Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2001
- First Four Seasons Position: Assistant Manager Guest Services, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
- Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel; Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia; Four Seasons Hotel New York; Four Seasons Hotel Sydney; Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; Tourist Office Sölden
- Vienna, Austria
- Business School, Handelsschule Telfs, Austria
- English, German
After the past few years of catering to clients on island beaches and sunny California, Konrad Gstrein is excited to be in the place where Four Seasons began: Toronto, Canada. “I count myself very fortunate to be here,” says Gstrein of his appointment as General Manager to the brand’s global flagship hotel. “The city has an intensity I like, and the Hotel is a gathering place for people from all over the world. It’s like a living legend: everyone knows it and wants to experience the legendary service.”
What guests of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto expect most are the luxuries of convenience and consistency. “Four Seasons is so deeply woven into the fabric of this community, it is simply our goal to create lifelong memories and to exceed their expectations,” says Gstrein.
Key to that, he continues, is listening to guest feedback, applying the critiques to service standards, and using them to stay ahead of trends. While seemingly basic elements of the Hotel’s guest experience, such as speedy in-room internet service or multiple charging stations, may seem basic in the scheme of things, assuring their availability – in every room, every time – goes a long way with Four Seasons clientele. “More than anything, my goal is for our guests to feel at home whether travelling for business or leisure.”
The youngest of seven children, Gstrein grew up on a farm in a village near Sölden, a major Austrian skiing destination. Career options were tight: “It was either construction or tourism.” With his love of travel and desire to experience other cultures, Gstrein focused on the latter, opening a local tourist information office fresh out of school and eventually working at sales. “It was probably the perfect job for me,” he recalls. “I was 25, with a nice car and an apartment, but I always had the desire to travel the world and work in the US.”
That’s when he spotted a magazine article about successful Austrians living aboard, including Thomas Steinhauer, now Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons in Orlando. After reaching out to the publication for contact details, Gstrein was able to arrange an interview with Steinhauer, who hired him as a Rooms Manager in Training at the company’s Maui resort. It was the first of three times Gstrein was hired by Steinhauer through his Four Seasons career, which has taken him from Hawaii to Australia to New York to Philadelphia to Los Angeles and now, at last, to Toronto.
“The nice thing about hotel work is that even as you move around and leave friends behind, you stay connected,” he says. “I really believe it’s a small world. It’s incredible to look back at the assistant managers I started with in Maui and see how far they’ve come.”