Simon Casson started out in the hospitality industry washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen in England as a teenager. He joined Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts nearly 30 years ago, and has since climbed the ranks to become president of hotel operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Over the last year, Casson led the opening of two new properties — the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Al Shaya in November, and the Four Seasons Hotel Tunis in December.
The group also launched Four Seasons Hotel Megève in France in December, and Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, which also fall under Casson’s remit. Up next is the 375-room Four Seasons Hotel Makkah, signed late last year. The property, located adjacent to the Al-Masjid Al-Harām (the Grand Mosque) will also offer 90 Four Seasons private residences and will be the company’s second property in Saudi Arabia, joining Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre.
As the group continues adding to its portfolio, with new properties to be announced shortly, Casson is determined to maintain the brand’s reputation for excellent service.
He says: “As our EMEA hotel count has grown over the past 24 months, I have made it a priority to ensure that the culture and humanity in the field, which ultimately is the prime driver of superior service, remains carefully intact. I made a point to visit all 39 of the hotels in person and, as I have done so, always hold town hall meetings to share, connect with and listen to our employees.”
2 Number of years in role
29 Number of years with company
17 Number of operating hotels in the region as of July 2018
1 Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of July 2018