In the shimmering heart of Lugano, where the fusion of luxury and sustainability paints a new era of hospitality, stands the prestigious Hotel Splendide Royal, Lugano a gem in the Roberto Naldi Collection. At its helm, Giuseppe Rossi, a visionary General Manager, has been steering this iconic establishment through the evolving tides of luxury hospitality for over a decade. Our exclusive interview with Mr. Rossi unveils the transformative journey of this esteemed hotel, reflecting on how luxury has transcended traditional boundaries to embrace personal value, authenticity, and a profound commitment to sustainability.
Mr. Rossi, over your two decades with the Roberto Naldi Collection, how have you seen the concept of luxury in the hospitality industry evolve and how has the Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano adapted to these changes?
Since the beginning of my professional experience working within the hospitality industry, the concept of luxury has evolved greatly, responding more and more to the ongoing evolution across all socio-cultural contexts. We can therefore say It has adapted to the times. In an increasingly divided and standardized society, there is a move toward a more reassuring search for simplicity, which in the case of luxury does not coincide with essentialism, but rather with individual value. No longer, therefore, a status but rather an endorsement of more personal concepts such as authenticity, sustainability and sharing. The new luxury is not a one-size-fits-all factor, but one that responds to the comfort desires of each individual.
Can you share a pivotal moment or decision in your career that significantly directed your focus toward sustainability, and how this personal journey influenced the 'Splendide Sustainability' program?
The input arrived away from the professional sphere: one day several years ago while at home, my son, who today works in the sustainability sector itself, was telling me about how a number of companies were moving on this issue. And then the direct question, " What are you doing?"
It was at that very moment that I felt very clear about how the younger generation has a sensitivity and a hands-on approach to this issue.
How does the Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano proactively engage and contribute to the community of Lugano, and what impact has this had on both the hotel as well as the location?
The Splendide has been working towards this every day. In fact, among our goals, some of which we have already fulfilled but are constantly evolving, there is a constant exchange with the community and, in particular, with certain businesses that stand out for their social commitment.
Considerable attention is given to food and wine, which, with the various bars and restaurants present at the Splendide, acts daily as a channel for local excellence, promoting our beautiful region.
Finally, of course this topic deeply touches upon the choice of providers in every sphere, from services to merchandise. By 2022, 65 percent of suppliers are local, 72 percent of which are within 20 km.
Engaging and participating sets in motion a positive cycle that is beneficial to the hotel, the local area, and the community.
How have you incorporated sustainable practices to enhance the guest experience at Hotel Splendide, balancing luxury with eco-consciousness?
We mentioned that the evolution of luxury as a concept is constantly evolving, as is the collective sensitivity to the environment. Many people think that environmentalism and luxury are barely compatible, but I believe that is a fallacy. Rather, I believe that an establishment such as ours, which has started on an important path of sustainability several years ago now, can now be a testimony to other businesses in the area that investments in ecology are winning, whether it is in terms of respect for the environment or placement.
For instance, our guests have positively welcomed our Green Room project, guest rooms that have several substantive environmentally friendly features: from the elimination of disposable plastic to recycling bins in the room, from the courtesy line made from sustainable materials such as bamboo fibers to air conditioning obtained from environmentally friendly thermopumps.
As a leader in the luxury hospitality industry, how do you cultivate a team culture that is both high-performing and deeply aligned with the hotel's values of sustainability and luxury?
There's only one way to succeed in this quest: engage employees in the project. On the one hand there are the large-scale investments on the facility and infrastructure, but then there are the day-to-day attitudes of those who live and work at the Hotel. We have established an internal Sustainability Committee, made up of at least one employee from each department: in this way everyone's views can make a difference and participation becomes truly active and purposeful.
We are also working on training, another basic issue to motivate staff in our green journey.
Looking ahead, what emerging trends or innovations do you foresee shaping the next era of luxury hospitality and how is Hotel Splendide preparing to embrace these changes?
I strongly believe that the future of luxury hotelierie, and beyond, is increasingly moving toward the uniqueness on offer. No more pre-packaged standards, but individual bespoke experiences tailored to the individual. The Splendide, with its tradition of family hospitality, has long been in that mindset, but is constantly working to keep up with constantly evolving needs and attention to detail.
In your journey, what have you found most meaningful in measuring success: tangible results and awards, or intangible impact and legacy left behind? How does this perspective influence your approach to leadership and life?
Awards are a tool, a beautiful tool that makes one proud and provides motivation, but lacking a vision toward the future, an award will remain just a pretty object. What really makes a difference is being able to sow the seeds, to leave a tangible mark of social and environmental participation.
Particularly on the issue of sustainability: we need to think about the future of the next generation and be agents of change today that will serve those who will be there tomorrow.
As our enlightening conversation with Giuseppe Rossi concludes, it's evident that his leadership at Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano transcends conventional hospitality management. In Rossi's visionary hands, the hotel emerges not just as a luxurious destination but as a beacon of sustainable and ethical luxury. His profound insights into the evolving nature of luxury, underpinned by a deep commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement, illuminate a path forward for the industry.