Interview with Alvaro Rey, Area General Manager of InterContinental in London

Alvaro began his career at InterContinental Medellin in his native country of Colombia in 1984 and has remained with the company ever since. During this time he has held prestigious positions across North and South America, Middle East, Australia and Europe.

Alvaro Rey

What is it that you do exactly?

I have been General Manager of the flagship InterContinental London Park Lane since 2009 and in December 2013 I took on the newly developed Area General Manager position. The role was created to further develop the InterContinental brand in the capital.

InterContinental London Park Lane is very successful and continues to grow even in an increasingly competitive market. The hotel’s popularity is due to our commitment to first-class rooms, service, amenities, experiences and we are always investing. In the past year we have unveiled a newly designed Royal Suite and By Appointment Collection (one of London’s largest offerings), 122 new refurbished London category rooms and a refreshed Club Lounge. Our location at the prestigious No. 1 Park Lane, overlooking the Royal Parks, is also a great draw for our guests.

In addition to overseeing the success of InterContinental London Park Lane, I also advise on InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand programmes and use my experience with the company to help with new openings across the portfolio.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

The people… travel is a huge perk of my role and I never tire of seeing new places or eating in new restaurants. However, the best part of what I do is the people I work with. We work hard to retain a team of dedicated and professional associates who are really committed to going the extra mile for our guests. It is a pleasure to see this every day.

What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?

InterContinental London Park Lane is one of course! The views are unbeatable and our No. 1 Park Lane address makes our location one of the most sought after in London. However, my family farm in Colombia where my horses live is one of my other top destinations. This is really where I relax and get away from it all. I love hotels, but sometimes I just like to get back to nature and be among the horses, cows, rivers and the mountains. Aside from that I really like finding new places each time I travel.

What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?

When I am at home, it is Harry Sasson’s Club Colombia. Chef Sasson has a really modern approach to Colombian cuisine that still manages to be authentic. When I am in London, it is Theo Randall at the InterContinental, which was just voted the top Italian restaurant in the United Kingdom. I love the simplicity of Chef Randall’s cooking and the beautiful flavours.

I get to eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world, but when I am traveling I also like to find a very simple and authentic place that is only known to the locals. I always ask the concierge and taxi drivers for the best tip.

Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?

I have been fortune to meet some of the world’s most inspirational figures and many of my movie heroes. However, discretion is key so we can never discuss the stories!

Thank you for taking part in our interview, Alvaro.

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