Checking in with Federico Ciampi, general manager at The Trafalgar St. James

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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 Federico Ciampi, general manager at The Trafalgar St. James.

I enjoy my job because…

As anyone in hospitality could say, there is such a variety in my job. I meet so many different people with amazing backgrounds and cultures, and serve guests in fabulous hotels

I find my job challenging because…

Hotels have become a much more complex business to manage. Commercially we need to always learn something new, in particular on the marketing side which nowadays really makes a difference on performances, and I find this really engaging.

My best achievement in business was…

I would say re opening a private island resort in the British Virgin Island after a devastating hurricane (category five) in 2017. I had to quickly learn how to deal with such a terrifying event.

My worst mistake in business was…

There have been many. In the past getting influenced by people perhaps not connected to the business during a decision-making process was a mistake, as it really makes you not follow your gut instinct. 

What I am yet to accomplish is…

Doing a successful pre-opening as a GM in a challenging area like Mayfair, but the list could be 10 pages long…

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

Again long list here, but I believe we should accept what we are and try the best we can at making it better everyday.

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

We should all start to support flexible working hours for office-based staff and four days a week for the ops team. Other business are miles ahead of us on this.

My top three bucket list items are…

Travel to as many countries as possible; learn to ski; learn Arabic.

My life philosophy is…

Be the hardest and smartest worker in the room.

My favourite song, book or film is…

I enjoy sports documentaries - there are some amazing stories on both teams and individuals achieving astonishing results, sometimes against all odds. My favourite is Senna.

My ideal weekend would be…

With my family on an island far away without phone and internet.

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