NEWH - Fall 2019 - 41

INTERVIEW

Simon Casson: Four Seasons
Hotels
and Resorts
By Can Faik

F

ounded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation
and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 111 hotels and resorts, and 41 residential properties in major
cities and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons
consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveler reviews, and industry awards.
Simon Casson has given 30 years of his professional expertise to Four Seasons, now as president of Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
He tells SPACE editor Can Faik about the changes he's seen in the group-and explains how it has maintained its unique place in
hospitality.
What was your background in hospitality prior to working for Four Seasons?
I began my career washing dishes as a teenager in a local restaurant but started
properly at Eastwell Manor in Kent and when I finished my training scheme
ended up at the Castle hotel in Taunton. Since I had a strong desire to work
internationally and for a major luxury hotel group, I was advised that the best
in the world was Four Seasons. Soon after, I joined Four Seasons Hotel London
at Park Lane (formerly Inn on the Park, a Four Seasons Hotel) in 1989 as an
assistant manager and have been with the company ever since in various roles
around the world.
Where are you based?
I have been based in Dubai since 2014. In 2005 I opened Four Seasons Hotel
Doha and led our Spa Task Force for a number of years before I opened our first
property in Dubai, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, as regional
vice president. I became president of hotel operations EMEA in 2016 based in
our regional office in Dubai.
Simon Casson with Can Faik

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the diversity of my role and how no two days are the same. I travel a
considerable amount-either working with our developer partners on new projects or visiting our existing properties.
Each property and their individual teams bring something unique to the table and I'm fortunate to spend time with
these incredibly talented and creative people.
What are the most challenging issues you face?
It seems in 2019 we will have a fair amount of economic uncertainty to deal with around the world. We work with
hotel teams to be proactive in developing plans to protect our business while not affecting the guest experience.
Opening hotels is always a real journey that involves immense work and commitment from the teams on the ground, and
we aim to support them every step of the way. Madrid and Athens are two iconic properties coming to market in 2019.
What does Four Seasons have to do to stay one step ahead of its competition?
As a brand, I feel that we have always led the market, not followed it. We remain one of the leading luxury brands
in the industry because of our unmatched level of service. When it comes to opening a new hotel, every detail is
carefully considered, reviewed, tested, discussed, and we are continually on the lookout for the best locations and
destinations. Sometimes we have to wait patiently for years until we find a location that aligns with our vision. It is
about striking the balance in our expansion into exciting new destinations and also ensuring our existing hotels are
providing our guests with experiences that keep them coming back.
Continued on p. 42 〉〉〉

Fall 2019

41



NEWH - Fall 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2019

NEWH - Fall 2019
Table of contents
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
STUDENT PERSPECTIVE
WHO’S WHO
NEWS
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
Q&A: Shana McCullough-Downing
Q&A: Jordan McInturf
Q&A: Debbie McKelvey
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: Lido House
PROJECT: Bluebird London
PROJECT: Miramonti
PROJECT: Legal Sea Bar
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
PARTNER PROFILES
AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2019 - NEWH - Fall 2019
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Cover2
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Table of contents
NEWH - Fall 2019 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 5
NEWH - Fall 2019 - STUDENT PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 7
NEWH - Fall 2019 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 9
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 10
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 11
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 12
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 13
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 14
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 15
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 16
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 17
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 18
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 19
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 20
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 21
NEWH - Fall 2019 - NEWS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 23
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 24
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 25
NEWH - Fall 2019 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 27
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 28
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 29
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 30
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 31
NEWH - Fall 2019 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 33
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 34
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 35
NEWH - Fall 2019 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 37
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 38
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 39
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 40
NEWH - Fall 2019 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 42
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 43
NEWH - Fall 2019 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 45
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Q&A: Shana McCullough-Downing
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 47
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Q&A: Jordan McInturf
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 49
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Q&A: Debbie McKelvey
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 51
NEWH - Fall 2019 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 53
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 54
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 55
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Lido House
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 57
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 58
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 59
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 60
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 61
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Bluebird London
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 63
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 64
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 65
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 66
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 67
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Miramonti
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 69
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 70
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 71
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 72
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 73
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PROJECT: Legal Sea Bar
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 75
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 76
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 77
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 78
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 79
NEWH - Fall 2019 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 81
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 82
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 83
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 84
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 85
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 86
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 87
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 88
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 89
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 90
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 91
NEWH - Fall 2019 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 93
NEWH - Fall 2019 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 95
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 96
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 97
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 98
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 99
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 100
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 101
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 102
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 103
NEWH - Fall 2019 - PARTNER PROFILES
NEWH - Fall 2019 - 105
NEWH - Fall 2019 - AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Cover3
NEWH - Fall 2019 - Cover4
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