Checking in with Henrik Muehle, general manager at Flemings Mayfair Hotel

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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 Henrik Muehle, general manager at Flemings Mayfair Hotel.

I enjoy my job because…

I love the daily contact with guests and staff alike. From an early age, I pretended to be the host when my parents had visitors; running around with a white napkin over my arm and serving the drinks. The delight of working in smaller hotels is that you are still able to be the host and look after your guest in a really detailed way. That's why my personalised welcome card has "your Host" as the title, and not general manager.  

I find my job challenging because…

Of course, running a very busy hotel in the middle of Mayfair has its challenges. This is by no means a negative but a great positive and a perfect opportunity to test our capabilities and indeed our limits. It would be so boring otherwise.   

My best achievement in business was…

Making it to general manager in London at the Capital Hotel at 33 years of age. When I came to the UK this hotel was always on my radar due to the great chefs it attracted. So, I had a few amazing meals and especially never forgot my first one under Eric Chavot. When I joined as general manager, we got our second Michelin star that we kept for over seven years.  

My worst mistake in business was…

Declining a job offer in Italy where I could have learned another language after my German and French.  

What I am yet to accomplish is…

How can you have accomplished everything when there is something new to accomplish every day? Every day brings new challenges and delights.  

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

Our quirks and foibles make us who we are. As nobody is perfect, what good are we if we are all the same? I think everyone should to be a little peculiar.  

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

The industry could be less pretentious, especially in the five-star market. In the end, we are all working in service and should never forget that our clients pay our wages. From an F&B point of view, sometimes restaurants are designed to please the chef or owner but not the customer, and then everyone is up in arms when they close after a short while.  

My top three bucket list items are…

Funnily enough, I don't have a bucket list.

My life philosophy is...

Be happy when you come to work and be happy when you leave work.

My favourite song, book or film is…

This is very subjective as it depends on the time of day and my mood, but particularly listening to Hildegard Knef music and walking through Berlin once a year brings back great memories.  

My ideal weekend would be…

Spent in Austria during the winter months; skiing for two days and back in the office on Monday morning. During summer, quick city breaks in Europe for a night or two would be perfect.

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