Up close and personal with Wayne Androliakos, Cycas Hospitality

George Sell George Sell Uploaded




In the latest of a regular series, we find out what makes some of the leading figures in the serviced apartment and aparthotel sectors tick. This time, we speak to Wayne Androliakos, chief operating officer of Cycas Hospitality.

The best part of my job is…
Getting to work with so many different international brands and accommodation styles. The Cycas approach has always been to make our hotels the best places to work as well as stay, regardless of the flag above the front door. Having such a wide range of brands in one portfolio is a real privilege and has helped give me a holistic overview of the hospitality industry.

The most challenging part of my job is…
Finding the right talent to maintain Cycas’s award-winning performance culture. Cycas doubled its portfolio in the last year alone and plans to triple in size over the next few years, so it’s critical we find the right Cycadettes who take having fun seriously and can make working hard look fun.

My biggest achievement in business is…
Becoming the very first GM for any branded extended-stay aparthotel concept in Europe (when Cycas and IHG brought Staybridge Suites across from North America to Liverpool,) and helping popularise the concept to the point that it is now considered mainstream.

My biggest mistake in business was…
Not realising straight away how regular breaks are vital to productivity as a young, ambitious man. Now I’m a strong advocate for using your full holiday allowance to take regular breaks from your regular routine. For me, holidays are as much to explore new parts of the world and enjoy new experiences as to safeguard your physical and mental wellbeing.

If I wasn’t working in our industry I would like to have been a…
Teacher! My plan had always been to go to University and become an English Literature teacher. However, just before I went, I took up what was meant to be a year-long internship role with one of Southern Africa’s leading hotel management groups - and the rest is history.

The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me was…
Choose your attitude. I once heard a former boss use the phrase while explaining how full-on the hospitality industry can be, and how important it therefore was to maintain a positive outlook, and it’s stayed with me ever since.

If I could tell my 18-year old self one thing it would be…
To believe in yourself and have the confidence to pursue your passion, regardless of what others think. Because I had fun working part-time in hospitality as a student, it took me a while to view it as something I could legitimately pursue as a career too, and to realise that having fun doing what you love is what everyone is secretly searching for.

The person I admire most in hospitality is…
It’s undoubtedly John Wagner – one of Cycas’s co-founders, who I’ve worked with for almost 13 years now. I’ve always admired the way he wholeheartedly believes that the key to true hospitality and financial success starts by building a great team who enjoy what they do and share a passion for making people happy. The way he treats everyone equally - always making time for a chat - is truly inspirational. This focus on creating great teams who provide warm and genuine service is a key reason Europe’s branded extended-stay industry is what it is today.

The person I admire most in history is…
Being an African boy, it’s got to be Nelson Mandela. Visiting where he grew up in Soweto as a child made a huge impression on me. To see how someone could rise from such humble beginnings to make such a positive influence on a nation had a big effect on my outlook, and is one of the greatest examples of the power of ‘choosing your attitude'.

I am surprisingly good at…
Identifying wildlife! It always surprises people who know me to hear that, as part of my initial hospitality training in Zimbabwe, I spent three months working as a safari guide for a luxury game reserve. I drove guests round in my Land Rover, had my own rifle, and was lucky enough to encounter some of the world’s most incredible creatures every day as part of my job.

I am surprisingly bad at…
Being a passenger – I’m an awful back-seat driver! No matter who is at the wheel, I simply cannot relax.

My perfect day off would be…
Walking Waggers - who is now retired from life as a hotel dog somewhere in the Lake District. My phone doesn’t always work up there so it’s a great place to clear the mind, enjoy some incredible scenery and regain some perspective.

LinkedIn

Be in the know.

Subscribe to our newsletter »
Subscribe

Thank you sponsors