Senior Director Guest Digital Innovation, Northern Europe

Alexéy Savelyev

Alexéy Savelyev's Story

I used to work in hotel operations and now I am leading guest digital innovation in the Northern Europe region; I do my best to help hotels in the region to increase guest experience by deploying inventive digital solutions. I was 18 years old when I came to my first hotel and I have only ever worked for Accor.

When I was young, I used to travel with my parents and we stayed in hotels. I always admired the people working there and thought I would do that in the future, which is how I came to study hospitality in the Russian State University of Tourism and Service. I successfully graduated with a red diploma [honours degree] and started my career.

I started to work while I was studying and joined the Novotel Moscow Centre as a reservation agent. After that I had the honour to join the opening team of the first ibis hotel in Russia as a Reservations Manager and Front Office Manager on a later stage. It was a great experience – my dream came true! I met many interesting people and I entered hospitality because I love people, love communication and love delivering good service. In 2014 I was offered a Front Office Relay Manager position in Accor Regional office and was happy to join the team. I strongly believe that job in hospitality helped me open up to people and I’m sure I will not be able to find anything else I enjoy as much.

Few years ago I was happy to join the team of Heartist supertransformers. Heartist project is a philosophy for life and is founded on sincerity.  This philosophy existed before we started to transform, so our role was not to teach something new. It is a philosophy of being yourself and delivering your whole personality to the guest, doing it from your heart. If you try to be Heartist but your heart is not in it, everyone will realise this.

We were helping people to open themselves and to say ‘this is me’; it has to come from inside. I was on the pilot group in Barcelona to see whether it would work, it was very emotional. When we started the first transformation sessions, we were super worried about how people would accept it but they were very happy with it – it’s not training, it’s a journey.

One of the most exciting and interesting events of my life happened in 2019. I was chosen to participate in an international Accor program called IHMP. Having successfully completed the one-year course of the program, I was happy to receive a certification. Lots of friends, interesting sessions, new knowledge and, most importantly, an unforgettable experience of studying at the international school among professionals. I always remember these times with joy and warmth in my heart.

My advice to people newly in the industry is to be yourself if you want to work in hotels. This is a really difficult job; it is not right for everyone to be a hotel employee because if you don’t do something from the heart, guests will understand that and read it in your face. Hospitality is going through difficult times now and only true Heartists will stay in the sector; a lot of people are leaving hospitality and only the strongest and those with an open heart will stay. You cannot just be Heartist in your job, it is in your life as well, it is part of your character.

I believe it is our task to show young talent that this is a cool industry and they will love it because they will have an opportunity to grow and build a career. I started 13 years ago in Accor and I did not have anyone from my friends working in hotels, I made my career alone because I did well, because of the quality of the job – I did it with an open heart and a smile, and I was loyal to the company.

And to people who are job hunting, do not be shy, be yourself. Inside you have your speciality, your character; your career is in your hands. Be yourself and everything will go well.

  • Alexéy Savelyev
  • Senior Director Guest Digital Innovation
  • Northern Europe

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