Sara Abdel Masih
|Other languages:||Italiano • العربية • Ελληνικά • English|
|Sara Abdel Masih|
|General manager of Hotel dei Cavalieri and of The Square Milano hotel|
As far as higher-class hotels in Milan are concerned, she is the youngest female general manager
Married to Simone Pintus since 2009, they have three children, two of whom are twins.
She’s born in Egypt by a mother of Greek origin and a father of Egyptian origin, but grows up and studies in Milan.
She embarks on her university career while working in the luxury hotels sector, and graduates in Tourism Sciences - culture and territory management - at the IULM University of Milan, with a dissertation about communication in the luxury segment.
With the experience gathered while working in the world chains Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (5-star luxury) and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts (5-star luxury), she develops solid skills in hotel management. In 2010 she decides to try her hand at opening a lower category facility, succeeding to maintain quality and luxury standards, with excellent results in terms of positioning.
Since 2014 she has been a speaker at several hotel management institutes in Milan.
In 2014 she is appointed Deputy Manager at the hotel Milano Scala and, in 2018, she is selected to head the historic structure located in Piazza Missori, the Hotel dei Cavalieri with 166 rooms (facility under renovation and expansion), and The Square Milano hotel with 126 rooms.
Awards and recognitions
LEADER IN ACTION
A five-star terrace
The new rooftop terrace at Milan’s Hotel Dei Cavalieri is due to open in a few months. The manager of the hotel in Piazza Missori and The Square Hotel is Sara Abdel, who tells Forbes about the new challenge she faces A petite woman who is less than forty years old but already has plenty of experience and determination stands behind the ambitious project for opening a new pole of the hospitality industry in a part of Milan which, though right in the city centre, currently has no luxury hotels. She’s Sara Abdel, general manager of The Square and Dei Cavalieri hotels, chair of the hotel operators’ association of Lombardy, mother of three and anxious to get started on new challenges.
“It’s a great opportunity for me: not only will I be managing two hotels, I’ll be bringing my experience to a lower category with the intention of improving its rating.”
Though her mother is Greek and her father is Egyptian, Sara Abdel has earned the honour of being named Milanese citizen of the year. For ten years she worked only in five-star luxury hotels in the centre of Milan, and the city’s most prestigious hotels fought over her as if she were a star football player. Until her career began to clash with her role as a woman and a mother: “I began my career in five-star luxury hotels right away, partly because I can speak five languages, two of which I consider my mother tongues, and I soon rose to the position of assistant manager of a well-known hotel in Milan. But after my pregnancies I decided to take a break, and consider whether to be a full-time mother or go back into the fray to face a new challenge. The Cavalieri Collection offered me a great opportunity: not only to become manager, of not one but two hotels, but above all to bring my experience to a lower category with the intention of improving its rating.” The goal of the project is to expand both The Square and the Hotel Dei Cavalieri and improve their ratings from four stars plus to five stars in only a few months. And there has been plenty of work going on in the two hotels in the past few weeks, without preventing tourists and business travellers from enjoying their stay at the two hotels. “We’re adding a spa,” Sara tells Forbes, “as well as a beautiful rooftop terrace that will be opening in the months to come.” The Hotel Dei Cavalieri Rooftop will provide the city of Milan with a new patio, a location no-one has seen before because it was used for other purposes, offering a new perspective on the city. From the Velasca Tower to the Cathedral, from the new towers at Portello to the towers of Sforza Castle, practically offering an all-round view, as the terrace covers the perimeter of an entire city block, overlooking Piazza Missori from the Hotel Dei Cavalieri on one side and Via Larga from The Square on the other side.
The goal of a five-star rating should be achieved by the end of the year, in time to benefit from a time in history when Milan is acting as a true magnet for tourism in Italy, thanks in part to the awarding of the 2026 Winter Olympics, which will also require more hotel rooms in the city.
In the meantime, Sara is preparing for her next challenge: she will be publishing a book next year. “But it’s early to talk about that, yet,” she says. “First I need to finish working on this other challenge.”
She has successfully undertaken several sports activities.
She begins practicing athletics in 1994, achieving national successes in the Resistance speciality.
Being a team play lover, in 1998 she starts dedicating herself to volleyball at a competitive level.
In 2012 she gives birth to her first daughter, and after that she takes on a new challenge as a beacher on the sand. Already in 2014, she achieves brilliant results at the BVAW (Beach volley around the World) in Palma de Mallorca, with her partner Federica Pardini.
In 2015 she becomes part of the Italian beach volleyball championship in Rome and, after her new pregnancy and the birth of her twins in May 2016, she is back on the sand already in August.
She is currently enrolled in the Lega Italiana Beach volley - the national Championship for sports clubs - with the MBA Sport Academy team.