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The difference between being a Village Manager and a Hotelier

Guy Marinucci traded a 25-year career in Hospitality for the rewards of being the first Village Manager at Europa on Alma in Melbourne’s beachside suburb, St Kilda. All of Guy’s experience as a General Manager of four and five star hotels across Australia has paid dividends for BoltonClark’s first venture into Victoria – in the form of a Judge’s Commendation in the Special Purpose Living category of the UDIA Awards for Excellence. After 22 months in the role, Guy has found one thing very different between his two careers.

“The turnaround of hotel guests is quick but at Europa I have been given the opportunity to build relationships and a rapport with residents and gained satisfaction by playing a part in enhancing their lives,” Guy said.

Guy’s resident-first focus has garnered outstanding feedback, while his open, honest management style has created a warm, inclusive environment for the team. Guys says the most important thing he and the team have learned at Europa on Alma is to never forget that they are working in someone’s home and need to respect that it is their sanctuary. 

“(We) treat each resident as an individual and understand them. Also, be curious and gain an understanding of each residents background  –  there are fascinating stories from each one. They are all individuals and have lots to contribute to the Village  from their life experiences.” Guy said. 

Innovative approaches to procedure implementation and the introduction of new ways to engage and support residents have shown that Guy knows what it takes to make a village both successful and happy – from welcoming the first residents to making the most of Europa’s modern community facilities with a busy social and wellbeing calendar. 

“The aim is to surprise and delight them, always.”, he said.  

For a man who worked in restaurants and bars before earning a Bachelor of Business (majoring in Hotel Management), providing a concierge-style lifestyle for the residents can be as simple as introducing new residents to others with similar interests or an impromptu afternoon tea during intermission for one of Europa’s regular movie sessions. 

Donating a few bottles of wine for the regular sun downers get together doesn’t hurt either, he added. 

Europa on Alma, which opened in 2021, has an awe-inspiring entrance foyer and a sky terrace with breathtaking views of St Kilda beach and Melbourne’s CBD. There are 81 one-, two- and three-bedroom independent living apartments serving as homes for the 61 current residents.   

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