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Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

  • Central Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, P.O. Box 14321, Arusha, Tanzania
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Marisa Fernandes

Resort Manager
“Hospitality is so much more than the provision of service; it is the daily opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and share in experiences that you may treasure for a lifetime.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2021
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Current

Employment History

  • Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam; Six Senses Bhutan; Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam; Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal; Escola de Hotelaria de Lamego; Aquapura Douro Valley Hotel, Portugal; Hellidon Lakes Hotel, England; Vidago Palace, Portugal.

Education

  • Universidade Lusiada, Porto, Portugal

Birthplace

  • Lamego, Portugal

Languages Spoken

  • Portuguese and English

Marisa Fernandes grew up with a dream to travel the world. With her mind set on global adventures via the embassies or in an international organisation, she completed her studies in International Relations and Communications Law, yet saw her path naturally diverted by an opportune internship at a hotel in her local town. “Starting in hospitality was like someone flicking a switch for me; I knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Each day presented new opportunities to connect with different people, almost all of whom wished to share their experiences, cultures and beliefs with me, which made every day more rewarding, but also offered so much enrichment to me in my own personal development.”

With her hospitality passion ignited, Marisa soon worked her way up to front office manager at Vidago Palace in her home country of Portugal, before spending two years in the UK as reservations manager. “Travel is such a beautiful extension of hospitality. In a hotel, guests are always coming and going and with that comes a never-ending wave of energy and a chance to relish the human connections that are made – there are many guests that I have gotten to know over the years who now travel to see me in my new locations. I believe that the Serengeti may hold an extra strong appeal for many!”

Returning to Portugal in 2007, Marisa continued to build her career at increasingly senior operational positions, while further complementing her knowledge and expertise through studies in tourism and hospitality management. Her naturally engaging manner and desire to support and develop others saw her continuing on at the Tourism and Hospitality Management School as a part-time lecturer, around her operational roles, which is a skillset that has only served to support her leadership. “As a hospitality leader, your success is not defined by you, it is defined by your team and therefore knowing how to develop them to the best of their potential is one of the most important skills you could have. And, just as importantly, one of the most rewarding.”

While working at the Aquapura Douro Valley Hotel in Portugal, the property was taken over by Six Senses, which allowed Marisa an international stepping stone to Asia, where she worked in Bhutan and Vietnam in the roles of resort and general manager. “I feel so privileged to have been able to work in such beautiful locations in the world, which is never more true than where I find myself right now in Serengeti. Yet despite the raw beauty of the surroundings, for me, it is the human touch that elevates the experience to the next level. I look forward to the many moments to be shared with our guests as they experience the magic of the wilderness with us here in Tanzania.”