Checking in with Ray Goertz, general manager at The Prince Akatoki London


In the latest of a regular series, we check in with leading hoteliers and general managers to get an exclusive glimpse into their careers, their lives and their ambitions. This time, we speak to Ray Goertz, general manager at The Prince Akatoki London.

I enjoy my job because…

I get to see emerging talent come through in all departments. I am so happy to see that there is still a lot of genuine hospitality interest amongst the youngsters of today. It reminds me a lot of how ambitious I was when I was their age. Being in the position I am in now, it is my duty to develop the next generation of hospitality leaders and I love every minute of it.

I find my job challenging because…

The hospitality sector is becoming heavily saturated and you continuously need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and reinvent yourself. Each year the competition gets tougher. Technology is also quite difficult to stay ahead of. As soon as you’ve bought the latest TV for your rooms there is a newer model on the market.

My best achievement in business was…

Opening four hotels successfully in London. I’ve spent many months over the years wearing a hard hat and steel toe boots.

My worst mistake in business was…

When I was a revenue manager many years ago, I inadvertently manually loaded a rate on our website of £10 instead of £210. Luckily only a few bookings came through. Needless to say I never made that mistake again. These days everything is automated and controlled better.

What I am yet to accomplish is…

Developing a new brand from scratch.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…

To spend less time answering emails and more time with my guests.

If I could change one thing about the industry, it would be…

To take climate change and environmental issues more seriously. It is astounding and upsetting to see how much single use plastic we have in the hospitality industry. Our aim is to have all our suppliers get involved and assist the hospitality industry to eliminate the need for so much single use plastic.

My top three bucket list items are…

1) Climbing to Everest Base Camp; 2) Learn to play jazz piano; 3) See the aurora borealis.

My life philosophy is…

Treat others the way you want them to treat you.

My favourite song is…

Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode.

My ideal weekend would be…

Spent in a log cabin in the woods by a lake. Fishing during the day and sitting by the crackling fireplace at night with a nice cognac.

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