Alumni reunions are a great way to rediscover why Les Roches is more than just a school, but instead, it’s a way of life that stays with them throughout their lives and careers in the hospitality industry. Portuguese students have a longstanding tradition with Les Roches and the legacy they carry goes back to our earliest years. Portuguese students represent 10% of the Les Roches student body, second only to Spanish students. Their role in the ascension of Les Roches to one of the top hospitality management schools worldwide cannot be overlooked. To honor their ongoing contributions to the hospitality profession and to their alma mater, we held a reunion cocktail and dinner at the Four Seasons Ritz in Lisbon, Portugal on October 25th. The dinner featured a keynote speech from the president of Portugal Tourism, Luis Araujo.
Mr. Araujo outlined the main objectives of the 2027 Tourism Strategy to the alumni present and said “sustainability of the business sector, the country and people as a whole are at the heart of this strategy. Tourists, who come more, who spend more, who stay longer, come in the low season tend to visit the smaller localities, but we want more people at the city level to realize the value of tourism for
Les Roches Alumni Reunion Portugal Highlights
Spanning intakes across 25 years, several generations of Les Roches’ Portuguese alumni came together for an evening of reminiscing and networking with old and new friends alike. Their standing in the hotel industry is as diverse as their ages; from 2009 alumnus, Frederico Paes de Vasconcelos, General Manager of the five-star Altis Avenida Hotel to 2014 alumna Carina Olem, CEO of La Key Events.
Les Roches Marbella’s General Manager, Carlos Díez de la Lastra, offered opening remarks and mentioned “the growing success of the tourism sector in Portugal has boosted interest from high school students in Les Roches and the Glion Institute of Higher Education which have various undergraduate and postgraduate courses and offer work experience in hotels overseas,” Antonio Paraiso, Luxury Marketing and Innovation consultant, gave a presentation on innovation and trends in the luxury hospitality sector.
Also attending were a pool of regional journalists representing various Portuguese media outlets as well as Les Roches Marbella faculty and staff, including Hassan Djeebet, Director of F&B, Pedro Martins, Educational Counselor for Portugal, Mano Soler, Director of Operations & Student Services, and Patricia Rodiles, Public Relations and Institutional Development Manager.
The evening was capped off with a traditional Portuguese Fado performance by Portuguese Voice finalist and Les Roches Marbella alumnus, Pedro Seabra.