Xpat Interview: Philippe Godard, Former General Manager, Sofitel Budapest

  • 16 May 2013 12:00 PM
Xpat Interview: Philippe  Godard, Former General Manager, Sofitel Budapest
The leading of the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge will be in the new and sophisticated hands of Philippe Godard, the new General Manager of the luxury hotel Philippe Godard has 20 years of international experience in Hospitality.

His grandparents owned a restaurant and he had always in mind to do a job like that. Godard started his career with Air France in 1993 in the airline’s catering branch. In 1995, he joined the Lucien Barrière Group where he steadily climbed the ranks to the position of Resident Manager. In 2000 when he gained enough experience in the luxury hotel industry and in the airline as well, he joined to the Accor Group and became the Resident Manager of the rightly famous Pré Catelan in Paris in the same year.

Four years later Philippe Godard became the General Manager of the Sofitel and Novotel hotels in Bora Bora where he spent 3 successful years. After this period he took the General Manager position of the Sofitel Cebu Real in the Philippines before being appointed in 2008 to the position of Area General Manager Sofitel Vietnam and from where he arrives to our country to be the head of the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge where he is in charge of the everyday action of the luxury hotel and the maximal satisfaction of the guests. He is not only responsible for Sofitel Budapest but also for Poland; Turkmenistan & Ukraine.

„Working abroad is a passion. I like discovering cultures and people. In all experiences, the main challenge is to adjust yourself to the pace you are living. I really enjoy Budapest and the Hungarian way of living.” – he says. „It is my first time in Budapest. I am already impressed by the elegance of the city, with a good balance between history and modernity. The Chain Bridge – a serenity when you take time to observe.”

Mr. Godard thinks that the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge is an excellent hotel: Life is Magnifique. Our brand motto, is something that I always keep in mind. Everything can bring you joy and happiness. I pay attention to all details of life.” – these few sentences represent his life philosophy. He believes that the key to the successful hotel management is to listen, to observe and to share the passion of the Hospitability with all the Ambassadors of Sofitel.

Philippe Godard finds time for relaxation and for getting acquainted with our mother country. Since he has a passion for golf, food and wine he is spending his free time on the professional golf courses of Hungary and keeps discovering all those fantastic places in the country. He loves experiencing new cuisines and flavours.

When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in January 2012 to work at the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge. This was the first time I got the opportunity to work in Central Europe and I was excited to discover this part of the world, as well.

What surprised you the most in Hungary?
The snow surprised me the most when I arrived. I was not expecting such a whether. Otherwise I am amazed at the local good quality designer products.

Friends are in Budapest for the weekend-what must they absolutely see and do?
They should definately go to one of Budapest’s famous baths, taste the fine wines of Hungary, go and take a sightseeing tour around the city and, if possible, buy tickets to one of Budapest’s classical music concerts.

What is your favourit Hungarian food?
Somlói galuska

What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Wine and cheese are something that I always have in my refrigerator.

What is your favourit Hungarian word?
My favourit Hungarian word is KÖSZÖNÖM SZÉPEN.

What do you miss the most from home?
When I moved here, I really missed my family since I did not get to see them that often. But since last september they are with me so now I have everything I need.

What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Architecture is something that I really love.

What’s a job you definately never want?
I would never want to be a broker.

Where did you spend your last vacation?
I spent it in the French Alpes with my family.

Where do you hope to spend your next one?
I would like to go to Balaton.

What was your favourit band, film or hobby as a teen?
I liked listening to disco music, watch science fiction movies and my hobby was the computer.

What can’t you resist?
I would never be able to resist gourment food.

Red wine or white?
I prefer white wine. Last year I had the opportunity to meet Jozsef Szentesi and together with him and the Ambassadors of Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge we created the hotel's own wine, the Ries-Link. It is a magnifique white wine which immediately became my favourite.

Book or movie?
I prefer watching movies.

Morning person or night person?
I believe that i function better at night.

Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
I am really concerned about families where the family spirit is missing. Family is the most important thing.

Buda side or Pest side?
I prefer Pest. It is more lively and when walking on Andrassy street we can feel like in Paris or when sitting in the city park (Varosliget) we can feel like in London. In a sence it has everything that the big cities in Europe have, the difference is that it is more friendly.


What would you say is your personal motto?
„Il nait le richesse que d’hommers”
„Mankind is the only true source of wealth”


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