Interview: FIVE Zurich GM Marcus Rapatz on launching in Switzerland

Interview: FIVE Zurich GM Marcus Rapatz on launching in Switzerland

Rapatz is looking forward to bringing FIVE’s vibe to the largely traditional Swiss market

FIVE Zurich general manager Marcus Rapatz aims to bring the hospitality brand’s lifestyle and entertainment vibe to Zurich, Switzerland, while fostering local relationships and creating an experience that’s unique to the market.

Connecting Travel: How did you become a hotelier?
Marcus Rapatz: I attended the International Hospitality Management and Catering School Kaernter Touristmusschule before becoming chef de rang at an international chain of hotels in Munich, Germany. I continued my global career path in the UAE, Romania and Hungary and soon became operations director in Düsseldorf, Germany with the same chain of hotels. During the last six years, I was the general manager at a property in Dresden, Germany. 

FIVE Zurich exterior

CT: What makes you a good hotelier?
MR: With more than 20 years of professional experience in the hotel industry, I excel in the management of luxury hotels, the positioning of dining destinations, continued high-quality of service standards; as well as aim to be an inspiring young trailblazer for my team. With an in-depth knowledge of running large-scale operations and of the culinary sector, I’m always enthusiastic about going the extra mile, both while behind the scenes and with guests.

CT:What are the USPs of your property?
MR: FIVE stands for innovation – daring to do things differently and setting new standards in creating unforgettable memories for our guests. The new hotel will unite art, food and music under one roof – as a destination for people from the city, Swiss visitors and international guests alike. 

I envision FIVE Zurich as an inventive melting pot of music, art, fashion and culinary experiences

CT: Why was now the right time to expand into Europe?
MR: FIVE has been scouting the right property to roll out its successfully proven model in Switzerland for over a year, in order to bring the FIVE brand closer to its clientele. FIVE in Dubai has previously welcomed more than 5,000 Swiss travellers. 

Guest room

CT: How do you plan on attracting and maintaining good staff?
MR: The involvement of the local community is key to me. FIVE Zurich will create over 260 new jobs for likeminded colleagues from the region.  I’m excited about being back in Zurich, a city that stole my heart a long time ago and where I truly feel at home. I believe in bringing the FIVE Tribe together in order to achieve a common goal, all while having fun.


CT: What’s your strategy to increase occupancy and revenue?
MR: FIVE is a digital-first brand. We aim to boost direct online bookings with a direct-to-customer sales strategy by utilising our highly scalable digital ecosystem, website and engaged social media channels. FIVE’s digital presence has the ability to react and adapt quickly. FIVE’s WhatsApp concierge service will allow FIVE’s guests to directly book several experiences, including rooms, nightlife, F&B and Spa. 

Indoor pool

CT: What are your key source markets?
MR: We expect the majority of our guests to come from Switzerland, Germany, the UK and France.

CT: Will you cater to guests from the GCC?
MR: Absolutely! FIVE will provide our GCC guests with the inimitable Vibe at FIVE they have come to know and love in Dubai in a new and exciting setting in Europe. We look forward to welcoming our repeat GCC customers. 

FIVE Zurich’s GCC visitors may even charter FIVE’s soon-to-be-launched private plane (Fly FIVE) to travel from Dubai to Zurich, all while enjoying the FIVE Experience in the sky

CT: How is Switzerland’s hospitality sector performing?
MR: In the luxury sector in Zurich in Q4 of 2021 there was 8% growth in RevPAR compared to 2019. This showcases an upward swing, one of the main reasons being the enthusiasm of the Swiss people to enjoy a staycation in their own country, as well as its enviable location in Europe, which makes it extremely accessible to other parts of the continent. 

FIVE Zurich is set to open on 1 July 2022. For more information, visit www.fivehotelsandresorts.com

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