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Petra Baumann: From An Intern To The General Manager Of Villa Rosa Kempinski

Villa Rosa Kempinski is among the most luxurious hotels in Kenya located along Waiyaki Way in Westlands. Petra Baumann is the general manager (GM) of the five star hotel. In this article, WoK takes a look at her journey from an apprentice to becoming one of six women GMs of Kempinski hotels across the world.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Background

Petra Bauman is the GM of Kempinski hotels in Kenya which comprises Villarosa Kempinski in Westlands Nairobi and Olare Mara Kempinski in Maasai Mara game reserve in Narok County. Growing up she had always had interest in the hospitality industry since her parents operated a small hotel and shop.

Her career in the hotel industry began in 1997 where she worked as an apprentice in Germany for two and a half years. During a past interview on KTN, Petra revealed that it is the apprentice job that shaped her career in the hospitality industry.

“In every hotel there are so many different departments and in apprenticeship you work in every department. You work as a room attendant cleaning rooms, you work at the reception and so on and so forth. So it is very diverse and helps you understand every aspect of the industry. Later you can then specialize of which I chose the front office department,” she explained.

Career Journey

In 1998, Bauman joined Le Meridien Phuket hotel in Thailand as a front office trainee for seven months and later on Sheraton Aeroport Charles de Gaulle in Paris, France where she worked as a Reception Shift leader.

In July 2000 she joined Arabella Sheraton Grand  Hotel (now The Westin Grand) as an Events  Coordinator before becoming a Receptionist at MS Europa/Hapag Lloyd Kreuzfahrten in June 2001. 

Joining Kempinski Hotel

In February 2002, she joined Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin and worked there for 10 years and 8 months holding various positions including Event Sales Coordinator and Director Event Sales. In September 2012 she joined Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt Gravenbruch as a Rooms Division Manager before she was moved to Africa joining Kempinski Hotel N’Djamena in Chad.

“I had a warm welcome in Chad, I must say a very poor country unfortunately but people are very friendly, open and giving. It was a great experience for me there. I worked as a Director of Operations in charge of all the hotel operations, housekeeping and front office,” she said during the interview.

In 2015 she joined Hotel Indonesia  Kempinski Jakarta as a hotel manager and two years later she was moved to San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice as the task force hotel manager. In May 2019, Petra was appointed as the GM Kempinski Residences in Guangzhou, China.

Moving to Kenya

In October 2021, Petra was appointed as the GM of Villa Rosa Kempinski & Olare Mara Kempinski in Maasai Mara game reserve. 

“It was a very short time from China coming all the way to Kenya. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare and to find out more about Nairobi and Kenya. The transfer took me by surprise but in a positive way obviously but I came open minded.

I am very proud to not only be the general manager of Villa Rosa Kempinski here in Nairobi but also managing Olare Mara Kempinski which is a small 12 tented camp in the middle of a conservancy,” she said.