Session: What is the future of Luxury Tourism?
Who is Ralph Radtke?
Throughout his illustrious career, Çırağan Palace Kempinski’s General Manager Ralph Radtke has become a sought-after hotelier expert for international hotel establishments seeking success and transformation.
Born in Germany in 1952, Radtke received his bachelor’s degree from the Centre International de Glion in Switzerland in 1980 as well as a secondary bachelor’s degree in Food & Beverage Management from Glion’s program at the Florida State University in 1981.
After starting his career as an Assistant Sales Manager at Hotel Hilton International in Paris in 1981, Radtke went on to serve as the Executive Assistant Manager at Hotel Westminster Warwick Hotels & Resorts Paris from 1982-1984, and the General Manager of Sofitel Thalassa Quiberon in France from 1985-1988, where he piloted an extensive renovations program.
In subsequent years, Radtke’s career took him to Far East Asia, where he served as the General Manager of Sofitel Central Hua Hin in Thailand from 1988-1990. As a pilot hotel and the first Sofitel opening in Southeast Asia, this proved to be a turning point in Radtke’s career. He then went on to play a crucial role in the takeover and opening of Sofitel Sovietskaya Moscow, the first Russian/French joint venture in the Soviet Union, from 1990-1992.
Radtke’s next stop was Sofitel Abidjan, where he saw to the takeover and rebranding of the hotel from Hilton from 1992-1994. For his next project, Radtke oversaw the takeover from Carlson Hotels of the Hotel Europlaza & Residence managed by Sofitel in Luxembourg from 1994-1998, completing a rebranding and full renovations program for the 364-room facility.
From 1999-2006, Radtke served as Area General Manager of Accor Hotels Luxembourg, where he developed 11 hotels for Accor Hotels and provided guidance to each general manager to ensure customer satisfaction and quality of delivery, as well as approving the marketing plans and hotel budgets in line with a coherent brand strategy.
From 2007- 2011, Radtke served as the Senior Vice President of Sofitel Northern, Central & Eastern Europe, Turkey & Israel, managing a portfolio of 15 hotels with a total turnover of €150 M in 2009. During this time, Radtke played a crucial role in the repositioning of Sofitel into a luxury hotel brand by respecting the French origin of the company, as well as successfully developing the brand in key destinations such as Moscow, Kiev and Frankfurt. He also oversaw two new openings for the Sofitel Group, with the Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal in 2008 and the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom in 2010.
In October 2011, Radtke assumed his current position as the General Manager of Çırağan Palace Kempinski as well as the Regional Director of Kempinski Residences Turkey. During his four years at Çırağan Palace, the property received the award for ”The Best F&B Performance Worldwide” and ”The Top Financial Performer Hotel of the Year Worldwide” by the Kempinski brand in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
In addition to seeing its profits maximized, the hotel currently has a GOP of over 60% and an occupancy rate of over 80%. Considering the training; Radtke has also taken an active role in establishing the ”Çırağan Academy” for the hotel’s employees. In hotel industry, he is now leading the biggest redesign project of Europe to create the future era of Çırağan Palace Kempinski and position the property as the ”World’s Best Hotel.”
Revered for his accessible managerial style, Radtke was elected one of the ”Top 10 German General Managers Abroad” by Schulmmer Atlas, Germany and the International Hotel Expert Heinz Horrmann in 2014 and 2015. He also holds a Silver Medal of the French Académie des Arts, Sciences & Lettres, a Silver Medal of the City of Paris, as well as being an Officer in to the Order of Merit of the Ivory Coast and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Radtke is also very much involved in a variety of social responsibility projects. He is the founding member of a children’s home for victims of the genocide in Rwanda and a supporter of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a non-profit organization in Istanbul that manages the home for the aged.