Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou
- 5 Zhujiang West Road, Pearl River New City, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, 510623, China
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1986
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Superintendent of Services, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, A Four Seasons Hotel
- Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh; Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC; Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas; Essex House Hotel, New York; Hotel Nikko Atlanta; The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, A Four Seasons Hotel; O'Hare Plaza Hotel; Los Angeles Plaza Hotel
- Tehran, Iran
- Bachelor of Science, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University
- English, Farsi, French
Bahram Sepahi is in the right place at the right time for Four Seasons - again. Named Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou, he occupies the key position of overseeing one of the hotel group's most distinctive new properties. "The key to performance for Guangzhou is the same as other destinations in China: focus on the Chinese domestic market," he says. "In-country travellers are the most rapidly growing segment for us in China. To gain their loyalty we have to be focused on their preferences."
The Guangzhou property certainly will do just that. Set atop an iconic development in the city's new central business district, the Hotel's extensive dining and entertainment operation caters to local tastes as well as those of international travellers. Restaurant choices include Cantonese, Italian, and Japanese, plus a signature seafood restaurant located on the 100th floor. Contemporary, Asian-inspired design matches the breathtaking location, including a light-filled 30-storey atrium rising from the 70th floor lobby. Extensive conference space will attract domestic as well as international clients, who will appreciate the flexibility provided by the Hotel's three ballrooms.
The Guangzhou hotel will be Four Seasons next addition to the China portfolio, joined by two more hotels in 2012 and an additional seven by late 2014. Sepahi has previously been part of a similar expansion: in 2002, he was opening General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and later rose to Regional Vice President. "Everyone expected international guests in the Middle East, but it was in-country and regional travellers who filled our hotels." Similarly, the seemingly insurmountable challenge of delivering Four Seasons style service proved a breeze thanks to the dedication of the staff - the vast majority of whom were from the region. "International service standards are evolving at a rapid pace in southern China, but they haven't fully matured yet," says Sepahi. "That just makes being here all the more interesting."
The China expansion spells opportunity around the world as affluent Chinese with a taste for Four Seasons hospitality spread their wings. "We can't be blind to their needs thousands of miles away," says Sepahi, noting that hotels will have to go beyond familiar cuisine into training staff in Chinese travel customs and having a strong in management who speaks their language.
With so much on his plate, Sepahi reserves available free time for his family of six, plus cooking and drinking wine with a regular circle of friends. Yet new experiences won't take long. "General managers see it all," he says with a boisterous laugh. "I have a thousand stories and many of them have an element I will probably keep to myself."