Richard Raab has taken over as General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg.
Richard’s career in hospitality started with Four Seasons back in 1998, and the very first hotel was Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. But inspiration for this step appeared in childhood years during summer holidays in one of the most picturesque fjords, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tiny village of Geiranger, where almost the entire population is engaged in tourism, always attracted many cruise ships where Richard had the opportunity to work as a tour guide.
“What kid wouldn’t want a chance to captain a cruise ship wearing a crisp uniform while knowing the ins and outs of the ship, greeting guests by the name or best of all: hosting the forever-attractive captain’s table during a gala reception? The glimpse of these luxurious ‘floating hotels’ was extremely appealing to me and I knew that in Geiranger my future career has been decided,” says Richard.
During his tenure at Four Seasons, Richard has held executive positions in leading hotels in the world, including the legendary Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. His first introduction to St. Petersburg took place during the pre-opening stage of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, when the 19th century palace in the heart of the city was reborn as the first Four Seasons in Russia. It took several years of meticulous restoration and perfecting of the guest experience to set the stage for a new era of style and luxury in St. Petersburg. The famous palace created by Auguste Montferrand reopened its doors to guests in 2013.
And now, returning to what has become one of the best hotels in Europe as General Manager, Richard is confident that all his past experience, and the team – many of them there since he opened the Hotel – will help to create a hotel experience like no other and preserve the value of St. Petersburg as an impeccable tourist destination. “I believe you can build the most breath-taking place in the world, but it always takes the people and their craftsmanship to make any dreams come true. Lifetime memories can only be created by our employees, experienced people, of whose hard work and dedication we are exceptionally proud of at Four Seasons.”
Born in Sweden, Richard is fluent in Norwegian, English and German. And when not running the show in Lion Palace, the passion pours towards football – the city’s Champion FC Zenit would have one more fan in the upcoming seasons.