Try How it Feels to be a Hotel General Manager
----Pioneering Charity Undertaking by Mr. Henk Meyknecht, General Manager of Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai
“Discover the Charm of Hotels”charity auction series was formally launched by Grand Hotels Media in collaboration with 90 top hotels and Smiles Foundation in Shanghai on the afternoon of May 18th, 2015.
Subsequent to a grand launching ceremony, Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai, a leading hotel of the upscale hospitality industry, unfolded a deluxe and intriguing journey.
Overlooking the stretching skyline of Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone along the Huangpu River, Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai is a byword for European elegance and luxury. Situated in the heart of this Asian financial hub, it is a top choice for business leaders. Likewise, advantageous geographical location offers convenient transportation: Oriental Pearl TV and Radio Station is within walking distance, and famous scenic spots and landmarks of Shanghai, such as the Bund are just several minutes’ drive away.
Founded in 1897, Kempinski is the oldest established luxury hotel brand in Europe and has 78 five star hotels in 32 countries, with ongoing new property development in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Properties of Kempinski include historic landmarks, award-winning urban hotels as well as premium resorts and upscale residences. Each individual property offers guests a combination of local culture and unique Kempinski characteristics. Kempinski is a founding member of Global Hotel Alliance, the largest alliance of independent hotels globally. With a unique, luxury positioning, Kempinski was one of the first hospitality groups that opened outlets in China following China’s reform and opening-up. Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai boasts 686 exquisitely designed guest rooms and suites, most of which offers a bird’s eye view of the Huangpu River. There are 4 restaurants and 3 bars serving global delicacies and beverages, which includes Elements Restaurant (unique to Kempinski), Acqua Restaurant staffed by Italian chefs, Albero Spanish tapas bar, Chinese Restaurant Suntime Century, and Red Passion, the amazing panoramic bar on 30th floor, Havana Night with an exotic taste of South America and the Lounge Bar. In terms of meeting facilities, the hotel has a 705 square meter ball room and 14 meeting rooms with anterooms, as well as Huangpu Auditorium, the only dedicated hotel auditorium in a luxury hotel in Shanghai. When darkness falls, the dim ambient light refracting through the French windows of the Spa on 30th floor creates a fascinating illusion that you are standing aloft above the Huangpu River.
In the opinion of Mr. Henk Meyknecht, General Manager of Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai, the hotel is much more than such tangible, quantifiable elements as geographic location, guest room design and meeting facilities. Having worked for an antique family-owned Dutch hotel group, and graduated from Cornell University, Henk reiterated that for an upscale luxury hotel, the intangible competitiveness always speaks louder than tangible advantages. This exactly coincides with the goal of “Discover the Charm of Hotels” charity auction series: the charm of luxury hotels is more than its dazzling appearance at a glance. It carries profound connotations beyond the descriptive capacity of words and pictures, and can only be interpreted through an intimate experience of its culture and artistic attitude.
“Luxury is something exclusive”, a tenet which Kempinski has held for over a century, means that Kempinski attaches much greater importance to quality than to quantity. Imparted to its staff is a life style that values art, delicacies and interpersonal communication. The hotel employs an elite staff and provides adequate staff training so that they are in a better position to offer professional and customized services. Kempinski Group keeps a large professional database that records the preferences of each individual guests, detailing the softness, texture of pillows suited to each individual guest, personal tastes and a number of other detailed personal preferences to ensure that each individual guest receives tailor-made services at whichever hotel within Kempinski group around the world.
It is a century old tradition for Kempinski brand to fulfill its social responsibilities, and Kempinski has been actively involved in public welfare undertakings in China over the years. And it is the first hotel group that responded favorably to and played a leading role in“Discover the Charm of Hotels” charity auction series. With the combined efforts of the hospitality community, the charity auction series have received the attention and support of a large number of expatriates to public welfare for the first time. At the 10th anniversary of Grand Hotels Media, 90 customized deluxe packages have been a generous contribution by the hospitality community to public welfare. The current series of charity auctions started on May 18th and will last 3 months, with creative products launched on-line at the starting price of 10 RMB each by one exquisite 5 star hotel on a daily basis. Product information will be released real time on the official website of Grand Hotels Magazine, and auctioned at the starting price of 10 RMB each. Tailor-made innovative hotel services will go to the highest bidders. As the very first stop of this campaign, Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai offered an innovative product entitled “Try how it feels to be a hotel general manager” for charity auction. During the first week of the campaign, Ms. Eva Ho , best known socialite of Shanghai became the first customer to try this innovative product at Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai. Henk, General Manager of Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai led his team to formulate a detailed package for Eva and accompanied her throughout her stay.
Over the past decade, Eva has enjoyed a reputation as the Best Known Socialite of Shanghai and the Queen of Shanghai Public Relations Community. She has planned and organized dazzling, high profile banquets and parties for Consulate Generals in Shanghai and a number of Chambers of commerce. Her clients include political leaders Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger and luxury brands Armani, Ferrari, Opus One. Her gentility and brilliance coincide with Kempinski’s firm belief that“art and culture are a necessity instead of a luxury”. With multiple years’ public relations experience and an exceptional eye for art, Eva has a unique perception of the hospitality industry, which added to her superb experience at Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai. As the cream of hotel guests, she exhibited exceptional acumen and curiosity in the role of the general manager since this is something new to her. This mutual unfamiliarity and curiosity triggered an exploratory journey that sparked a wonderful impression.
A day with a packed schedule at Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai had been arranged for Eva. Upon arrival, Eva and Mr. Henk Meyknecht, General Manager of Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai, toured each hotel department to see if the hotel is operating smoothly. Then they attended a meeting of hotel management on sales performance review and planning. After a day of inspection and meetings, a romantic dinner for two has been prepared for Eva and her husband at Acqua, the Italian restaurant. Eva and her husband stayed at a Diplomatic Suite of the hotel. When Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai was appointed to serve political leaders attending 2014 Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, it accommodated Mr. Ban Ki - moon, Secretary General of the United Nations and President of Republic of Azerbaijan, and became a trusted hotel among political and business leaders. The Diplomatic Suite boasts panoramic views overlooking the Huangpu River and the Bund skyline beyond. 81 square meter of space inside the suite is adequate for both relaxation and meeting with guests. The next morning, a wonderful breakfast was served at the secluded Executive Lounge on 28th floor, which offers a stunning view of the Huangpu River, and serves breakfast, afternoon tea, sunset cocktails. Spiral stairs of the Executive Floor is designed with originality and a European style. The Executive Floor was dedicated to a private area where distinguished guests may relish top delicacies in an undisturbed ambiances.
Based on its outstanding accomplishments in dining services, the hotel will accommodate the annual awarding ceremony of You Are The Chef on November 27th 2015. The upcoming event will be an upgraded version where the world’s top chefs will come by invitation to present awards to winners.
The current charity auction series have involved a number of political, business and artistic celebrities who will continue to try the amazing and considerate services offered by high-end hotels. In the following 3 months, more hoteliers are believed to take part in this significant campaign for public welfare. We would hereby express our appreciation to Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai for its European style, creativity, and enterprising spirit, which exemplify the elegant generosity of “Discover the Charm of Hotels” charity auction series, and enable an insightful journey into classic deluxe hotels. (Please visit the official website of Grand Hotels Media www.grandhotels.com.cn, if you wish to participate in bidding, or watch video clips of the campaign.)