Answering the call of the waves

Hotel Director, Swan Hellenic Limited

SHL alumnus Philipp Reutener was literally born into the hotel business: At a young age he helped his parents run their bed and breakfast on Lake Lucerne. After completing his apprenticeship as a chef, his passion for gastronomy and the hotel industry led him to Lucerne to attend the SHL Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern. Philipp's career was already taking off before he even graduated!  Shortly before graduating, he was recruited as General Manager for the «MythenForum Schwyz» event centre. «As part of the SHL diploma thesis, we had to write a business plan for the «MythenForum Schwyz». My performance at the presentation seemed to have convinced the chairman of the board of directors, because he subsequently offered me this great challenge,» says Philipp. He left the «MythenForum Schwyz» to follow the call of the waves and fulfil his dream of working on the high seas.  He was employed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. for a total of four years - first as Food & Beverage Assistant Manager, soon afterwards as Director and finally in the Human Resources and Culinary Projects department.

For the next six years, he continued his career on land, managing resorts for Amari, Anantara Hotels and Sandals Resorts in Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Jamaica. However, the lure of the sea was too strong and in 2013 he returned to the water as hotel director for Seabourn Cruise Line, mainly travelling to the Baltic Sea and his favourite region, Antarctica. Then the opportunity arose to join Swan Hellenic. «I was able to help shape the first season of SH Minerva in Antarctica in 2021 as Opening Director - a fantastic experience,» says Philipp. Since then, he has also experienced the maiden voyage of the SH Vega and is currently preparing the opening of the newly built expedition cruise ship «SH Diana». 

Another exciting fact: Philipp's passion for the hotel industry has encouraged him to acquire and assimilate extensive language skills. In addition to his native languages Swiss German and German, he also speaks French, English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Thai.

Philipp in the media:

Keyword Interview

  • SHL

    First SHL Day
    January 1995

    SHL is
    ... the perfect school for embarking on the journey in the hotel industry.

    I’ll never forget …!
    The Service Course (today: Semester 1 Gastronomy)

  • Life

    What I like most about where I live - Brunnen - is
    Lake Lucerne and the unbelievably beautiful backdrop

    Relaxing after a hard day
    A cool beer

    When I'm not working
    ... I enjoy being outside and my friends

    Me in three adjectives
    Patient, organised, passionate

  • Career


    • General Manager of the "MythenForum Schwyz" as a 26-year-old
    • F&B Director on a 2,400-passenger cruise ship as a 28-year-old
    • General manager of a resort in Thailand as a 34-year-old
    • Hotel Manager of an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica
    • Hotel Director on Seabourn Cruise Line's Luxury Cruise Ships
    • Opening Director for the three newly built expedition cruise ships of Swan Hellenic Cruises

    My job in three words
    Exciting, challenging, demanding flexibility

    Daily routine
    Ship round, coffee, meeting with the team, meeting with the captain, various inspections, various guest-related tasks (including tours, cocktail functions, gangway presence), dinner with guests

    Current projects
    The opening of the new cruise ship SH Diana Swan Hellenic Cruises

     I still want to achieve
    To work at Aman Resorts, Hotels & Residences

  • Hospitality

    Favourite pub
    BasBas Kulma, Helsinki

    Favourite hotel
    Amangiri, Utah and Aman in Bhutan | Chablé Maroma, Mexico | Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo | and many more...

    Me as a guest
    Always with a «thank you» and «please» on my lips

    I appreciate
    friendly, honest and competent service

    Being unfriendly to staff

    This should change
    That you canfind more professionals in the hospitality industry who enjoy and take pride in their profession.

  • Inspiration

    What makes me laugh
    My nephew and animals

    The person I admire
    Jordan Peterson

    Last holiday destination

    Dream holiday destination

    Catchy tune
    Rosanna - Toto

    High bicycle riding

    I wish I could
    ... play the piano