Valencia Albuquerque

Director of Residences
“We keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to enhance our residents’ time with us.”


Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2007
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Concierge Agent, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island; Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai


  • First Class, Hospitality Management and Hotel Administration, Institute of Hotel Management Goa; Accredited Residential Manager by IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management)


  • Mumbai, India

Languages Spoken

  • English, some Italian and French

“We create a script rather than follow a script,” says Valencia Albuquerque, succinctly summing up her experience-shaping role as Director of Residences at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. Every day is different for the team she oversees at the resort-style Residence along the water in the heart of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s capital city, because every resident has their own schedule and needs. “We’re not just attending to people, we’re managing their asset,” she continues. “The bond and trust that our team has with residents must be very real and strong.”

Cementing that bond and trust is a constant focus for Albuquerque. Residential staff are a breed apart on the Four Seasons scene around the globe, operating almost as an extension of the families whose lives they are dedicated to enriching. The goal, she says, is for residents to be treated as partners who have bought into the brand rather than as guests who are just visiting for a stay.

“We keep our eyes and ears out for opportunities to gild our residents’ time with us,” she explains, noting that any news, from a birthday or engagement or even a child bringing home a good report card offers a chance to make the moment memorable or considerate through attentive service, unexpected amenities or heartfelt messaging. As relationships with clients develop, team members often find themselves welcomed as family by residents. “We don’t just drop off a birthday cake and leave; we’re invited to stay and join the celebration, because we grow so close. The care we give goes both ways.”

That care extends to the neighbouring Four Seasons Hotel, where residents enjoy access to all public areas including pools, the beachfront, fitness centre, restaurants, spa and wellness, and more. Albuquerque works closely with the Hotel team to ensure that her residents “feel the red carpet rolled out for them when they visit and enjoy the highest level of recognition when they’re on property.”   

The Residential Operations team at Bahrain Bay numbers around 25. Albuquerque takes a developmental approach to management, emphasizing constant training as well as cross training to ensure that anyone can step up to take on the role of another if and as necessary, while also paving a path for their growth and advancement. She goes to great lengths to show others that she’s “right in there with them,” happy to park cars, do bell shifts, help the Concierge – whatever it takes. “It’s inspiring for them to see me jump in. There’s no, ‘it’s not my job’ here.”

Named for her father’s favourite football team and with a surname that dates back to the Portuguese colonization of the state of Goa in India, Albuquerque grew up in Mumbai where she developed a keen interest in geology. After starting college studying the field, she later took inspiration from several family members to earn a degree in hospitality management and administration.

On recruitment day at school, she got five firm offers from various hotel groups, including a coveted slot as a management trainee. Four Seasons, meanwhile, only offered her an internship – but she went with the company nonetheless. “They made me feel welcome throughout the interview process as though they really valued me as a person rather than for my skills.” Though her family encouraged her to accept a permanent position, Four Seasons just felt right. “It still does.”

The Residence on the edge of Bahrain Bay is the third opening in as many postings for Albuquerque. She started on the pre-opening team in Mumbai as one of the first female and one of just a couple dozen Les Clefs d‘Or-ranked concierges in India. She went on to become Front Desk Manager for the opening in Abu Dhabi, and now leads as Director of Residences in Bahrain. “It has been interesting seeing properties take shape from different angles,” she says. “Here we’re taking the vision of the owners and Four Seasons and making it an operational reality.”

All residences are unique in their own ways, she continues, just as their residents are. “We spend a lot of time with a lot of people brainstorming to find the right ways to bring everything together and cater to our residents every day.”

Meanwhile, Albuquerque has never shaken “the concierge bug” that she caught in her early days with Four Seasons. “I still love to go out and explore dining options, local markets and other sites on my own time to find off-beat things for our residents.” She knows the country inside and out and is gaining knowledge of the region around it as well. “As long as I can be creative, I’ll never grow tired of doing something new.”