Born in Lebanon to a family of professionals, Safi was encouraged by his parents to pursue a career in medicine, but he instead contemplated dentistry until a school job fair opened his eyes to the hotel industry. “There was a woman at the fair who worked for a big hotel group,” reminisces Safi, “She had a sparkle in her eyes and a real passion for what she did. She invited me to train for a month, and I enjoyed the hotel vibe so much that I chose to pursue hospitality instead.”
He then enrolled in a hotel school in France, followed by a short work stint in the United States to learn English, thereafter, moving back to France to earn an MBA. Co-incidentally he arrived in France around the time Four Seasons opened its first property in Paris, the George V. He eventually became its Executive Steward.
A few years later, Safi departed Four Seasons to expand his food-and-beverage knowledge at properties in Paris and Geneva. He returned to the company in 2014 resuming with Bahrain Bay, and joined the opening team in Kuwait City as Hotel Manager two years later. During his tenure he learned the rooms side of the business. “I’d worked within food and beverage departments for a long time, but I always knew I needed to be familiar with the whole operation.”
After a fulfilling stint in the Middle East, he moved to Canada, to join the team at Four Seasons Hotel Montreal, as Hotel Manager. “Montreal reminded me of Europe, albeit with a North American edge. The dining scene was spectacular, and I challenged our Head Sommeliers to discover and bring in the best local and Canadian wines to enhance our wine list.”
“Heading to America, specifically the Bay Area, California to the heart of Silicon Valley is fantastic. Being in the centre of tech universe is exciting and I enjoy serving our guests at Four Season Hotel Silicon Valley in the most innovative ways that most suit their style,” says Safi.