Sunday 20th May 2018
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards
In my school days I was a long-distance runner. I was in the German junior athletic team from 1974 to 1978. We would have 10 training sessions per week. I was on the athletics educational track at school. This taught me a lot about health and fitness as well as instilling into me a strong sense of self discipline and determination. This has stayed with me until today.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Successful business requires a constant and detailed following of market trends. This allows you to identify unmet needs in the market. Then allows you to create a company that meets those needs with a diversified group of professionals. My mantra is: never give up – believe in your ideas.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
I used the learnings from my hospitalisation and combined that with my
hospitality work experience. I have always worked in niche segments or
projects, less in the mainstream.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
My hotel godfather, Georg Rafael, who co-founded Regent Hotels & Resorts.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
In 2009 when GOCO Hospitality was originally called Spatality we had an office
in Denver, Colorado with 29 staff. We had raised funding, rapidly hired people and then the economic crisis hit and we had no choice but to close the office there and let all the staff go. That was something that was very tough to do.
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for
Being driven and listening to your gut feeling. Also, daring to do what you feel is
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
I usually get rather quiet. I’ll observe the situation and analyse what is making me feel this way. I reflect on what is happening and look at the consequences.
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
I meditate regularly. Thailand is rightly well known for its massage and I get
massages quite often. Also, we hired a wellness chef to cook lunch for all
employees. This helps me to stop snacking on bad food and eat properly.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
The spa and wellness industry could be considered a rather young industry at the moment, and because of that there are many people in senior positions that don’t really have the formal education in business and marketing in comparison to other leisure industries. Because of this, we need a better, more structured education system. Many hotel schools only feature spa and wellness at a quite superficial level. There needs to be better education particularly in terms of business and marketing for spas.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” - Rumi
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book?
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
Steve Jobs, Mick Jagger, Albert Einstein, Karl Lagerfeld, I M Pei
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
The Pacific island of Bora Bora
5. Your perfect dinner is?
With my wife. Something casual but with great food, no stress of work and in a romantic setting.
6. Your go to drink is?
Green tea, fresh juices and great red wines
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
I like essential oils but have no favourite.
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Deep tissue or Thai massage. Straight forward, invigorating and relaxes the muscles.
10. What’s your favourite flower?
11. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Walk in the park after work and meditate before resting my eyes.
12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Deep, conscious breathing. Stretching the body.
13. The theme tune to your life is?
Mozart and Chopin are musicians whose music I adore and deeply respect….and also the Rolling Stones……but if its one song, it’s “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
14. What’s your favourite season?
Autumn. I love the leaves falling, the calming temperatures and walks in the park.
15. What’s your favourite colour?
16. Your favourite time of day is?
Early morning or late at night. I like both.
17. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?
A musician or a photographer
18. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
I am a Netflix addict.
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
To be able to fly. To never have to see an airport or filled-up plane again.
Founder & CEO of GOCO Hospitality, and Managing Director of Horwath HTL Health and Wellness, Ingo Schweder brings more than 30 years of experience from the fields of spa and hospitality, and has been involved in the design, development and worldwide operation of numerous iconic hotels and wellness destinations. Under his guidance, Ananda in the Himalayas, the globally recognised destination spa, was established. Ingo has been a board member of Mandarin Oriental and earlier Corporate Director of Operations for Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.
His vision for GOCO Hospitality is to grow the company in the vastly expanding wellness real estate and hospitality segment. The company’s reputation now speaks for itself. GOCO Hospitality has become the go-to wellness company for hospitality giants like Bulgari, Ritz-Carlton, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, Wynn Resorts, MGM, Emaar Hospitality and Four Seasons. In addition, GOCO Hospitality recently purchased the 85-acre Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Southern California and is expanding it with a wellness community featuring 250 residential homes and anchored by a 120-room destination resort.
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