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Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, Egypt

  • 399 El Geish Road, Alexandria, Egypt

Nihat Yucel

General Manager
“My uniform changes with the seasons: suit and tie for one, sport coat and a shirt for the other. Things essentially go from black to white and then back again.”


Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 1999
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Restaurant and Bar Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Resort Seychelles; Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus; Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet


  • Masters Degree, Tourism, Istanbul University; Post Graduate Degree, Food & Beverage, Florida International University, Miami


  • Istanbul, Turkey

Languages Spoken

  • Turkish, English

With its private beach, nearly a dozen dining outlets, a wellness experience inspired by local culture, and a wealth of settings and services for gatherings of all stripes, Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano truly has something for every type of traveller. Making sure guests get the experiences they are after keeps General Manager Nihat Yucel on his toes. “This is an oasis in busy city for people to feel welcome and relaxed,” he says of the address he oversees at the heart of the Egyptian Mediterranean. “Whatever brings them here, my job is to ensure the memories they make bring them back.”

Key to the property’s appeal is its dual personality as a city hotel and urban resort, the result of a renovation completed not long before Yucel arrived in 2021. During the week and winter, the Hotel primarily caters to business travellers, while on weekends and in summer it’s leisure travellers and families. “My uniform changes with the seasons: suit and tie for one, sport coat and a shirt for the other,” he says, laughing. “Things essentially go from black to white and then back again.”

Yucel and the team do the same as well, with click-heeled service for the international business set, and a relaxed rhythm to create a soothing ambiance for vacationers. A vast majority of the Hotel’s clientele is from Cairo, the bustling, yet crowded capital along the Nile River. “They’re literally here to stretch out and enjoy,” he says.

With his background in food and beverage, Yucel sees the Hotel’s array of dining options as key to that. One of his first moves as GM was to open family-friendly Kala Restaurant for dinner, the better for guests to be able to sink their palates into remarkable seafood from the Mediterranean. “We also have Byblos serving Lebanese and Syrian overlooking the sea. Once a businessman from Cairo showed me a text from a friend telling him Byblos was the best in the city: ‘The only choice you have is Four Seasons.’ I loved it.”

As a manager, Yucel strives to not manage. His goal, instead, is to lead and inspire people to think on their own. “That means giving them room to make mistakes and learn from them – just like I did on my way up.” The key to making guests happy, “is to make sure our employees are happy.”

Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, Yucel studied engineering in college, but knew before the end of his internship at a factory that it was not what he wanted to do in life. “I’ve always been a people person, so I was drawn to hospitality,” he remembers, adding that his father wasn't thrilled, having dreamed that his son would follow him as an engineer. “But he supported me financially and emotionally.”

Yucel went on to earn a Master’s degree in hospitality while working at a hotel in his hometown, and then relocated to Florida for post-graduate study in his growing passion. “Food and beverage has been endlessly fascinating: You realize, every dish has a story.”

Degree secured, Yucel returned home and landed a post in food and beverage at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet. Then in 2007, the company opened a spot along the Bosphorus Strait that links Europe to Asia, and he became Food and Beverage Director on the pre-opening team. Three years later, he switched to Director of Rooms. The new challenges led to growth, and in 2012 he was promoted to Hotel Manager overseeing both departments and a whole lot more.

Yucel later became Resort Manager in Seychelles and then returned to Istanbul for another go as Hotel Manager, his last stop before Alexandria. “The difference in being GM is you make decisions on your own,” he says, noting the importance of building strong relationships with ownership, corporate, and the Hotel team. “Just like your family, they’ll be there when you need them.”

Now right at home in the city founded by Alexander the Great, Yucel likes to hit the gym daily and putter in the kitchen. “My wife never cooks on weekends.” He also travels to experience different cultures as he can. He had visited three-dozen countries by the time he arrived in Alexandria. “My goal is to make it to 50, hopefully in the next year or two.”