“I got the travel gene early.” That’s Christoph Schmidinger, son of an Austrian diplomat, encapsulating the happy result of the “very cultured” grand tour of the Continent he enjoyed before settling with his family in Germany. Yet when it came time to choose his own career, the regional vice president and general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong sidestepped his father’s calling for something similar in the private sector. “I always wanted to have a lot of contact with people, yet I wasn’t interested in government work,” he recalls. “There are few jobs that embody this to such an extent. Diplomacy and hotels are really quite similar, only you’re dealing with different characters and aspects of quality.” Schmidinger’s plunge into the hotel world has served him and Four Seasons well over the years. Drawn to the vibrancy and complex infrastructure of sizable addresses, he worked for major hotel groups throughout Asia before joining Four Seasons Residences Singapore in 1993. Transferred to the United States in 2000, he became general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta and then moved on to The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) and Four Seasons Hotel New York before joining the Hong Kong property in 2014.