Checking in with Imelda Shllaku, general manager at Baglioni Hotel London

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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 Imelda Shllaku, general manager at Baglioni Hotel London.

I enjoy my job because…

It embodies the idea of making an impact in someone’s life – human to human – through little gestures that make a difference and generate emotion. Although all of us have a different function within the organisation, we share the common goal of providing the best for someone. Although, yes we receive a salary at the end of the day, rewarding your soul through this mission I call my job is priceless. 

I find my job challenging because…

In this day and age, we live in a geo-political climate full of uncertainty. Finding myself working as part of a tourism network I really believe that this is the business of peace and prosperity. 

Despite the hard work and countless hours of preparation and consistency, this climate brings multiple curveballs which tend to derail a typical day. My guests are both those checking in and those clocking in, and finding the balance to bring joy to everyone can be challenging - it requires a lot of dedication. 

My best achievement in business was…

I left Albania where everything was already planned ahead of me. Leaving when I was 21, I studied twice as hard as I could ever imagine and worked three times harder than expected in order to make it as the general manager of this beautiful property within the group.

My worst mistake in business was…

I learned many lessons from the little mistakes on the way but I have no regrets. 

What I am yet to accomplish is…

To never stop learning. To grow and stand back up when pressure and challenges may seem endless.

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

I wouldn’t be who I am if I changed something, including the bad and the good.

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

I cannot think of anything to change, but if we could add 12 more hours to our 24 hour day it would help! This is a non-stop business and a few more hours to accomplish everything to perfection would be ideal.

My top three bucket list items are… 

South Africa by motorbike; island camping (during the summer!); Japan on the road to discover more about their food and culture.

My life philosophy is… 

Curiosity is the mother of intelligence, irony is the dress code, and modesty and humbleness her sandals.

My favourite song, book or film is… 

The Godfather (all three!), and book, Perfume by Suskind.

My ideal weekend would be…

Having my husband and my dog, Coco, by my side, and wild camping with a good glass of wine in hand and cheese at arm’s reach!

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