Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

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President Hotel Operations, Asia Pacific

Chris Hart

“I have the best job in the company. The rapid change, sophistication and advancement in this part of the world is intoxicating. I couldn’t be happier.”

You might not expect the guy who turned down a job with Four Seasons early in his career to hold the post of President Hotel Operations, Asia Pacific – the fastest growing region in the company, but there’s a lot about Chris that defies expectation. “I didn’t know anything about the company at the time and I said no thanks. It’s still something I joke with my colleagues about.”

Chris’ expected move upon graduation was to join the iconic Ritz Hotel in Paris, but as a Canadian growing up in England, Canada beckoned and after four years with CN Hotels (now Fairmont) he joined Four Seasons in Edmonton, Alberta, at the age of 26. Chris came to Four Seasons with a healthy resume, having already worked for some of the most prominent hotels in the world. “People thought I was crazy for giving up the established London hotel scene for this small Canadian company on the move, but the more I got to know Four Seasons people, the more I liked them, I liked what they were doing and I liked how it felt.”

 

Today Chris says a big part of his job is to ensure the employees at the hotels and resorts in his region get that same feeling. He is responsible for providing strategic leadership to existing hotels and oversight of the development of new ones. He admits it’s a challenging job in a region covering such diversity of geography and culture. “One has to be more thoughtful than ever operating in all those countries, to try to get it right, to be successful for employees, owners and guests.”

  • Career Highlights

    • At Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: Joined in 1984 as Front Office Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Edmonton, Alberta; held various positions in Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC; promoted to General Manager at Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore, Santa Barbara, a position he also held in Palm Beach; promoted to General Manager and Regional Vice President in Scottsdale, a position he also held in Toronto. In 2008 Chris was promoted to Senior Vice President Operations, Asia Pacific; he has held his current position as President for the region since August 2011
    • Previously: Began his hotel career in London, England, at the Savoy Hotel Group, including Claridges and The Berkeley. Moved on to CN hotels in Canada at the Hotel Beausejour in Moncton, New Brunswick and Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta
    • Education: Westminster Hotel School, London, England
  • Personal Insights

    • Married: 25 years +, his wife Christine goes by Chris too!
    • Home Base: Singapore and Toronto
    • Place he calls home: “I haven’t lived anywhere longer than four to five years, so home is where I currently am. I do consider Toronto my base though. I was born in Canada, my wife Chris, is Canadian. My children went through high school in Toronto and are now at University in Montreal”
    • The thing he does to stay sane: Running and Cycling. “I am doing a half marathon later this year and I try to do a 30km ride around town two mornings during the week and a 70km ride on the weekends. With the schedule I keep, it’s important to be active”
    • Time spent on the road: “I try not to keep track, but it’s about 50-60 percent of the time”
    • How he got into the hotel business: It was in his blood. “My dad was in the pharmaceutical business, but he grew up in the Windsor Hotel in Ottawa that his father owned”
    • First job: “I was a room service waiter at the Waldorf Hotel in London one summer. I was 16 and had to take the train into the city at 5:00 a.m.”
    • Best job: Current

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