Q&A with Carlos Fritz – Assistant Executive Manager
Most career trajectories slope upwards in the course of a lifetime. This is true of Carlos Fritz, Assistant Executive Manager at Seven Pines Resort Ibiza. But unlike others, his slope has a peculiar circularity. Life started in Munich where he lived until the age of seven when the Fritz family moved to Ibiza. From here they ended up in Mallorca, which Carlos considers home base despite a life of constant relocations. Now, decades later he has come back to the beginning, taking his place in the executive team of Seven Pines Resort Ibiza.
What drew you to pursue hospitality as a career?
I was lucky that as a kid I travelled a lot and experienced lots of hotels. When I was around 16 years old, I knew I wanted to go into hospitality and hotels. I saw it as an exciting industry where I could apply all my languages and work in different cultures. I did my bachelor of administration in hospitality management at Glion Institute in Switzerland and from there did several internships.
Where have you worked since graduating?
I’ve been in Dubai at the Emirates Tower with the Jumeirah Hotels group; also at the St. Regis Aspen in Colorado. I’ve worked in Switzerland and at the St. Regis in Mallorca before going to Germany to join the team at the Adlon Kempinski in Berlin where I met Markus Lueck [Seven Pines’ General Manager]. After the Adlon, I had six years in the south of Munich where I worked at a small Relais & Châteaux property. I’ve worked in many different type of hotels – large corporate owned ones and small privately owned ones – you learn a lot by experiencing different models.
How did you come to join the Seven Pines Resort Ibiza project?
Markus and I have stayed in touch since our days at the Adlon. And then by coincidence, I met the owners of 12.18, our owning company, and started to talk with them. I was invited to interview for the position, after which it all happened quite fast and now, I am part of this fantastic project.
How did it feel to come back to Ibiza after so much time?
I never wanted to lose my connection to Spain and especially the Balearic Islands. So I always kept up with what was happening here. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to be part of an opening of this calibre. Having it here in Ibiza where it all started for me, plus working with Markus again is like winning the lottery. I was so excited to see how the island had evolved and changed. A lot has changed but it was nice to see many things haven’t.
Were your parents surprised about your return to the island?
They thought it was funny how the puzzle of life gets completed. In my previous job, I was in a very small town south of Munich where my parents had their wedding (pure coincidence) and now my next job is where everything started for me. I would never have thought that I would come back to Ibiza to work but now I have and it’s very exciting.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the opening of the resort?
First of all, it’s all about the way you see the challenge. I was in a lucky position because even though I hadn’t been here for a while, I knew the island and understood its nuances. The most challenging aspect was coordinating the many different companies involved from around the world and bringing them all together. You just have to go for it and make it work.
What’s a normal day for you?
In hospitality, not one day is the same, especially during an opening. I start at around 8 am with a walk around, then meet with my department heads to discuss if there were any issues during the night and the day ahead. It’s all about the wellbeing of our guests. There are always adaptations to systems and guidelines so that things run smoother. We are constantly assessing ourselves to see how we can improve the guest experience and internal processes.
What do you love most about your job?
I love seeing happy guests. I want them to feel comfortable and enjoy time with their families. Receiving positive feedback makes me happy and proud. Also getting to work with so many characters and people from different cultures brings me great joy. Hospitality is all about teamwork! We have a very multicultural team and it makes us stronger. Hospitably is one of the biggest industries in the world but you get to know each other really well.
It’s like a big family.
How do you like to go on holiday?
I like two different types of holiday. When I stay in other hotels, it can be hard to disconnect from my work so sometimes I like to go away with friends and rent an apartment together to explore a place. But I also love to see what hotels are doing. It helps to see how you can improve your own work or feel confident that your choices are working well. I will always go to at least one or two nice properties to see what is happening elsewhere.
How do you spend your downtime in Ibiza?
When I do manage to have some time off, I love getting out and about. I love to go to restaurants, to go out for drinks and find out what else is happening in Ibiza. There are so many nice places and so much on offer. You can go every day to different restaurants, which I do a lot. I love to get ideas and recommendations for our guests. Ibiza is small but there are so many restaurants and so much nightlife you can experience.