Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2014
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Resort Manager at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
- Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita; Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE; Banyan Tree Langco, Vietnam; Banyan Tree Seychelles; Banyan Tree Angsana, Maldives
- Castries, St. Lucia. West Indies
- Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management, Hotel School The Hague; Masters RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam
- Dutch, English, German (fair) French (fair)
Often people say that they knew they wanted to be in the hospitality industry from a young age, but not many can say that they knew this before the age of five. Marcel Oostenbrink’s childhood was spent roaming around the Caribbean resorts managed by his father until the age of ten, by which time the seed of how to spend his adult life was firmly planted.
Growing up alongside his two brothers, you may think that all three Oostenbrink children would have turned into hoteliers, but the General Manager of the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Seychelles laughs as he recounts the many stories that may have driven his brothers away from hospitality and into the corporate world. “You know, you’ve really got to love what you do to be in this business and as much as my father tried to deter me, the lure and adventure of hotel life was just too great.”
From his early years, he recounts stories of wild adventures and unpredictable weather that caused operational challenges for his father’s resort, yet only served to create unforgettable memories for the young hotelier-in-waiting. One memory particularly stands out: when a hurricane hit the islands and caused such severe flooding that the resort’s swimming pool was filled with not just seawater and sand, but also a new supply of lobster and fish. “I will always remember the chaos, but looking back I find it amazing how people just got on with it. We even barbecued the fish and lobster fished from the pool for the guests that night!”
Oostenbrink began his professional pursuit of hospitality at Hotel School The Hague before embarking on his career in his family's home country of the Netherlands as a food and beverage supervisor in Amsterdam. Switching from the tropics of the Caribbean, it took time for Oostenbrink to adapt to the cold seasons of Europe and perhaps it was his desire for warmer climes, coupled with a passion for travel, that sparked his international adventures. Career postings took him to the Maldives, Seychelles, Vietnam and the UAE before joining Four Seasons in 2014, where he took up the role of Resort Manager at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh.
It seems, however, that he would not stay away from the Indian Ocean for too long, with the start of 2016 seeing him complete a four month task force placement as Resort Manager at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, before the return to the region became permanent with the chance to join the diverse team at Petite Anse as Resort Manager.
So, now that he is back to Seychelles, what does he foresee as the biggest challenges? "These days, guests expect more than perfection, meaning that we really have to rise to the occasion.” Yet this challenge serves only to inspire Oostenbrink, who is sure that through the team’s creativity and passion the Resort will continue to develop new ways to surprise guests.
And aside from this being an exciting career move, a return to Seychelles represents a return to the place where he married his wife, Eva. Returning to the often called "Garden of Eden," Oostenbrink is excited to now share the destination with his twin boys, Benjamin and Tobias, who will follow in their father’s footsteps of growing up on a remote island resort. “These palm fringed beaches and crystal clear waters are not just picture postcard perfect for me anymore, they evoke a lot of emotion when I think about this place as being where I started my married life and now how lucky I am to continue it here with our children, working at the best resort on the island.”