Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
"I have always been striving for excellence, which is more of a habit for me rather than an act."
Four Seasons Tenure
First Four Seasons Assignment: Assistant Restaurant Manager and Banquet Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach; Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg; Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies; Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel; Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Four Seasons Hotel London; Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Churchill International Hotel, London; The Regent Hotel, London; Hotel Zum Storchen, Zurich
University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom; Alpina School of Hotel Management, Switzerland
Swedish, Norwegian, English, German
Surrounded by tall mountains in Geiranger, Norway, Richard Raab kept a shortlist of industries he would consider advancing in his career. "Luxury hospitality was one of them,” he recalls, counting off the many positives of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts since he joined the company back in 1998 as the Assistant Restaurant Manager and Banquet Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.
“I used to spend my summer vacations at my beloved grandparents’ cottage in a tiny village in the west part of Norway, which was listed as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. Geiranger attracted many cruise ships all through the summer and I had the opportunity to work as tour guide entertaining tourists flocking to this magnificent part of The North.”
Though his initial aspiration was to be a sea captain, it took Raab only a short time (and a mechanical engineering qualification that he was not interested to earn at all) to realize that he was better suited for the front of the house, where he had the chance to personally engage with guests. “What kid wouldn’t want a chance to captain a cruise ship wearing a crisp uniform while knowing the ins and outs of the ship, greeting guests by the name or best of all: hosting the forever attractive captain’s table during the gala reception? The glimpse of these luxurious ‘floating hotels’ was extremely appealing to me and I knew that in Geiranger my future career has been decided.”
The hospitality industry undeniably hooked him, earning him nearly twenty years with the company. During his tenure with Four Seasons, Raab has held management positions at numerous properties, from city hotels to island resorts. But even looking back fondly, he can’t recall another destination quite like the one he is managing now. “I could hardly believe my eyes when I first saw this landmark structure,” he says of Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where he stepped in as General Manager in January 2017 to lead the urban resort. “I feel honored and extremely excited and although the property is one-of-a-kind I am confident that the key to our success within this industry is the same no matter the destination.” He pauses. “I believe you can build the most breathtaking place in the world, but it always takes the people who will make any dreams come true. Lifetime memories can only be created by our well-trained staff, of whose hard work and dedication we are exceptionally proud of at Four Seasons.”
Raab moved to Bahrain at a time of booming competition, with new hotels opening and old ones being renovated. When asked about all the hotels opening in the island, Raab explains: “Our owners have been very supportive in assuring our product is the best it can be not only in Bahrain but worldwide. We continue to nurture the relationships we have developed with guests since the property officially opened back in 2015, while we are also excited to create a home away from home for those future guests who know and appreciate the best.”
To drive the Kingdom’s tourism sector towards further growth, Bahrain has also embarked on a massive airport expansion project. Reflecting on this major investment, Raab adds: “We could not be more delighted to cater to the growing number of international visitors arriving in the Kingdom with our customized services and world-class product.”
When not running the show in Bahrain, Raab pours his passion for football, including watching Chelsea match marathons in the comfort of his Manama home. Other than cheering to his favorite football team with his family by his side, he is also keen on traveling around the island and exploring what Bahrain has to offer for all discerning travelers and expatriates.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts