An interview with Pavel Gazzo, Resident Manager at Awasi Patagonia, the world’s Southernmost Relais & Chateaux hotel.
How long have you been working in the Relais & Chateaux family?
This is my first season, I started in September 2016.
What is the place, view or object you prefer in Awasi Patagonia? Why?
In our main lodge, there is a small corner sofa, near one of the fireplaces. It is just magical at any time of the day. If it’s raining you can sit there with a book, enjoying a cosy moment by the fire. If the day is sunny, you can watch birds flying by, and sit there observing all the surrounding flora and fauna. The colours change by the hour. It is simply a magical spot to pass a few moments.
The guest you will never forget. Why? What memory did he/she leave you with?
We had a great couple from USA, in their 80s. When they arrived, we were so frightened about how we were going to explain to them that there is a lot of walking, that the excursions are far away and there are many hours of travel by car involved. Then we realized we had got it all wrong! They were just spectacular; it was a pleasure to be with them. They would teach you about everything. They always walked side-by-side holding hands all the time. One evening I approached him and after minutes talking I asked him what the magic formula is that he uses on a daily basis to keep him at this rhythm. He responded, “I am not old, I look old but I’m not old. Books get old. I still learn and get surprised every day. The day that nothing else surprises me and have nothing else to learn, then I will consider myself old“.
The vitality that this couple had surprised and touched us. They made me realize that we worry too much about small things, when looking at them it was clear that you must enjoy every moment and avoid monotony.
What is the key factor that makes your cuisine so successful?
Knowing the guests preferences. The team behind scenes and front of house work together to make this dream come true.
Our chef is outstanding. He observes our guests and provides them with unique tastes, according to their palate. And, of course, he creates flavours that let your imagination flow. Of course, this couldn’t be achieved without the great team he has. He inspires all his staff and gives them space to create as well. Not easy to explain in words, you must come to Awasi Patagonia and delight yourself with our chef’s dishes.
The most important lesson that you transmit to your staff.
I believe in transparency and being open between leadership and staff; the key is honest communication. The results you obtain through honesty and openness are impressive. Communication must always be present, not only to provide information but also it’s very important to take time to listen to the staff. Give them your trust; show them the passion you have for your job. I try to transmit this to the staff and so far, this has given me the satisfaction of having people working not only besides me, but also with me.
Any other highlight you would like to share with us?
The Awasi private reserve on the edge of Torres del Paine National Park is simply magical. I believe that for all of us that are part of this family, it’s a dream come true. When you are an actor, a stand-up ovation is the best way to end your performance. For us, people who work in the hospitality industry, the expression of WOW on the faces of our guests when they arrive at our hotel and then to their villas is awesome. When guests enter their villa, they have a WOW moment, and then the last day before leaving, they hug you and tell you that they have had an experience of a lifetime… that moment right there… is the stand-up ovation for us.
Learn more about Pavel and our team at Awasi Patagonia at https://awasipatagonia.com/staff/