Straight from his previous position in Geneva, Switzerland, and on the wave of Mandarin Oriental, Boston’s (mandarinoriental.com/boston) newly completed renovations, Markus Lindner, the new general manager of the hotel, chats about his first time in the city, why he loves his industry and brand-new spa treatments.
Tell me a bit about your journey.
I grew up in a small countryside hotel that my parents were running. So that heavily influenced my career choice. And, of course, it’s very different to what I do today, but I learned early what hospitality means. I initially started my career as a chef, so that’s maybe a little bit unusual, but in Germany—that’s where I’m from—that’s where you get started, in sort of an apprenticeship situation. I worked in the kitchen at Tantris in Munich, and then I started to study management. And after a little while I joined Mandarin Oriental, so I’ve been with them for 18 years or so.
Had you visited Boston prior to this position? When I first visited the U.S., I was 20 I think at the time, during a round trip visiting a few cities and Boston was on the map. So I spent a bit of time here. … I was especially looking forward to seeing the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform because I love music.
What do you love about our city now? I love the fact that you can really walk around the city a lot and explore different areas and that feeling that everything is really at your doorstep, especially from the location that we’re at. I love the music. ... This is just a world-class offering that they have, that much I know. And then the sports culture. When I speak to people, it’s very much on their mind. So I’ve been to a Bruins match and a Celtics game.
What do you love the most about your job? What excites me is two things. Mainly it’s that we can curate wonderful experiences that are unique and very exclusive for our guests. In Switzerland, we were able to fly people to a glacier and send them a bottle of Champagne at 5,000 feet high… and this excitement and the gratitude you receive from your customers afterward is just what we strive to get on a day-to-day basis. And then, of course, the second bit is the people, and the people are, of course, our guests, customers or stakeholders. They come from all diverse cultural backgrounds, and we can learn from them and learn with them. And then the people within our team that we work with on a day-to-day basis. We, as a group, like to provide a very comfortable environment where they can excel at what their passion [is]—the passion to deliver wonderful experiences and this human exchange is so important.
Can you tell me more details behind the new treatment products at the spa? We’re the first Mandarin Oriental property in the Americas to partner with a sustainable CBD wellness line. Cause+Medic says its products combine the healing properties of hemp-derived CBD to soothe pain and restore skin health. So this is really a huge initiative that Jason [Paluch], our director of spa, has been working on.
Photography by: Michael Blanchard