The Yunnan Charm behind Hilton,
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Anthony Meng, Cluster General Manager of Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang & Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La
British author James Hilton describes a fictional place Shangri-La in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon. Under his pen, Shangri-La is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. As time goes by, Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, in which the county-level city Shangri-La in northwestern Yunnan province of China is one of the most notable one. The city, representing purity and ethereality, is the perfect blend of blue skies, white clouds, green grass, and vibrant flowers as well as herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, beautiful Dai girls and passionate Tibetan compatriots.
In this issue, Grand Hotels Media has the great privilege to interview Mr. Anthony Meng, Cluster General Manager of Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang & Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La in the cover story. Along with Anthony, we witnessed the glamorous Shangri-La and Lijiang, known for their unique culture and feature of the two hotels.
The first time we saw Anthony, admiration had showed between the lines. As a descendant of the famous Chinese philosopher, Mencius, Anthony studied in France for 5 years and obtained a double Master’s Degree from University of Angers. In addition to Mandarin and English, he is also fluent in French. With 8 years’ experience as the general manager of international brands and regional director, Anthony holds very inspirational and insightful perspectives towards the hotel’s operation. It is believed that by virtue of his talent and experience in hotel management, keen observation towards the market and high demand for quality and service, the success of the Hilton hotels as the premier business and leisure ones in Lijiang and even the Greater China can be expected soon.
According to Anthony, Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La was officially opened on June 28, 2017. Located at Shangri-La’s city center, the Tibetan-styled hotel is just within seven kilometers of Diqing Shangri-La Airport. It is also close to the 1,300-year-old Dekezong ancient town and the Gedan Songzanglin Monastery, which is often considered as the most important Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan. Rejuvenation can be easily gained by an angle of pitch with intoxicating sceneries offering the most attractive experience for travel and leisure.
Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La provides upscale accommodations and all the modern amenities that today's busy travelers need and appreciate. The 233 spacious guest rooms and suites with the smallest one of 30 sqm at Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La have comfortable bedding with hypoallergenic pillows, 43-inch HD TVs, as well as generous work surfaces and ergonomic chairs, offering an open and stylish layout and a breathtaking view of the city. Besides, the hotel is also equipped with ergonomic chairs and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access, which supports remote printing from a laptop or any mobile device so that guests can enjoy the convenience of office automation.
The hotel also strives for perfection in the business sector by setting up a large-scale Galsang Room and a flexible Azalea Room. Conference rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment including a projector and diversified modern office equipment, fully catering to the various needs for business meetings and banquet events of any scale whether indoor or outdoor. In addition, the hotel pays great attention to business services, ensuring that every single detail from meeting needs to special diets is considerately cared for.
Dining options at Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La include three distinctive restaurants, The Garden Grille, The Garden Bar and Noodle Bar. The Garden Grille offers an international buffet and an extensive menu of Western, Sichuan, Yunnan, Cantonese and Tibetan cuisine. The Garden Bar is a delicate inside bar where all kinds of drinks can be purchased. Noodle Bar keeps guests staying indoors with varieties of delicious pastries and seasonal snacks. The hotel also features the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry, which provides grab-and-go items including beverages, wine, light meals, snacks and small commodities. Refrigerators and microwave ovens are equipped to meet the needs of guest at any time.
Speaking of the latest plan for the hotel, Anthony introduced that Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La participates in Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty that allows members to earn Points & Miles® on the same stay, without any blackout dates on reward stays. To celebrate the hotel's opening, Hilton Honors members will receive 1,000 points per night. Honors members will always receive the lowest price guaranteed, along with Honors Points, free Wi-Fi, digital check-in privileges and booking fee waivers only when their stays are booked directly through Hilton.
After so many detailed information of Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La, Anthony started to introduce Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang with fervor and assurance.
Lijiang is no stranger to most people by its sophisticated view as well as ancient aroma. The city wins enormous praise from poets at all times and in all countries, especially for its large and small snow-capped mountains. Located at the foot of the snow-capped mountains, Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang treats guests with an unforgettable stay with the slightest cool breeze at the tips of their fingertips.
Does a hotel at the foot of snow-capped mountain exist the defection of inconvenient transportation? The answer is no. Anthony explained that Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang is actually located in the heart of the Lijiang city with the snow-capped mountain as the perfect background. The hotel is not only close to the beautiful snow scenery, but also near the lively Commercial Street and ancient city, providing great convenience for both shopping and entertainment.
In addition, guests can find everything they need for a comfortable stay at Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang. The spacious desk with an ergonomic chair and complimentary Wi-Fi access are all designed to make guests feel at home. The plush bed and comfortable sofa definitely allow guests to have a good night’s sleep and a productive stay.
In order to facilitate guests as much as possible, Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang provides an over 230-sqm-banquet space, including one function room, two meeting rooms and one boardroom. These include the cutting-edge audio-visual equipment and professional staff to anticipate guest’ needs and ensure a successful meeting, training course or private celebration.
In such a transient conversation, we ended our interview with Anthony with a fruitful harvest. As for the future, Anthony will continue to work with confidence through his heart. No matter the progression Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang, or the newly launched Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La, Anthony will spare any efforts by taking advantage of his profound knowledge and rich experience, with the great support of Hilton Group and hotel team, to ensure the two hotels an even more brilliant future.