Gabriel Baldez's story
I love being able to meet people from other countries, it is like travelling without moving. The variety is exciting for someone who likes to communicate and embrace different cultures, this is the best part of the job – and making guests feel welcome.
Hospitality is different from other industries. When I was living in a small country town in Portugal, the only job available was in a call centre and you don’t have a connection there; that is what I was missing. It’s so good to hear people say how pleased they are to be here and to help them when they are asking about London.
Accor values the diversity of employees and makes the best of them: we have a board showing everyone’s images and the country they are from. I have worked in companies where they were more conservative. At Accor, you are encouraged to be yourself and to take advantage of your best characteristics; Accor can see your strengths so you can develop and grow. You are not just a number.
In my hotel, I feel part of a family, it’s a good environment; people are happy to be at Accor because it is different, that is the company culture – the atmosphere is always positive. I have just returned from my holiday and everyone asked me how it was; the connection with the team is genuine.
I have lived in Brazil, Portugal and the UK, I have met people from many nations and cultures, and held a variety of roles. I take useful things I have learnt and apply that to motivating the team. People from a number of backgrounds always add something to the workplace because they have a different perspective, and that way you are inclusive because you can open your arms to lots of cultures.
Heartist means to do everything with love and passion, not just with guests but the team as well. We don’t just treat clients well because they are spending money here and we treat colleagues well because they are part of our daily life. We embrace everyone no matter where they are from.
For someone looking for their first job, there are so many things you can do in hospitality; you can work in a restaurant, or if you like greeting people and talking to them, you could be a concièrge. Hospitality has a place for every talent and will develop your skills, regardless of your background. You are making people feel welcome wherever you are and whatever you do touches on that.
My proudest moment was when I became a reservations manager. I kept asking myself, when will it happen? And then I felt I wasn’t ready, but when it came through it felt like a movie of everything I had been through in my career and it was a recognition that I’m on the right track in hospitality. And taking a new step allows me to tell my colleagues, you can do it!
- Gabriel Baldez
- Reservations Manager
- ibis London City (United Kingdom)