AHL Insider:

Alessandra Balazs

Actress & Hospitality Expert

  • Who are you and what do you do?

    I am a Libra and chihuahua enthusiast who also just so happens to be an actress and hospitality enthusiast! I have been involved in the hospitality industry for, essentially, my entire life - except of course when I am filming. I’ve worked in every hospitality position you could ever imagine; from housekeeper and staff canteen dishwasher, to Marketing Manager. I’ve literally done them all! I am also starting a new travel & lifestyle website that will launch in mid 2017, so be on the lookout! This is something I have been passionate about doing for quite some time now, so to have to opportunity to bring it to life, really is a dream come true!

  • Obviously you’re the daughter of a hospitality hero - is there any particular childhood memory that made you think “damn my dad is cool?"

    Well, thank you! He would be blushing if he heard you say that! It’s interesting, I think every child thinks of their parents as heroes, no matter what they do for a living. It’s so hard to pick just one memory that made me think “damn my dad is cool”, because he is in fact, REALLY cool! Infinitely cooler than I will ever be! One memory that sticks out the most was when I was 8 years old and my dad volunteered to be the coach of my soccer team. It just made me feel incredibly special to have my dad so involved! And on that note, from the ages of 5 to12 years old, my school held a tag team charity race, where all the kids participated with their parents. I don’t want to brag…but, we didn’t lose once in 7 years! I’m fairly certain that he secretly trained months in advance just to make sure he would be able to cover any distance I had lost! I now look back and wonder with admiration, how he juggled it all. Starting and growing a successful business, while also being a “damn cool dad.”

  • What do you see in the most exciting change in the hospitality industry in the next few years?

    I think there are a lot of changes happening in the hospitality industry, most of which revolve around technology. We are living in a time where literally everything can be done online - from how you book your room to the services available to you during your stay! What I find very exciting is that in the world of social media and with platforms like A Hotel Life, you can now swiftly and easily find hotels that appeal to you, based on the trust of who recommended them. On that note, I think the most exciting change in the hospitality industry is actually more of an “evolution” then a change per-se. While we used to rely so heavily on the Sunday Times for a review, or a hotel to directly market and advertise their product to us, it is now becoming easier and easier to find hotels that we would want to go to, based on the ease of accessing “insiders” or our peers’ opinions. The guest, now, has the most power!

  • What’s at the top of your travel wishlist?

    Practically every place in the world that I haven’t been to yet! I’m dying to go glacier trekking and see the caves in Iceland. It’s also a dream of mine to take the Orient Express from Russia to China. And I would love to go horseback riding through Patagonia, Argentina. I could go on…

  • Favorite getaway spot?

    On a boat, anywhere warm. Water is the key to my heart!

  • Any notable travel mishaps?

    Believe it or not, one of my travel mishaps happened on a boat! During college my friend and I went to Croatia, and I somehow convinced her that it was an excellent idea to rent a boat and take it around the island. Why not, right? However, we were on a very tight budget and ended up on what was essentially a row boat, with a tiny motor hanging on by a thread. I played the role of Captain, and successfully got us shipwrecked halfway around the island. We were found about 5 hours later by a fishing boat passing by. The good news is we did have a bottle of wine on board, so I can’t say it was a total mishap. I did do something right!

  • If you could choose the soundtrack to your life - what would be the top two songs?

    Hmm… “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. I love the line “I got sunshine in my pocket”. I like to think that I’m walking around the world, protected by an armory of sunshine. And, “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament Funkadelic. Not because it is analogous to my life, I just love it.

  • If you could throw a party for anyone, dead or alive, who and what would it be?

    I use any excuse as cause for celebration, and love focusing on every detail to make the event special and unique. A party for 35 people (not too big, not too small), on the beach, would be the dream. It would somehow incorporate a slip and slide, waterskiing and a performance by Jackson 5. The perfect sunset, dancing by a fire, and S’mores would all be mandatory, obviously.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

    Hopefully not asking myself, “what the hell did I achieve in these past 5 years?”