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Stephane Vogal was recently hired as general manager of Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town Alexandria, Va.
1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role as general manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town Alexandria?
The Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa is stunning and very special to me personally. I was on the team that opened the hotel; it was my first experience watching a Kimpton hotel come to life. It’s incredible to now be at the helm of the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa as it’s established and firing on all cylinders when I can very clearly remember the first day we had guest checked in. I’ve always thought that Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is a magical town. I love the history that surrounds us on a daily basis, and the support from the tightknit community here is unbeatable.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
I’ve worked in many different hotels, big and small throughout the past 17 years. The incredible experiences I gained managing different Kimpton properties has taught me a lot. What’s so nice about working within the Kimpton brand is each hotel identity is individual, but the end goal of delivering outstanding customer experiences again and again is the same. This goal will certainly stay true for the Lorien.
3. How did you get into the industry?
From a very young age I was fascinated with hotels, but there is one true experience that solidified this career path for me. As a child, I had the privilege to travel during Christmas vacations with my entire family to the Hotel Schatzalp in Davos, Switzerland. Davos is an incredible destination, but it’s the service at Hotel Schatzlap that I was fascinated with. Little things the hotel staff would do for the kids such as remembering our favorite drink or bringing our favorite side dish—always French fries—without anyone asking. I wondered for a long time how they could remember all these small details year after year. My mind was set even before I started high school that I wanted to be part of delivering these amazing moments to people.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I want to make sure Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa is consistently the premier choice for travelers in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, staying current to travelers’ wants and needs and consistently delivering exceptional service.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
There’s so much I enjoy, but if it came down to one word I would say, diversity. The privilege of working alongside such a diverse group of people day after day who come together and take incredible care of our guests is remarkable. I try not to take a single day or experience for granted.