Monday, April 28, 2014

Giving is the best communication

  • Hospitality is about guests.

  • Hospitality is about services.
  •   Hospitality is about figures.
  • Hospitality is all about giving the guest exactly what they are looking for and more.
  • Hospitality is about human values. It gives the opportunity to deliver what money can't buy. It's a way of understanding better the meaning of giving and what life is all about.
  • Giving is the best communication and all of us involved in the hospitality industry should remember that there is more than gaining customers at any cost.
Watch the video and get inspired!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Themis Trakas success story

Inside HVS
Personality Profile of the Month - Themis Trakas

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Themis Trakas

The fictional character of Eloise captured the imagination of millions of readers based upon her elegant address. The idea of a little girl residing at w hat some people refer to as the Greatest Hotel in the World”, the Plaza Hotel located in New York City, w as a divine escape from the mundane. Fashioned after a French Chateau with a marble lobby, mahogany doors and 1,650 crystal chandeliers, the Plaza is quite unique .. and w hat could be more fun than dining at the Palm Court on rainy days? Today, an oil painting of Eloise hangs outside this restaurant, and is visited by many elegant ladies-w ho-lunch holding the hands of their darling granddaughters. 
Well, HVS’ own Themis Trakas experienced childhood at numerous five-star luxury hotels including Sheratons, Mandarin Orientals, Fairmonts, Carltons, and Hiltons as he traveled the globe with his father, an Olympic Airways Boeing 747 captain.

As a military and civil aviation pilot for 41 years, Themis’ dad infected his young son with a fascination for aircraft and aviation as they regularly visited New York, Toronto, Montreal, Singapore, Johannesburg, and Sydney. Themis dreamt of following in his father’s footsteps as a pilot, having become quite comfortable in the cockpit.

At 15, Themis was at home in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 cruising over the Atlantic Ocean on the way to NYC from Athens, Greece, with his father, the Captain!
However, as he neared the end of his high school years in the late 80’s, his father recommended that he explore the idea of pursuing a career in the hotel industry. Upon serious reflection, he had vivid memories of the hostelries where they had stayed, and this suggestion began to percolate in his thinking.

Paris Air Show
After completing his mandatory military service, Themis enrolled in the Swiss Alpine Center hotel school of higher education based in Greece in 1989 to determine if the hospitality industry would be a good fit. For the next six years, he pursued his education in Greece, Switzerland, and the U.S.A., followed by a 2-year program for an MBA in 2001. Everything clicked, and he garnered 10 years of experience in hotel operations, ultimately finding himself in an ideal position to accept the offer from HVS in Athens in 2006.
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director of HVS Athens, gives Themis the highest accolades, “Themis is a definite asset for our office. He was the first to join the group, when the legal entity of the HVS Athens was originally introduced. He is enthusiastic and knowledgeable regarding the industry. I can always depend on Themis to produce a quality assignment, and he is always willing to share his expertise with his colleagues. His sense of humor puts things in perspective. I really trust this individual and I consider him as a member of my family."

Themis is serving as Vice President of the Cornell Hotel Society, Pan-Hellenic Chapter in Greece.
Still passionate about discovering new world venues, HVS has provided Themis with amazing opportunities. The most exciting destinations, and the assignments he has particularly enjoyed, include Morocco which he visited on three separate occasions in 2008; Kuwait, Mauritius; Antigua; the City of Pozzuoli in Italy; Tel Aviv; and Croatia.

Greek Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet
Though he did not fulfill his youthful fantasy of becoming a pilot, Themis developed a strong enthusiasm for aviation photography. He is an avid fan of military air shows and while living in the United States from 1992 to 2003, his weekends were devoted to traversing the East Coast to attend every air show scheduled to photograph the exciting exhibitions.

Sybil Hofmann, President International Programmes at Swiss Alpine Center, The Swiss Business School for International Hotel & Tourism and Director at City Unity College/International Hospitality & Tourism Management Department, says about Themis:

“Themis Trakas is an exemplary alumnus that is the dream of every college. We were so happy to have Themis as a student in the very first two years of his formation in the field of hotel management after which he transferred to our Swiss school in Switzerland to complete the third year of his studies.  His ultimate dream was to have a Cornell education and that’s where he headed next. Working in the US was another goal he had set and he further combined this with furthering his education to the MBA level in New York. What happened next is he planned to return to Greece, a great move because Greece needs such professionals to drive its hospitality industry to newer heights. Themis lost no time in visiting his alma mater and offering his services. He was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board and not only. He joined the academic team as a guest lecturer, launching second year students into their Integrated Project at the beginning of the year, counselling them during the year, and acting as a panelist at the end of the year when the teams presented their projects.

I have no words to describe Themis’ commitment, devotion and loyalty to his first alma mater, Alpine Center!!  I only wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to a young man who believes in the future of the tourism industry in Greece and in contributing to the professional development of the new generation of hospitality management professionals".

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Testimonial *Swiss Diploma in Culinary Arts at Alpine Center *BA(Hons) International Food & Beverage Management

Constantin Giebler came to Alpine Center all the way from Costa Rica to study Culinary Arts. He completed the two-year Swiss Diploma in Culinary Arts and topped it with a BA(Hons) International Food & Beverage Management conferred  by University of Wales. He has now completed his industry placement.

Constantin Giebler in the kitchen of Restaurant La Rive, Amsterdam.
Constantin says: 

"I work permanently as the entremetier in the kitchen of Restaurant La Rive, a Michelin star restaurant, part of the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam. The most expensive and luxurious hotel in all of Amsterdam. For many months we were ranked #1 restaurant in all of Amsterdam by Tripadvisor. We are ranked 7th best in Holland. 

I am extremely happy here and moving up fast as I have been promoted already from cold kitchen chef to  warm kitchen garnish chef, and have incorporated myself in some groups such as the environmental team in order to gain knowledge and show pro-activity. 

Amsterdam is a great city, with so much to offer. I am truly happy here."

"I thank you very much Mrs. Hofmann, for everything, as I must say I have it pretty good right now, and owe a lot of that to you and everyone at Alpine. You have open doors for me and taught me things that have enabled me to fulfill my dreams and live the life I wanted to. So again, for that I thank you."

Now Constantin belongs to our Alpine Alumni Ambassadors Association and we will be happy to be kept informed about his career progress. Same applies for all our Alpine Alumni.

We are so proud of you Constantin!
La Rive Restaurant
La Rive, located in the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam, is one of Netherlands’ leading restaurants, marked by a long tradition of culinary delights, an excellent collection of wines and genuine hospitality.
The culinary team – led by Chef de Cuisine Rogér Rassin, Maître d’ Ronald Opten and Sommelier Ted Bunnik – will see to it, that the dining experience becomes a memorable one.
Restaurant La Rive, awarded a Michelin star is inspired by French-Mediterranean flavours with vegetables and seasonal produce prepared in an innovative way. In addition, the kitchen orients on Asian influences that are added in a subtle way.
For the wine pairings they are constantly searching for extraordinary wines from specific wine regions to enhance the wine and food experience.
La Rive’s dress code: tenue de ville.