Vanessa Albest appointed Resort Manager of Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts |18 March 2023
Born and raised in Seychelles, Vanessa Albest has recently been appointed as the Resort Manager of Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts.
She is the first Shanon College of Hotel Management graduate who has reached one of the top management positions in a hotel.
Ms Albest is also part of the mentorship programme set up by the Ministry of Tourism to guide young people.
When Vanessa Albest was a child, she had no clue of what she wanted to do. “I was like any other student…for primary I went to Bel Eau school, for secondary I went to Mont Fleuri and I remember during my whole journey I had no clue of what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a chef one day, next day a cabin crew, a lawyer, a diplomat… After Secondary 5, I still didn’t know what to do and decided to go for A-levels, taking up English Literature, French Literature and Geography. Still after my studies, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew it had to be something with people!” she recalled.
After A-level, Ms Albest did a brief placement at a bank. Once the scholarship came out in 2008, she decided to choose Shanon College of Hotel Management for a degree. She had three- and half-year study at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and was in placement in Mauritius and Hilton Northholme.
“Before we started the placement, Hilton interviewed us and I was asked to write an essay on why I was choosing Hilton. When I was doing some research on the Group of Hotels, I fell in love! I went abroad to finish my degree and I came back home for my final placement in Hilton. After that I was employed immediately. That’s when my journey started with Hilton in 2012 as a receptionist,” shared Ms Albest.
Even equipped with a degree in hand, Ms Albest belief is to start from scratch in order to know most of the operations in a hotel. “For you to be a manager, you need to learn everything and lead by example. Sometimes when the hotel is extremely busy, you as a manager will roll up your sleeve and help your team. By the time I left I was the front office and quality manager. I never wanted to go and work abroad as I was comfortable in Seychelles, but my GM at that time told me if I wanted to become a GM in the future, I have to go and work abroad and experience different settings.”
Vanessa Albest joined them from Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa, where she successfully oversaw the operations of the 5-star hotel with 372 team members of 18 different nationalities and 111 villas, 8 F&B outlets, boats, tennis court, paddle tennis, spa, and other operational tasks.
Throughout her career, Ms Albest has proven to be an exceptional leader, and her experience in managing diverse teams and collaborating with other bodies for conservation and sustainability will be invaluable to our property. Ms Albest has been responsible for all audits, including Green Globe, SSTL re-certification, hotel license renewal, and Hilton QA.
According to the Hilton group, as a Seychellois talent, Ms Albest started her career in Front Office at Hilton Northolme, and has since gained international experience in the UAE and Ethiopia as an Operations Manager at Hilton Addis Ababa for two and half years. She was responsible for the 4-star hotel with 372 rooms and 550 team members, large banqueting facilities, meeting facilities, outside catering, and recreation facilities. She also worked collaboratively with hotel unions to run the hotel seamlessly.
Ms Albest’s extensive knowledge of various departments will enable Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts to take its Guest Experiences to the next level. As she spearheads the operational element of the hotel, she will also assist management in strengthening the financial performance of the property.
Ms Albest is the second Seychellois woman appointed by the Hilton group to manage a hotel. The first one being Doreen Valentin.
Her advice to the young people of Seychelles is: “My aim was to be a general manager. I know lots of youngsters rushing into things, but we learn as we go along the way. I believe in developing people and giving back to the community and this is what Hilton is all about. Everything you do, do it to the best of your ability. Seychelles depends a lot on tourism and we understand not many people want to work in tourism, but if you do join the industry, do it to the best of your ability. We are a representation of our country and our culture, we have to raise our flag high. Mistakes happen but learn from your mistakes and learn from people with experience!”
Seychelles NATION wishes Ms Albest all the best in her new posting.