SPOTLIGHT ON Alexander Schneider, President Hotel Division, Nikki Beach Worldwide

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Montenegro 

Alexander Schneider is leading a distinctive and innovative approach to luxury hospitality, discussing the brand’s unique vision, strategies for delivering exceptional guest experiences, talent acquisition, and management practices, and the crucial role of sustainability and environmental responsibility in their operations. 

Can you share with us the inspiration and vision behind Nikki Beach Hotels, and how it sets itself apart from other luxury hotel brands?

Nikki Beach Hotels draws inspiration from barefoot luxury, offering a distinct hospitality lifestyle experience that sets it apart from other luxury hotel brands. As pioneers of the Luxury Beach Club concept, we expanded our vision beyond food and beverage entertainment in 2015 and 2016, creating a comprehensive 360-degree hospitality experience.

We challenge the trend of impersonal hotel environments and embrace a resort experience, even for business travelers. Nikki Beach Hotels breaks away from the norm of masculine architecture and ambiance, creating spaces that inspire relaxation and provide a true escape from the corporate world.

At the core of our philosophy is the notion of real luxury, which grants guests the freedom to choose their experiences, intensity, and timing. The design and offerings cater to different preferences, curating energy fields that range from high-energy beach clubs to serene areas like Soul Lounge or Cafe Nikki, allowing guests to craft their own unique journey.

Alexander Schneider, President Hotel Division, Nikki Beach Worldwide

Recognizing the significance of culinary experiences in overall well-being, Nikki Beach Hotels anticipates a well-being revolution. We prioritize nutrition, proper workouts, and personal fulfillment alongside traditional spa treatments. By aligning every aspect of the hotel journey with this forward-thinking perspective, Nikki Beach Hotels consistently provides exceptional experiences, staying ahead of the curve by adapting to changing perceptions and user profiles.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

What strategies do you employ to consistently deliver exceptional guest experiences across your properties?

At Nikki Beach Hotels we strive to empower our talented staff and foster a culture of creativity, risk-taking, and personalized service. We believe that the hospitality industry has often stifled employee potential by emphasizing rigid rules and discouraging innovation. Instead, we encourage our team members to embrace their energy, creativity, and fresh perspectives, seeing the joy in serving guests.

From the beginning, we have championed a different approach. We remind our team that we are not in a nuclear power plant where a mistake can have catastrophic consequences. We believe in the power of recovery and making amends through genuine apologies and solutions. Our staff is encouraged to be present, intuitive, and attentive to guests’ needs, and to be courageous in decision-making. We understand that creativity and stepping outside comfort zones are crucial for exceptional guest experiences.

While we have successfully retained our talented team members and fostered their growth, challenges arise, especially in seasonal locations where maintaining quality and quantity of skilled staff can be demanding. However, we strive to overcome these challenges by valuing our employees, offering growth opportunities, and promoting their well-being.

Yet, we believe it’s not enough for Nikki Beach alone to reverse the trend of depowering talent in the industry. We hope the broader hospitality industry will join us in prioritizing the human element and authentic experiences over AI and automation. The essence of our business lies in human connection, personalized service, and genuine hospitality. As long as these values remain at the forefront, we will continue delivering truly memorable and meaningful guest experiences.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai

In terms of talent acquisition and management, how do you ensure that Nikki Beach Hotels attract and retain top-notch professionals who align with the brand’s values and deliver exceptional service?

Our Futures Leaders Program stands out by selecting individuals who have made significant contributions, particularly in seasonal locations. These employees are challenged with different roles, offering valuable insights and fresh perspectives.

Opportunities to work in different global locations, such as during the F1 week in Monaco, are provided, along with recognition and rewards for high performers.

In addition to compensation, Nikki Beach Hotels emphasizes creating a family-like atmosphere and appreciating factors that foster a sense of belonging and an enjoyable work environment that motivates and retains talent.

Work-life balance and well-being are prioritized, with reasonable working hours to prevent burnout for both frontline and corporate teams.

While hybrid work arrangements are appreciated, Nikki Beach Hotels believes a strong connection to the physical workplace is vital for an industry built on social interaction. Colleagues are encouraged to fully experience the products, be present on the floor, and understand operations for deep engagement and commitment to exceptional guest experiences.

Overall, our talent acquisition and management strategies focus on recognizing high performers, offering diverse growth opportunities, fostering a sense of belonging, appreciating work-life balance, and prioritizing a strong connection to the physical workplace. These efforts attract and retain professionals dedicated to delivering exceptional service and aligned with Nikki Beach Hotels’ values.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Could you discuss the role that sustainability and environmental responsibility play in the operations of Nikki Beach Hotels and any initiatives you have implemented to promote eco-friendly practices?

Sustainability and environmental responsibility are integral to the operations of Nikki Beach Hotels. Recognizing the significance of these aspects to our guests, we view sustainability not only as an emotional concern but also as a deciding factor in their booking decisions.

We understand the challenges associated with sustainability certifications and the prevalence of greenwashing in the industry. Instead of relying solely on labels, we prioritize authenticity by living and embodying sustainable practices throughout our operations.

Within our sustainability initiatives, we place particular focus on the food and beverage (F&B) sector, as it offers significant opportunities for impact. By addressing areas such as food waste reduction, local sourcing, and promoting zero-kilometer concepts, we actively contribute to sustainability efforts. We are committed to avoiding the use of ingredients that are out of season or environmentally unsustainable in the local context. While we have made progress, we continually strive for improvement in our sustainability practices.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai

Recognizing the need for collective action, we believe that the entire industry should embrace sustainability more wholeheartedly. We encourage discussions and explore sustainable alternatives to practices such as excessive use of disposable items or food waste during service. We question the necessity of certain aspects of turn-down service that contribute to waste and carbon emissions, seeking ways to make it more sustainable, such as minimizing the use of plastic and unnecessary items.

Technology also plays a crucial role in our sustainability efforts. We incorporate water-saving measures, employ motion detectors to optimize energy usage and embrace other innovative solutions where technology and sustainability intersect. However, we are mindful of maintaining the human touch that is fundamental to hospitality experiences, striking a balance between technological advancements and genuine guest connections.

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Koh Samui