General Manager, ibis Rotterdam City Centre (The Netherlands)

Susanne van de Vinne

Susanne van de Vinne's Story

I have been in hospitality for about 14½ years, 11 with Accor. I went to hotel school in the south of France and then worked for the NH Company for two years. I enjoyed working there but afterwards, I joined the Accor group which suited my personality better.

Being a super transformer for me means being natural. We all start working in hospitality because we love to be with people. You need to know how to touch people in a personal way and Heartist is all about making that connection. For me, it didn’t matter where I went for Heartist trainings, the main thing I noticed  getting to know the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg extended family and have learned we are all the same; we really like what we are doing, and love to make real connections

Transforming is about going back to the roots of why we like working in hospitality – it’s because we like people. It is sometimes easy to lose the connection with people because you get into the processes you are following, so we have to go back to basics and make sure our guests are having an amazing time. It’s important to keep reminding yourselves of why you are doing this.

I’m enjoying my position as a General Manager and for me, the position itself doesn’t mean so much because it’s the teamwork that matters. And you should always greet customers as friends – that’s how it should feel to them. The most challenging part is how to make sure the rest of the team is feeling the same as you and that you have the same end goal.

I want all kinds of people from anywhere in the world to feel welcome and at home, and for that I need a diverse team. And make sure our daily focus in on the guest satisfaction. That is the main aim for my hotel I am working on uniting this new team and making sure everyone is in the right job/position regarding their personal strengths and character.

To someone who is newly in the sector, find the thing you are really keen on. Anyone could work in hospitality; if it is financial, they can go into finance department and if they like guests, they can be a front office manager – it is most important to have people in the right role.

And to someone who is looking for work, you can learn about yourself in hospitality. It is an opportunity to try all disciplines and go forwards from there; you can go from HR to finance, manager to supervisor, try different positions – and not many sectors offer that variety. Working in hospitality is an opportunity to discover yourself and your passions. You can always go forwards in this industry – where there’s a will there’s a way.

  • Susanne van de Vinne
  • General Manager
  • ibis Rotterdam City Centre (The Netherlands)