Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City
- Paseo de la Reforma #500, Colonia Juarez, Mexico City, 06600, Mexico
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1995
- First Four Seasons Position: Rooms Manager in Training, Four Seasons Hotel New York
- Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires; Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa; Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; Four Seasons Hotel Miami; Four Seasons Resort Carmelo, Uruguay; Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires; Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Four Seasons Hotel New York; Quail Lodge & Golf Club, Carmel Valley, California
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, Cornell University
- English, Spanish
“I think the main thing is it’s so comfortable,” says Tulio Hochkoeppler of the standout attraction for guests – and himself – at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City. Noting the welcoming lobby adorned with fireplaces and a patisserie, and the tranquil garden courtyard busy with shading plants, a burbling fountain and seating along a colonnade, he goes on before landing on the right word. “It really feels like…home. You don’t often get that from a hotel of such size – certainly not here in Mexico City.”
To Hochkoeppler, the homey feeling he oversees as General Manager goes beyond the Hotel’s architecture and décor to the team delivering service with “heart, passion and care.” Four Seasons standards – check-ins within four minutes, for instance – “are a given,” he says. “But it’s more than that. It’s about delivering in a way that connects. Our people go out of their way to make our guests feel like they’re at home. My job is to empower the team to go further – above and beyond.”
With a team of around 320, Hochkoeppler believes strongly that each member plays a role in ensuring success. To that end, he endeavours to stay approachable, listening and coaching by turns, and providing feedback to move people forward. “Employees need confidence to do something like grab a cookie from the front desk to brighten a child’s day. I want to get everyone to a place to think about how they would like to be treated and act accordingly.”
That’s the Golden Rule, yes? “Yes. It’s so basic: If you act on it, 99% of the time you’ll be correct. That can be a fun challenge, especially for someone learning their way.”
Hochkoeppler is also intent upon creating new offerings, such as new mixology experiences at Fifty Mils, hailed as one of the best cocktail lounges in the city, and new wellness experiences right for the times and clientele at The Wellness House spa. The Hotel also took over management of its fine dining restaurant Il Becco shortly before he arrived, offering additional opportunities for him to innovate on food & beverage.
Hochkoeppler has been immersed in hospitality all his life. Born in southern California, he travelled the world with his father, who worked for an international hotel group. He loved math in school and thought about becoming an engineer like his older brothers, but a summer gig bussing tables at a five-star country club in Carmel Valley, California, changed everything. “I loved it – long hours and all.” By his senior year, he was hooked.
After going on to complete the hospitality management program at Cornell University, Hochkoeppler applied to various hotel companies before a recruiter friend of his father’s recommended Four Seasons. “He thought it was a great company for me to learn and develop skills for a career, and that if it didn’t work out I could always go elsewhere. It was good to have someone help me sift through the options.”
So, fresh out of college, Hochkoeppler started as a management trainee at Four Seasons Hotel New York. Despite his background in F&B, the Hotel put him in the rooms division. “It happened by chance, but looking back it was a good stroke of luck as it gave me a good balance of experience,” he remembers.
Hochkoeppler ended up taking that balance all over, starting as Director of Rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires during the property’s reflagging in 2002, and following shortly thereafter by getting engaged to a fellow Cornell grad amid the twinkling lights of the city’s La Recoleta district. He worked in the States and South America before taking his first and second turns as a General Manager in Maldives, where he also had oversight of the operational logistics side of the luxury yacht Four Seasons Explorer.
Finally, in 2014 he returned to Buenos Aires as General Manager, staying for seven years before moving on to Mexico City in 2021.
An inveterate traveller and “proud daddy” of a daughter heading into her teens, Hochkoeppler likes nothing better than exploring the city on long walks with his dogs – “they’re two rescue mutts” – and discovering new restaurants with his wife, continuing a tradition they set venturing into “every nook and cranny of Argentina” when he was stationed there.
Wherever he is, the most important thing for Hochkoeppler is to enjoy himself on the job and encourage others to do the same. “I swear, when I look back on my career, I can’t believe I’ve been paid to do this for 25 years and counting,” he says. “I’ve lived all over the world, and I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life.”