Lara Dröge's Story
My mother used to work as front office manager at the Dorint Hotel in Krefeld, now a Mercure, and when I was nine, she took me with her at the weekend and before or after school. That’s how I got into hospitality – even at that age I enjoyed being in a hotel! I used to hang out in the back office and do my homework, and if I had time, I would help in F&B or polish silverware. Mercure is an Accor brand and it’s really nice to go back to those roots.
I left school at 10th grade. After that, I went to China and America as an au pair, and then I started my apprenticeship in hospitality. After graduating from school, I already wanted to work in hospitality but I had only just turned 16 and no hotel would have taken me because the rules in Germany about teenagers working long hours are very strict.
My apprenticeship at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf was lovely and I learned a lot. I still love the hotel; it’s always special to go back there. I was into F&B when I entered my apprenticeship, it was more interesting and I got along very well with our F&B Manager.
I won a best apprentice award when I was in Düsseldorf and AICR [the International Association for Deputy Managers and Front Office Managers of Luxury Hotels] awarded me Best Receptionist in Germany in 2020/21 and then I was 2nd Runner up in the international final for the World’s Best Receptionist 2020/21.
I think guests can tell that I am passionate about what I do. I have a lot of empathy and I do care about what my guests are up to. Also, my colleagues put a lot into it – because teamwork makes the dream work!
I have been at the Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg since November 2019. I have fluent English and German, and basic Chinese, and I would definitely like to work abroad but I don’t know where – I don’t have a goal because, especially since Covid, it’s hard to plan; you never know what is going to happen, so I’m open to everything.
Hospitality is such a wonderful industry, so do everything you do from your heart. It’s beautiful to create memories and experiences for guests, and it’s crazy that it is our job to do something so inspiring!
And to come into the industry, if you like working with people and you are keen to help others, there are so many opportunities every day to create something special. It’s such an international industry, you get to know and make friends with so many people from around the world.
- Lara Dröge
- Front Desk Manager
- Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg (Germany)