Q&A: Mattias Heymann from Hertford House Hotel

PUBLISHED: 16:18 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 February 2013

Mattias Heymann

Mattias Heymann

Mattias Heymann, 40, from Hertford House Hotel tells Hannah Gray about the hotel industry, speed skating in Germany and his admiration for Winston Churchill

Tell us about your family.
My father is a retired director of an international import/export firm. My mother is a retired ice speed skater and executive PA. I am proud to say that I went to the German speed skating championships in 1967 and I came second. I mean my mother came second, being six months pregnant with me.

Where do you live?

How long have you lived there?
Six months. I lived in South West London for 12 years.

What do you do for a living?
I am a hospitality manager at Hertford House Hotel. I have been in the industry for the past 20 years, starting out as a waiter and chef. I have covered all aspects of the hotel world, from 1,200-bedroom corporate environments to privately owned grand hotels. Hotels are my passion with a great interest in food and beverage. I believe in personal and genuine service and the continental way of enjoying good food and drink. I am grateful for having had the chance to work with some of the best hoteliers in the past, including the Savoy Group, the Dorchester and Harrods, to name just a few.

Who is the most famous guest you have had at the hotel?
The names of our guests are guarded as part of our service. But we are very fortunate to have actors, sports personalities and promoters as patrons of Hertford House Hotel. Recently we had a film and theatre personality with us who had leading roles in movies such as Gangs of New York and Billy Elliot. He was filming for a period drama
that will be shown on national television soon.

What are your hobbies?
Good food and wine, cooking, golf, skiing, sailing and ballroom dancing.

Which person, living or dead, do you most admire and why?
Winston Churchill springs to mind. He was a very strong personality and a leader with great charisma, a great achiever. Most recently in my life I would name Jonathan Orr-Ewing, general manager St James Club and Hotel, a man with a passion for traditional values and etiquette and a great example of an hotelier with a vision and sound understanding of personal service and hospitality.
I was very fortunate to be able to learn from him.

What is your favourite song or piece of music and why?
Many pieces from Johann Strauss and Johann Strauss the son. It is great music to relax to, music from a time of greatness and that reflected the feelings of the Austrian nation at the time. Although I am German, I have strong links to Austria.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I very much hope that I will have increased the turnover and portfolio of the company. It is a bit early to give more detailed figures and I have plans which I am confident can be realised with the right people in my team.

Where are the best views to be had in Hertfordshire?
From our top floor rooms here at Hertford House Hotel.

Where in Hertfordshire do you always take visitors from outside the county and why?
I have not had a chance to explore Hertfordshire yet. But obviously my first choice is Hertford House. And if someone likes good music and great cocktails, I take them to Elbert Wurlings in Hertford. It is the best bar in Hertfordshire and beyond, I might say.

Sum up Hertfordshire in six words.
Welcoming, comfortable, beautiful, great people, stylish.

Article taken from the September issue of Hertfordshire Life

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