CARCOSA Seri Negara hotel manager Carla Petzold-Beck loves what she does. And that passion has kept her in the hotel industry for 16 years.
Petzold-Beck, who started her career in 1991, comes from a family of hoteliers – her father, grandfather and uncle all worked in the hotel industry.
She believes that the job of a hotelier can't be learnt from a book.
“We must go through the hard and long hours of training, from the front desk service to the housekeeping department,” said the 34-year-old Petzold-Beck.
“One must have the passion to stay in the hotel line and it needs years to build up the experience.”
“As I grew up in hotels, the idea of working in such an environment came to me naturally,” Petzold-Beck told StarBiz.
She tried to get out of the hotel line but returned after 1½ years as she was not satisfied with her nine-to-five job.
Besides her mother tongue (German and English), Petzold-Beck also speaks French and Spanish fluently and is able to understand some Italian and Dutch. And that has given her an advantage in her international career.
Petzold-Beck loves cooking and can also dish out some Thai, Indian and Western favourites. “I learned it from my father, who was a restaurant chef, and we like to cook together.”
The lanky German-American lady graduated from Cornell University in New York with a bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant administration. She assumed her current position at the five-star boutique hotel last August.
Petzold-Beck plans to rebuild the reputation of the hotel and reintroduce it to the market. The exclusive hotel with two mansions and 13 suites – seven in Carcosa and six in Seri Negara – is also open to the public and not only for the special or distinguished guests, she said.
She added that the hotel was currently on a promotional campaign.
For instance, it had a food-testing session for the media and did some photo shoots for magazines.
When she first joined the hotel, she was tied up with lots of meetings and networking functions which sometimes didn't end until 11pm.
“It is a job involving long working hours but I am enjoying the challenge in managing and advising the management on how to to upscale its operations,” she said.
Prior to her posting at Carcosa Seri Negara, Petzold-Beck was the general manager of the five-star Coldwell Banker Nicaragua in Granada, Central America.
She was responsible for all the operational tasks in managing and consulting on incoming hotel development projects.
Despite a busy schedule, Petzold-Beck still finds time to travel in Malaysia.
“Initially, I only had day trips to Batu Caves and Malacca. Now, I sometimes stay over in Penang, Langkawi or even travel to Bali,” she said.
Petzold-Beck, who was a competitive swimmer before, has also planned for diving trips to Redang or Perhentian Island with her German friends who stay in Malaysia. She has just gone jungle hiking at Batang Air in Kuching.
Apart from reading during her free time, she enjoys music at jazz bars and has seen performances by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. She is also addicted to sudoku.
She is a sponsor parent of an 11-year-old boy, Kumar, in India through the Childreach Programme. “My mum 'gave me' this boy as a Christmas present when I was 26. I spend US$300 a year on Kumar, mainly for his schoolbooks.”
Source : STAR
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