1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your background.
Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Diego Galbiati, marketing manager of the newly built structure Al Molo 5. In my previous work experiences, I worked for some of the most renowned brands in the industry including the Marriott International hotel group.
2What led you to become a hospitality/tourism/architecture/interior design professional?
The “Hôtellerie” has always been my passion long before becoming a job. As a travel lover I spent many nights in hotels around the world and from each stay I learnt as much as possible. Hospitality is an integral part of life of each person. If everyone in the world should behave as a gentle receptionist, it would be for sure a better and happier world.
3What is your role in the hotel/dining/architecture/interior design business, and what traits should a professional possess to be successful in their respective roles?
I help the management find the best way to make the structure successful. For sure, the most important traits for this role are: be open-minded, embrace innovation and never think that there are limits.
4Tell us more about your hotel/establishment/design/business.
I proudly introduce you to AL MOLO 5. Literally the Pier #5. As you probably can imagine this name take inspiration from the surrounding area where the establishment is located. Al Molo 5 is a front lake boutique hotel situated in one of the most prestigious and finest area in the world: LAKE COMO. The hotel was built just a year ago but is already offering top-level service.
5What sets your world class hotel/dining establishment/architecture and interior design apart from other related establishments?
Our hotel is particularly appreciated for our ancillary services such as the Italian café, the lake-view restaurant, the boat rentals, the water-taxi, the e-bikes, etc. Since our opening, we decided to create a 360° environment where a customer can enjoy every aspect and activity for a perfect holiday on the lovely shore of Como Lake.
6Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Hotel Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
We are incredibly proud and thankful for this achievement since it means that our efforts have been productive. The entire staff is very happy, and this victory keep us motivated.
7How has winning an international award help to promote your industry position/standing?
It will help us a lot since we are new, and we need exposure. From the point of view our future customers will see us as representatives of excellence.
8What are the challenges that come with managing a hotel/dining establishment/architecture design and/or interior design project?
The main challenges especially for the past season were the uncertainty about reservations. We have seen cancellations shortly before the stay due to the political and social instability that is affecting Europe today. Luckily for us, there was so much demand that we always filled the facility.
9In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is there any advice you can give to your industry peers to overcome these trying times?
Our advice is to be very clear regarding all the procedures and rules to follow for preventing COVID-19. In fact, every country has different rules. Finding clear rules during the booking or during check-in is a very positive experience for guests.
10How has the country your business is based in helped to elevate the status of your hotel/dining establishment/architecture and interior design project/travel business?
We are very lucky to be located in Lake Como area that is a place where you have plenty of activities, museums and villas to visit. All the attractions on the lake organize often special events that gather many people from all over the world.
11What are the current trends in the hospitality and tourism industry that you are most excited about?
The most exciting trend from our point of view are the “digitalized guest experiences”. Thanks to mobile and Apps the guests can find easily all the needed information and the hoteliers can easily manage the services to provide by controlling many aspects of the guest cycle and experience. We recently launched our app where our guests can decide the time to receive breakfast and where they can book all the extra services we are able to provide such as e-bikes, taxi boat and boat rentals.
12What are the top THREE (3) challenging things about the industry?
TIME: Guests have less time. We must offer not only an excellent service but also a very fast one.
EXPERIENCE: our customers look for something to remember. A relaxing and peaceful stay is not enough. The activities to spend during the stay are an important aspect to consider. Thus, the challenge is to keep innovating to find the best activities to provide.
TRANSPORTATION: a challenging aspect nowadays is transportation that instead of becoming easier It is becoming even more difficult and pricy.
13What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to see their hotel/dining establishment/design/travel business stand out amongst the rest?
The most important resources are people and technologies. Finding the right people that can exploit technologies is a key element for promoting the establishment at the best.
14Where do you see the evolution of the industry in the next 5-10 years?
The industry is relying every day more on images and video to better show the structure. Visibility is extremely important to communicate reliability and trust. For this reason, I see virtual and augmented reality the next step to the digitalization of hotels. Some examples application could be virtual tours, digital environments for consumers to picture themselves in and videos providing 360° views of rooms, restaurants and public areas.
15Who has inspired you in your life, or in your career, and why?
My CEO and my colleagues keep inspiring me everyday thanks to their work ethic.
16What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Never stop learning.
17What is the hotel’s/dining establishment’s/architecture and interior design’s/travel business’s future plans?
Become a renowned property in the area keeping the high-level service as top priority.
18Do you have anything else you would like to add for the interview?
We thank all our customers for choosing our structure and if today we have won this award, it is thanks to them that push us improving more and more.