Philip Barnes Returns to Vancouver
British Columbia Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Philip Barnes - appointed General Manager, Fairmont Pacific Rim and Regional Vice President for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in the Pacific Northwest.
In his three-decade hotel career, Philip (Phil) Barnes has lived in some of the most sophisticated cities on earth, but it was during his seven-year stint in Vancouver that he felt a sense of belonging. "As a hotelier who has transferred with regularity it becomes very challenging to find a place that the entire family call home," says Phil. When he joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Vancouver in 1998, he and his family felt that connection for the first time, a deep affinity for the city and community here. It's no surprise then that he's thrilled to be back in the role of Regional Vice President Pacific Northwest and General Manager of Fairmont Pacific Rim.
Born in Manchester, England, Phil discovered early that he had a taste for adventure. In 1979, he boarded a plane in Heathrow bound for Chicago and never looked back. At the age of 30, he joined Four Seasons at the Hotel Pierre in New York. The hotel industry was evolving; small luxury hotels and new brands were just being introduced. "When I joined Four Seasons in 1984, it was still a baby in the industry and hadn't been around that long."After a stint in Toronto, he celebrated his 35th birthday by taking on his first general manager role at the Four Seasons Inn on the Park, Houston, Texas - an especially fortuitous posting since it was there that he met his wife Heidi. The next 12 years were spent honing his skills and perspective with Shangri-La, Four Seasons, and Stamford Hotels in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. From his mentor, Shangri-La chairman Goh Soo Siah, he learned what it takes to get the result he wants, and to never be afraid to ask questions. "He is a true visionary," said Phil of Goh. "His wisdom has stayed with me throughout my career, and I have shared it with many of my colleagues along the way"
Next came Vancouver - where he, Heidi, and their children Nicholas, Austin and Catherine fell in love with the city - and from there, they were on to Dubai, as Phil became Regional Vice President for the Middle East in 2007, then Regional Vice President of the UAE & General Manager Fairmont Dubai two years later. "The opportunity to experience and live in different cultures has been a such a gift," says Phil. Still, when it came, he couldn't turn down the chance to go "home" - Vancouver. The opportunity was made even sweeter when he learned he would be based out of North America's iconic hotel."I'm thrilled to be located in Vancouver's true destination within a destination: Fairmont's Pacific Rim," comments Phil. "As a hotel, we may be only a toddler in age but we've already hosted clientele who are in the top echelons of entertainment, business and leisure."
Phil's greatest passion in life is his family. He's learned through the years the value of time and the importance of a healthy sense of humour. Oh, and there is one other little "hobby" he likes to indulge in: music. With ten guitars shared with his son Nick and "more equipment than talent," Phil says even his children are impressed with his diverse musical taste. Partying with The Who in the Whitehall Hotel in Chicago in 1979 was certainly a highlight.
Now it's time to make some new memories here in British Columbia. Phil makes no room for complacency and surrounds himself with passionate, energetic and enthusiastic people. His straight-to-the-point style of leadership is admired and welcomed, and the Pacific Northwest is delighted to have him return.
With over 60 distinctive hotels, including the iconic Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, and more in development, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality brand known for its warm and engaging service and culturally rich experiences. Located in coveted worldwide destinations, its unrivalled collection of classic hotels imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication, and social importance, and are often considered destinations in and of themselves. Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a leading global hotel company with 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.