Chris Franzen Appointed New Managing Director of the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne


Chris Franzen Appointed New Managing Director of the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne

Switzerland, Obburgen.
April 29, 2024

Chris Franzen, an experienced international hotelier, has been appointed as the new Managing Director of the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, starting on 1st April 2024. Stepping into this new role, he succeeds the current Acting General Manager, Thomas Goval. After six years of successful leadership and notable contributions to elevating the resort’s profile, Thomas Goval is now expanding his career internationally within the same ownership company, Katara Hospitality, joining the iconic Raffles Singapore as Hotel Manager. Originally from Zermatt, Switzerland, Chris Franzen has worked in the hospitality industry for over three decades. He has spent more than half of that time in the Gulf States, where he held management positions within the Hyatt group across the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar; most recently, opening and running the Waldorf Astoria Doha Lusail luxury hotel complex since 2021.

Raised in Zermatt, Chris Franzen is a third-generation hotelier with a rich background in the industry. His career began with culinary training, which he completed with distinction. Subsequently, while completing his bachelor’s degree, he expanded his horizons by studying at the Australian International Hotel School in Canberra and the prestigious Cornell University in Ithaca, United States.

In 2000, Chris Franzen joined Hyatt and has remained in the group for over 22 years. He initially worked in various operational departments across different properties before taking up his first position as General Manager at the Grand Hyatt Muscat in 2009. This was then followed by further roles as General Manager and, in parallel, as Regional Vice President for Qatar and Oman, and finally as Regional Vice President for Hyatt Western India.

In his last position before joining the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, Chris Franzen opened and managed the Waldorf Astoria Doha Lusail Resort, which boasts 267 rooms and suites, 150 luxury apartments and villas, diverse dining options, numerous meeting and conference spaces, and extensive spa and relaxation facilities. Simultaneously, the hotelier served as the CEO of Aureus Advisors LLC, a luxury hospitality consultancy.

Chris Franzen comments: “I am very much looking forward to my new role and working with the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne team. For me, it is important to involve guests, making them feel welcomed and offering them exceptional service. I aim for a motivating collaboration with a flat communication hierarchy at all levels. I want to be available to all employees at all times. I know that such values have been lived up to now at the resort and the handover with Thomas Goval who shows unparalleled knowledge of the resort will be extremely beneficial to achieve further successes”.

Chris Franzen is currently active in various committees and consultancies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Della Leaders Club for Hospitality & Travel Committee in India and of the Alumni Board of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. He is also a tourism ambassador for the Swiss alpine resort of Zermatt and works as a consultant for Guidepoint Advisors. Chris Franzen has won several awards during his career and was included on the General Manager’s Power List Middle East 2023 (Hotelier Middle East).

He succeeds current Acting General Manager, Thomas Goval, who after six successful years enters the next phase of his international career within the same ownership company, Katara Hospitality, joining the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore as Hotel Manager.

Katara Hospitality extends its heartfelt appreciation to Thomas Goval for his remarkable dedication: “We would like to thank Thomas Goval for the outstanding work and contributions he has brought to the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne over nearly six years. His focus on nurturing internal talents, delivering exceptional guest experiences, optimizing performance and working with the team to develop innovative F&B, spa and wellness concepts and offerings has been commendable. He also played a key role in establishing world-class partnerships and orchestrating unforgettable events and shows, while maintaining a constant focus on luxury, continuous improvement of guest experiences, and heightened team engagement, reaching record levels in 2023. Thomas Goval spearheaded the 150-year anniversary event for the resort last year and helped build the current leadership team. Awarded Young Hotelier of the Year in 2020, Thomas Goval will transfer to our legendary sister property Raffles Singapore where his European experience will complement the existing team. We are delighted to allow such talent development within our ownership group and are already excited to have him on board for this unique opportunity, wishing him all the best in his new role.”

Thomas Goval says: “I am grateful and honored to be joining the team at the grande dame Raffles Hotel Singapore and note it has been a privilege to be part of the legendary Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne story, and to work with the 750-colleague strong team. I am saddened to leave behind many guests who became friends and such valuable colleagues but knowing they will be in good hands with Chris Franzen.”


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