When visiting Baku, the fast emerging capital city of oil-rich Azerbaijan, I would not anticipate I would experience one of the most memorable stays at a top luxury hotel.
A perfect reflection of Isadore Sharp’s original ceoncept of a luxury hotel brand, Four Seasons Hotel, Baku features: a perfect location in the heart of the city, spacious accommodations with impeccable bedding and large bathrooms; luxurious, yet with many understated design elements, and, most importantly, the highest standard of services.
After completing a tour of the old city, which is right behind the hotel, I then decided to take a stroll down the sea-strip promenade. As I approached the hotel, I felt like I was returning home. Although the lavish entrance was extremely busy, I could feel that ‘Four Seasons vibe’ warmth, extended by what seemed as a very passionate team – attentive, intuitive and confident.
Similarly to many other Four Seasons properties, the lobby is impressive. Four Seasons Hotel Baku boasts ample lounge spaces, an elegant bar/cafe (flooded by day-light), spectacular flower installations and a majestic marble staircase which leads up to the first floor ballroom, which hosts many of the city’s top business and private events. During my stay, I was fortunate to witness a wedding – one could easily tell how special each and every guest felt when walking through the lobby, for many, a mark of prestige.
At Four Seasons, Baku, you will love:
– the Beaux -Arts architecture of the building which will remind you instantly of the Four Seasons George V in Paris
– the quality of the construction, materials (impressive marble adorns most public spaces), the finishes and furnishing
– the VIP couple’s suite with a private terrace and seaviews, the hammam experience and the unique Neftalan oil treatments at the Spa
– the wide selection of fresh seafood in the Kaspia Restaurant
– the glass roof atrium (‘lido’ style) indoor swimming pool.
But coming back to service, at almost any time of the day, I could spot the hotel’s general manager, Sam, who would subtly supervise every movement in the hotel. His hands-on approach and spending so much time ‘on the floor’ rather than sitting behind a desk in an elegant office is clearly the recipe for success in reaching such a high-standard of service, with many local employees who would hardly understand the notion of luxury.
Sam is part of the Four Seasons‘ new ‘breed’ of hoteliers who understand that personalized service can only be achieved with a hands-on approach and a highly motivated team. They would also understand that service cannot compensate for ‘tired’ facilities (at times dictated by economic conditions) but rather a product, which must be well maintained.
Chris, Simon, Patrizio, Sanjiv, Vincenzo, Rebeca, Rene, Martin, Armando, Nathan, Felix and Tulio – are just some of the other Four Seasons’ exceptional managers I had the privilige to meet and for whom I have great respect and admiration. They carry on the flag of Four Seasons, consolidating its position of the brand as one of the most admired luxury hotel chains in the world.
A dedicated photo gallery of Four Seasons Hotel Baku can be found on our Facebook page.
Oliver Petcu in Baku
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