Thursday, 28 March 2013

Hotel Tour: The Langham, Shenzhen

This week, I visited our luxurious The Langham, Shenzhen which had opened last November. It is really coming together well as the final touches have been made to the hotel. On every turn, there are unique selling features....from the double height Palm Court, to the very elegant meeting facilities, to the high-ceilinged Duke's bar and restaurant.
From left to right: Palm Court Lounge, Duke's, T'ang Court
The two-storey Langham Club on levels 22 and 23 
Making the most of the natural light, there's a double-height Club Lounge and on the hotel's top floor, the Star Room with the adjoining VIP duplex suites connected by well-lit staircases definitely generate the desired wow effect.   

The two-storey Honeymoon Suite (left picture) and the Grand Ballroom (right)
The stunning Star Room in a twilight setting
Over 40 per cent of the room inventory is 62 square metres and above so we are at the top of the market in that important aspect. This is our first purpose-built The Langham property and I must say we have the best hotel in Shenzhen; one that exudes true European elegance.
Epitome of luxury: The two-bedroom Royal Suite
For those of you that don’t know Shenzhen well, it is a sizable city economy with annual GDP of US$208 billion, which is already 80 per cent the size of Hong Kong or Singapore and no doubt one day will be even bigger.  We are truly fortunate to be a part of this growing dynamic city with such an excellent hotel. 

Afternoon tea at the Palm Court (left) and all day dining at Silk (right)
So if you are coming to Hong Kong, I would highly recommend you spend some time to travel to Shenzhen which is just an hour away. Have a look at this beautiful hotel and maybe stay for a relaxing weekend getaway.  Sven and his team have done a great job opening the hotel and it is already on top of some of our Guest Service Ratings as the colleagues in this hotel, on every turn, are there to make your stay a memorable one.

A liquid oasis in the middle of Shenzhen

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Our Sixth Earth Hour

It is Langham Hospitality Group’s sixth year participating in Earth Hour and we are proud to have all our hotels joining this meaningful event tonight.

Aside from switching off non-essential lights for an hour starting at 8.30 p.m., it is great to see some of our hotels think out-of-the-box in their promotion of this annual event, such as the creation of Earth Hour cocktails and pralines to hosting candle-lit dinners; from inviting an acapella group to perform when the house music is turned off to organising an art exhibition with a Green Nature theme.

Sweet Earth Hour reminders - pralines from The Langham, Shenzhen
Our dedicated engineers around the world have estimated that we will save 2,000 Kwh of electricity during that hour which is the equivalent of switching off approximately 36,000 lamps.

Saving energy for one hour may not make a significant impact overall, but Earth Hour plays a more crucial part in stimulating awareness and dialogue about using and more importantly, wasting, our limited resources. It is not just for that one hour but beyond that we must consider what we are doing as responsible citizens of the planet. Have we left our computer screens on during our lunch break? Do we regularly recycle paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans? How efficient are we in the things that we use and consume in our daily life? There are many little things that we could do in our routines to be more self-aware and diligent in our conservation efforts.

I remember when I was a child, my father installed a solar water system on the roof of our house in North Queensland, Australia. It was quite unique in those days and the benefit we got was not just from the monetary savings but as a family thinking we were doing something good for the planet.  It is this idea of saving and helping if combined in a positive way and frame of mind that can be very powerful, not just at work but at home as well.
Our incandescent housekeeping team at The Langham, Hong Kong

Monday, 18 March 2013

Litmus Test for Our Company Vision

Welcome to my blog which we have developed to ensure we communicate well and on many different levels within Langham Hospitality Group.  I initially want to highlight our vision as a company, why this is so important and why we chose Know our Guests and Build Great Memories.
I have somewhat of a ‘litmus’ test when it comes to visions or missions for companies, and it goes like the following in my mind:

#1 - Our vision has to be a singular thought that everyone in our company can understand and contribute towards. It cannot be about profit, or market share, or nebulous things like being the "preferred choice for all stakeholders" etc. In other words, it has to be a relatively simple thought that can also be very powerful.

#2 – It's a vision that everyone can understand and potentially be able to support in their day to day activities.

#3 - If we were successful with implementing this vision (or one thought), and if everyone contributed and excelled in this area, would most other objectives in our company ‘take care of themselves?’

#4 - A great vision has to be focused on our customers or what we are doing for our customers.

So this is why, as a team, some years ago, we came up with Know our Guests – Build Great Memories.

I honestly believe that if we did the best job in the industry in relation to understanding what our guests need, their desires and wants and were able to deliver this in a subtle and elegant way, this would make us stand out from the pack.

It is about anticipation but it is also about being proactive in our approach and inspiring our teams who will, in turn, inspire our guests with our attention to detail. Moreover, we really need all departments to be considering how they can deliver our vision. Not only front of house teams but also those at back of house.

Please consider who your customers are and ask yourself "how can I know my guest/customer better and build great memories with them?"

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on this matter, and many more to follow.