Coffee Time with Industry Vets: Bernardo Neto, The Ben

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coffee time Bernardo Neto
Bernardo Neto with his wife and two daughters.

Bernardo Neto is bringing Vegas flair tempered with Four Seasons charm to his new role as general manager of West Palm Beach’s The Ben, and not to mention 12 years of hospitality experience.  With the property set to open in January 2020, Recommend caught up with Neto to learn a little bit about him in this latest installment of the Coffee Time with Industry Vets Q&A series.

Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
I was 15-years-old and traveled from Lisbon, Portugal to London.

What is your most vivid travel memory?
Almost stepping on a large king cobra while visiting Marrakesh during Ramadan in 2013.

What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
It was the fact that this industry allows us to meet new people (guests/staff) from a diverse background.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We did an Alaska Cruise, and explored the local area by taking advantage of the many excursions. From halibut and salmon fishing to traveling in a helicopter to the top of a glacier, Alaska is the ultimate frontier.

What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
Last year I visited the beautiful island of Maui. The endless sunsets and the richness of the Hawaiian culture was palpable. They are so respectful of the environment and they live to enjoy all the best things that mother nature has to offer.

Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?
So many places, but Australia and New Zealand are on my bucket list since I saw the first Lord of the Rings movie.

Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
My most common souvenir is a couple of extra pounds after indulging on all the best local food. I don’t shop much as we prefer the experiences versus material souvenirs.

You can tell us—do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
No, but I print many photos of my travels and keep them on my fridge.

What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
Before my two beautiful daughters came along, I used to read up on the destination. Now I mostly catch up on my sleep.

Who is your favorite travel companion?
My wife, she knows how to make me laugh like nobody can.

What is the best food you’ve had on a trip?
Easy, Giant Tiger prawns and clams from Cervejaria O Ramiro in Lisbon, Portugal. The strangest? Traditional Irish breakfast. Something about having a blood sausage at 9 a.m.…

What can’t you travel without?

Tropical beach or Snowy Mountain?
Tropical beach. You get to pack less clothes and most drinks come with an umbrella.

City or countryside?