the world and cooking in far away places such as the Bahamas or South Africa. I even managed a Camping site in the most beautiful Sardinia. I am happy to say that I cooked for billionairs and also for homeless people. I met everybody with the same respect and cooked for them as if I was cooking for a friend. When I as 27 I went back to school and started to study hotel management in Lucerne. My teacher for political economy said that who has not made it at 30 will never make it. This was my wake up call. I went on to work for Radisson first at the Radisson Blu Basel then as GM Park Hotel Zurich Airport,then at the Radisson Blu Frankfurt and finally in St. Gallen. While my family stayed in Germany and I worked in St. Gall I was determined to find a new home for all of us and I sent a letter to the Schweizerhof asking them if they could see me as their new GM. I knew that their current GM was heading for retirement soon. I had seen what global hotel chains can offer. I wanted something better than that. Luckily they wanted to meet me and I started here in 2014 as GM. The rest, as they say, is history…
So please tell me why this place is Paradise.
This hotel is a brand new hotel with a nearly 150 year history. Did I say location? There is no property more centrally located in Zurich than the Schweizerhof. You walk out oft he main station and here you are. You know this house is larger than all of us. This house will be here when we are gone as it was here before we were here. In life you get to a point where you have seen every discotheque. They all look the same and play loud music. This place however is top notch. It is brand new every day and has been for nearly 150 years. With the revenue generated through the hotel we have been able to reinvest about 2 milllion swiss francs into the hotel every year . Imagine this at «Bahnhofstrsse» the Champs Elysées of Zurich. We now have 98 rooms of which 11 are suites and we employ 100 staff to keep this house a place to be. We can be home to business travellers and to pleople who want to discover Zurich at the same time. Our focus is to be 70% stability and 30% innovation. A good mix even in a comlipcated year like 2020.
Good point. How is 2020 affecting you ?
What can I say. We spent a lot of time and money on further developing our house to be as I said before top notch every day. We took the crisis as an ivitation to transform our house to be up with the best in Zurich. We are number two on tripadvisor. Have been for months and want to stay there. If you dont move you get blown away. Faster than you can think. My team is fantastic. They understand why we need to do what we need to do. We are operating with a clear mind and and open heart. Now and forever. Underpromising and over delivering. Step by step we create the next 150 years.
Thank you very much for this update!