Tamás Fazekas, General Manager, New York Palace Hotel, Budapest

  • 6 Jan 2020 10:35 AM
Tamás Fazekas, General Manager, New York Palace Hotel, Budapest
1. What’s been happening at work and at home since your most recent Xpat Interview?

At home, luckily everything is fine too. Our boys are growing, now at 12 and 10,5 they are very active, doing sports as well as school work. They need me as well and I’m more involved with them than ever. So it is all positive.

2019 was a very existing year for me. Big changes in my work and private life as well. After opening of the beautiful Parisi Udvar Hotel and changed for the same beautiful New York Palace, which I enjoy very much. In the meantime I got married for the second time 😊  My children are growing and getting “more” teenagers with all the positives and challenges…. 😊

2. What is your favourite personal achievement to date?
Personally, definitely the two boys, and my family. Also worth mentioning, I was Canoeing World Champion on 1000 m in C2 and also a Dragon Boat Champion.

Work wise, after being in the industry for 25 years it is definitely opening such a beautiful property as Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest.

3. What are your current biggest challenges at work?
I think the biggest challenges nowadays to find and retain quality team members and to make people taking ownership and responsibility.

4. Which superpower would you choose?
To fit 34 hours in 24!

5. What does your typical day look like these days?
Sometime sport early in the morning before work, get to the hotel - make a tour, morning mtg for daily operational issues, meet with partners and mtg with colleagues, administration mainly late in the afternoon.

6. Who inspires your life most these days?
Luckily over the years I had very good people to work with, as well as great friends who were all mentors in some way. I keep in touch with them, and they still inspire me.

I think what we need nowadays are people around us who we feel give us energy, people you are happy to spend time with sharing pleasurable moments. So my partner and such friends are the ones inspiring me.  

7. What behaviour do you most dislike in others?
Selfish and irrational people.

8. Unicum or pálinka? 
At a good Sunday lunch with friends and family, it’s nice to start with a pálinka before I eat, and then finish with Unicum. Drinking responsibly of course!

9. What is (would be) your favourite karaoke song?
Something from Gun’s & Roses would be a top choice. At the last New Year’s Eve Party I joined a group of friends singing ‘We’re not going to take it’ from Twisted Sister’s.

10. What do you love most about your life?
Simply that it’s never boring! There are always new challenges. I am the type of person who always needs challenges, I know it and also discussed with a coach. I like to plant a tree, harvest the first fruits, and then go forward ready for a new challenge.

11. What is your most treasured possession?
Things I collected during my travels, mementos, for example the stuffed shark I got from Cuba in 1995, and a stuffed cobra from Thailand.

12. What was the luckiest moment in your life so far?
In general, I think I’m a lucky person. You need a lot of luck in this life for sure.

Maybe the luckiest was when we were once paddling in a 80 km race across Balaton and we got into a storm, our boat sank at Tihany in very cold conditions. We spent 40 minutes in the water before we were rescued by a boat named Fortuna. I only know this from a recording a helicopter made that I saw later on TV.

I also think if you want to be lucky, don’t just trust luck, you have to do something. Luck is not granted, you need to make your own luck.

13. Please share a guilty pleasure of yours…
Picking up sweets from my colleagues’ desks, I’m well known for it at work.

14. What issue ‘keeps you awake at night’?
Personal topics.

15. How do you like to relax at the weekend?
I feel lucky I can switch off quickly, after a weekend I need to warm up again before work. I’m usually doing something with the family, or with friends or our parents, I like being active, to relax in an active way, such as biking around Balaton, going for good walks.

I believe in order to be able to get recharged; you need to get out of your usual environment, even if for just a couple of hours.

16. If you could change one thing about Hungary, what would it be? 
More team workers.

17. What single thing would improve your quality of life the most?
Playing better on guitar, so I could play well in front of an audience.

18. If your next assignment was on a desert island, which three things would you take?
At the weekends I try not to take my mobile phone around with me, but this would be a must need item for a desert island. Also I would take stuff to help me build my own boat.

19. What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now? 
Maybe I would have shown more patience.

20. What question would you ask yourself if you interviewed yourself?
What is your plan for the ten years’ time? I would like to teach, both professional business topics, and as a canoe trainer.

Related interview:
Interview 2: Tamás Fazekas, Former General Manager Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace

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