“Customers may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel”.
Sometimes dreams do come true and Savino Leone is living proof. He started his career as a chef in a small kitchen and went on to become General Manager at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa. He puts his success down to his ‘never say no’ attitude, along with energy, passion and enthusiasm.
‘I was born into a humble family,’ he says. ‘My father was an artisan who taught me valuable lessons about respect, trust and great virtues such as simplicity and hard work.’
When asked about the importance of family support he simply says, ‘My beautiful wife.’
His real-life hero is his father and his favourite thing to do is to spend time with his daughters. ‘I had a happy childhood and have many beautiful memories, and friends that helped me create a successful path in my career.’
Savino has worked in many different countries. He particularly remembers his experience in Asmara; not only the beauty of the people but also his father’s sickness. ‘Despite him being very ill, he kept on living life normally, performing his daily routine and eating healthily. This experience taught me that there is always hope in life.’
As well as opening a hotel in the war torn country of Eritrea, he has held senior management positions in InterContinental properties in Doha, Cairo, London and Dubai. He was also General Manager of InterContinental Osaka, in Japan and Crowne Plaza Doha.
Speaking of his current role as General Manager at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, he says, ‘This is one of the most beautiful properties I have managed so far. I feel very lucky to meet guests from different backgrounds and cultures, to learn the traditions and talk to locals; they have shown me how life in Kuwait can be easy and very sociable. This drives me to come to work every day, to find ways to improve and do better on each occasion and to love it even more.’
‘Hospitality is a fascinating industry,’ says Savino. ‘You need to be committed. You either have it or you don’t. Every day is a new opportunity to make a difference to a guest or a colleague; to take a new challenge and to fix a new objective. What makes it truly fascinating is the people you work with.’
Savino believes that success is a combination of four key criteria:
- Creating the right environment
- Delivering the quality
- Achieving financial targets
- Supporting the community
He gives thanks to the many talented people he has met throughout his career; professional leaders that refined his personality and leadership skills. His desire to return what those people gave to him by delivering a unique, high quality experience is what drives him to be a hard-working, humble hotelier. He is also a strong believer in the well known quote: “Customers may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
‘I also believe in people who have a positive attitude and spread happiness around them,’ he says.
Savino is proud to be selected as one of CP Magazine’s Inspiring Men for 2018. ‘After twenty-three years working in several countries in five different continents and experiencing difficult situations from political unrest to economic instability, receiving this prize is a recognition for all the people who have inspired me and guided me along the way.’