Interview 2: Jonathan Pace, General Manager, Corinthia Budapest

  • 24 May 2022 5:49 PM
Interview 2: Jonathan Pace, General Manager, Corinthia Budapest
Experienced GM with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry leading a number of award winning hotels in multiple cities. A graduate of Institute of Tourism Studies Malta and a Cornell General Manager Program Alumni.

Click here to read his first XpatLoop interview

1. What’s been happening at work and at home since your first Xpat Interview?

Where do I start? The pandemic and everything that came with it was the highlight at work. They were very different times, and I am so happy we are back to some sort of normality. The hotel is alive again and we have a lot of new initiatives in the pipeline…

At home, it was good to be able to start travelling again and visiting family and friends who we missed so much during the pandemic.

2. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with your life in Hungary, and why?

I would say a good 8-9, despite the fact we were very restricted to travel around and get to know Hungary better. My family and I are back on the road when time permits in between work and house duties!

3. What’s the best party you’ve been to while in Hungary, and why?

There is not one but three yearly events, The BBJ Expat CEO Gala where you meet the entire business community under one roof, the XpatLoop Bonfire Night and last but definitely not the least the Burns Supper organised by Douglas Arnott and his team and held at the Corinthia Budapest.

I am very happy to have been able to assist these events and many others in some way. Nothing beats doing something for a good cause whilst seeing guests having fun and dancing the night away.

4. What’s your favourite drink?

White wine – Sauvignon Blanc or Furmint.

5. What hidden talents do you have?

I enjoy cooking and hosting, although I would not describe this as a talent. I used to be reasonably good in long distance running but I guess this is already biography material 😊

6. What was the most interesting travel trip you have ever taken?

Traveling around Asia for a month with my wife, a person who drove us and a guide. Little plans and two people who knew the area like the back of their hand. We wanted to see Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from a local perspective.

7. If you were given a wish that could come true, what would you ask for?

That the world is cleansed from all sorts of fighting, hate and illnesses.

8. What’s the last book you read, and movie you watched?

I prefer surfing the internet for articles rather than reading one book. The last movie I watched was the documentary about Michael Schumacher, and I humbly recommend everyone to watch it.. what a great sportsman!

9. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?

I would imagine somewhere along the lines of ‘Determined and Resilient’ but I guess I will leave the choice to the biographer..

10. What is the perfect pizza toppings combination for you?

Little Mozzarella, mushroom and chicken… with a good glass of wine on the side.

11. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

It would be Massimo Bottura – definitely because of his cooking skills and not mine…

12. On a scale of 1 to 10 how unusual are you, and why?

I would say 1-2. Outside of work I like simple and ‘usual’ things, traveling, walking, spending time with family and friends.

13. What’s the best website you’ve ever visited, and why?

Handpicked.com.mt – a website for a food & beverage consultancy company – brief, to the point and explains exactly what these two brilliant minds do...

14. Who do you admire the most, and why?

My mum who brought up my brother and myself single handedly. Only those who go through such episodes in life can understand this.. so a big thank you to her and to all those single parents who do this every day.. If I am allowed a second, the award definitely goes to all those who give their time for charity work and for other noble causes.. you are the true pillars of society!

15. What do you like best and least about living in Hungary?

I like being in a city located in the centre of Europe, so Hungary fits perfectly. Easy to travel around, great wine regions and weather….It would be perfect if all the beautiful facades in the city were restored, and Pest side would be cleaner.

16. What has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?

Definitely losing my father at the age of 15. I quickly became self-sufficient and focused on the future. It also taught me to appreciate what I have, especially the close people around me.

17. If you won USD 30 million, what would you do with the money?

I would definitely continue working as I cannot see myself not doing it, but probably I will do something that revolves around sustainability and charity work. I would put some money aside for my kids so they can invest it in anything they wish when they are older, assist a couple of family members, put some money on the side for a rainy day and then use every opportunity to travel.

18. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

‘The Climb’ by Miley Cyrus.

19. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Sicily – I like the fact that it is still relatively undeveloped and life is simple. I can imagine myself  and my family living in a small house with some vines and an outbuilding for friends and family to visit. Sun , sea, the best of food (in my opinion) and a language that we know. What else does one need?

20. In ten years from now what will you be doing?

Possibly and probably still in hospitality in some shape or form. I was brought up in this beautiful industry and cannot see myself doing anything else. Hopefully with a small house in Sicily by then…

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