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- Xpat Interview Two: Daniel Penet, GM at Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace
Xpat Interview Two: Daniel Penet, GM at Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace
Xpatloop made a second round interview with Daniel Penet, general manager of Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace
1. What’s been happening at work and at home since your first Xpat Interview?
At Work, a lot of new Head Of Departments hired to open Buddha-Bar Klotild Palace and make it an elegant and fun place, in the musical production, Food & Beverage and Hotel fields.
At home, a lot of discoveries of Hungary, Balaton Lake and surroundings with some nice Castle Hotels and beautiful horses, Danube and mountains around Visegrád with a nice bobsleigh track, Tisza To Lake and options for wake-boarding and water-skiing. And of course, a lot of walking in Budapest to discover the city, from Castle to Andrássy avenue up to Heroes square and further to Széchenyi bath, option is to do it with Segway Pedestrian Giropod or with bike … A lot of fun. Exceptional sunny weather has allowed a lot of outdoor activities.
2. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with your life in Hungary, and why?
Budapest is absolutely good place to live. It has all attraction of historical city, with a lot of activities available, and it is in Europe one of the best Value for Money. I still have a lot to discover out of Budapest and I will, but I have the chance to live in the center of the city, close to Váci Utca which is very active all time. I hope the beautiful Váci 1 shopping mall will open in 2012 as announced, it will bring another upscaled attraction to the City center.
I love all terrasses opening now, there is a big seasonal break up with winter and it brings a very nice atmosphere in town.
3. What’s the best party you’ve been to while in Hungary, and why?
Best Party will be the one at Buddha Bar soon, with DJ Ravin and his fellow colleagues, a chic and elegant place with Pacific Rim Fusion food selection. Good music still allowing friends to have conversation, and bar to meet new faces. Or party at the Klotild Lounge under the sky on our 6th floor, with stunning view on Budapest roofs, exactly where Underworld Hollywood episodes have been shot.
4. What’s your favourite drink?
Sparkling water …
5. What hidden talents do you have?
I am afraid I do not have talent, experience comes with work and with keeping eyes and mind open. Having the chance to be a worldwide traveller for business reasons for so many years, I am learning from different people, different cultures and try to understand and use the best approach and practice from these different sources. And Hospitality in 5 stars Properties is a unique opportunity to meet all kind of individuals who had success in their lives, as business men and women, artists, car sellers, builders, … so many fields so can imagine. But all of them share a taste for lifestyle, and I am trying to inspire from their talents.
6. What was the most interesting travel trip you have ever taken?
I am really attracted by nature, so all exceptional natural scenes are interesting to me. From snowboarding Cerro Catedral in Argentina in summer (winter for South Hemisphere), to night diving in Maldives lost Atoll, Game driving with wild animals in South Africa … and walking in the streets of Paris, eating a Sacher Torte in Vienna, Driving Segway in the Budapest’s Cattle, having a Mint Tea in Marrakech facing the Atlas Mountains … Each next trip is the most interesting I have ever taken.
7. If you were given a wish that could come true, what would you ask for?
Peace between cultures and people, take time to know the others and then you will see there are good reasons to be interested in them. Travelling is discovering and understanding, and often, intolerance is coming from not knowing others. Not being afraid of different people, because you met them is open door to worldwide understanding and collaboration between people.
8. What’s the last book you read, and movie you watched?
Last book I read was … Buddha Bar Operating Process Book ! Last movie was “The Artist”, who is taking the risk today to produce a film in black and white with no voice ? Thomas Langman did it, Beautiful story that can have a worldwide reach as it does not need words to express feeling and situations. Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin are just acting right.
9. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
A traveller on the road again …
10. What is the perfect pizza toppings combination for you?
No toppings, have it like it is
11. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
Return to kid’s age, so many things to do and so little time …
12. On a scale of 1 to 10 how unusual are you, and why?
Probably 9. Quite difficult in environment asking you to follow rules and behave.
I Like direct approach and still a kid in my mind, but unfortunately my body starts to remind me I am not 10 anymore when I am pushing it too far.
13. What’s the best website you’ve ever visited, and why?
Google Earth. Waow … You can spot almost any point of the planet. You understand the geography, positioning … Great job
14. Who do you admire the most, and why?
My daughter … because she is intelligent, beautiful, have a great future and sparkling eyes and mind. And because she is my daughter, as any father about it.
15. What do you like best and least about living in Hungary?
Quality of life, reasonable pricing, reliable organisations and people are really good to experience.
On the other side, driving is sometimes crazy, with a few individual acting as if they are Schumacher racing for being first on race. A few real dangerous ‘’pilots’’.
16. What has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
Sadly my divorce, was unexpected shock. And happily my divorce, because I started a much better life with much better balance and values.
17. If you won USD 30 million, what would you do with the money?
Give half of it to children foundation ? Buy an Hotel ?... Buying a beach house in Bahamas ?... Buy a super car, yatch, private jet ?... Maybe travel all year around with the sun like a bird, but in 5 stars please … I may not have enough money to last very long. I do not know, and I do not play any lottery so I am afraid I have no chance to win these 30 million USD. And yes, what would I do with them ?...
18. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
On the Road again, again …
19. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
So many good places … Italy for the life style, South Africa for the wild beauty of the nature, Morocco for the temperature and the good living, Argentina or Canada for the extensive forests and lakes, France for the food, Australia for the low human concentration, New York to be at the source of human creativity, etc …
20. In ten years from now what will you be doing?
Hopefully be in Hospitality business somewhere around the Globe. This is what I know and what I love.