A conversation with Tomas Rado

Written by Susie Saldanha McCormack

Tomas began a career in the hospitality industry in his native Prague in 2001.  Since then, he has been working for Marriott International brands, from the Ritz Carlton luxury hotels and resorts to the luxury boutique EDITION hotels, taking him from the UK, to Belgium, the Canary Islands, Germany, the Cayman Islands and New York. He arrived in Ibiza in 2019 for the opening of W Ibiza and three years later, he finally joined Hotel Riomar, in 2021.


Can you tell us about your role as a General Manager at Hotel Riomar?
As a General Manager my prime responsibility is to ensure that everything runs smoothly. I love it because obviously I get involved in all aspects of hotel and non-hotel operations. Hotel operation ranges from food and beverage to reception or housekeeping. Non-operation involves human resources, marketing, sales or finance. I get to be involved in all of this and again my role is to ensure that the treatment is fair and consistent amongst the entire platform and that everyone shares the same benefits or challenges, if any. It’s also about leading by example. Basically, all your associates are looking up to you in one way or another and in my personal belief that is very important.

Is hospitality something that you’ve always had a passion for?

 Surprisingly not. Up until I started to work in the hotel industry, I had no connection to hotels. My family was not in the business, I don’t think we ever stayed at a hotel as a family. So, me starting to work at a hotel was something completely new and I developed a passion throughout my journey.


What kind of values do you seek in your staff?

Trust, honesty, integrity and commitment.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting a career in hospitality with the aim to become a GM?

My advice would be that prior to deciding to jump on the journey, that the decision needs to be a long-term one because it is a commitment that should come in for quite a long time. To reach the position of General Manager is not for the short term. Can it be done in a short time? Of course, it can. Is it beneficial to that person? Of course, it isn’t. Why not? Because again as a General Manager the expectation is not that you are an expert in all the disciplines, but you definitely need expertise in something. As a General Manager what you need to do is to surround yourself with experts in their fields and can support the structure. So, the decision should be a long term one and well thought through. What I mean is that the journey requires lots of sacrifice regarding time or effort, just like anything else that you want to do well. My advice is to not to take it lightly and to stick to it in the good times as well as the bad.


What personal touches does Riomar have to ensure guests have the most perfect stay?

In general, the service is something that stands out at Riomar. The reason is very simple, we don’t ask our associates to come and work with us, we ask them to come and join us on a dream. As long as we share the same dream, we know we don’t need to ask them to stay longer hours, do more or do something that is not necessarily their scope of work, because we know that they will do it because they want to do it.

Hotel Riomar creates opportunities for the visitor to find balance, in what ways?

Find your balance is a slogan that has many meanings. There are some that we define and there are others than we allow the guests to explore for themselves. One meaning is balance in general, balance in life. We provide a space and accommodation for someone’s vacation or whatever the purpose of the trip might be where they can stop and relax. Another meaning is the balance within yourself. We have a focus on wellbeing, and we offer moments for this. From morning yoga to full moon intentions reading workshops. We are always thinking of ways for guests to feel better than when they arrived. We leave the rest open for guests to explore what balance means for them on a personal level.


People are more aware than ever about the impact they have on other people and on the planet when travelling and this affects their decisions. How is Riomar involved with sustainability?

As an industry we waste a lot, we burn lots of energy, oil and we consume lots of water. But I also feel we are an industry that is also doing a lot with regards to compensating. For us, our attention on finding balance also plays a great role here. We try to give back to the planet and we are always involved with sustainability focused initiatives. From little things like eliminating plastic straws and replacing them for sugar cane straws to eliminating all the plastic bottles in rooms and replacing them with glass which is reusable and much more environmentally friendly. We have eliminated 99% of the plastic within the hotel. Then things like changing all light bulbs to LEDs or fixing blocks on the water taps so that there is less waste. It goes on and on. Sustainability is very important to us. We make contributions to IbizaPreservation because we really care about where we are. It’s very important to care globally but locally as well. Ibiza is at our heart so whatever footprint we leave behind us, our intention is to go back and compensate it. We intend to do even more next year.


Can you tell us more about the location, Santa Eulalia Bay?
Santa Eulalia Bay is a peaceful corner of the island and we have the privilege of being right on the sand, looking out to the calm and pristine Mediterranean. There is still something very new and fresh about this area of the island. The bay offers a fantastic range of cafés and restaurants, from fine dining to casual East Mediterranean on the beach or healthy vegetarian on the promenade. There are so many different gastronomic concepts that you can spend a whole week without having to leave the bay. It’s a great area, suitable for families and with something for everyone.

What can we expect in 2023?

A continuation of the success that we enjoyed in 2022. We will continue evolving on our service execution. It’s been a phenomenal year. The biggest news is the opening of our Italian restaurant, by the name of Riva. The concept is very straightforward: Riva will be an Italian restaurant with top Italian products. We have an award-winning pizza oven and a chef coming from Italy. We will offer high quality food at affordable prices with simple, traditional dishes in a modern space.


What is your favourite time of year on the island?

My favourite time of year on the island begins the second or third week of September and lasts until the end of the nice, fall weather. It is less hot and the season is still in full flow with so much available. Back to finding your balance, it is a great time when you can still swim in the sea and focus on wellbeing, health related events, yoga, bootcamps, spiritual healing. The opportunities are endless.

Our intention as a hotel is to explore ways to maintain open at least until end of October or possibly the first few weeks into November. We obviously meet the same challenges as anybody else which is the flight connections. By the 15th of October most flights from all the major European cities are ending. We still believe that moving into the future this could be a possibility.

Can you tell us about some special places on the island?
Cueva de la luz. After a hike you get to an opening in a rock near a cliff and during two or three hours a day the sunlight shines straight inside of it so the sea water is stunning. You can jump inside and the only way out is to swim underneath the rock into the open sea.