Facing the Sea with Spring Flowers Blossoming
--Exclusive Interview with Desmond Wang, General Manager of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre
对于筹开如此关键的一家酒店，王健先生表示，他的理想是打造一家充满幸福感的酒店，正如万豪国际创始人万豪先生所言：“如果你好好照顾我们的同事，他们会悉心照顾我们的客人，这样，客人就会回来。”王健先生希望将来大家对他的酒店的印象更多的是幸福感。他希望在这家酒店工作的员工觉得很幸福，将来下榻酒店客人的体验感也是幸福的，同时，业主方对酒店在各方面取得的成绩也感到幸福。对此，人力资源总监张璇女士也表示：万豪集团以90年的品牌积累和关怀员工的核心价值吸引着员工，让员工入住即认为家。为了照顾员工的身心健康，万豪推出了Go. be. Happy. 主题活动，教大家如何健康饮食，如何运动，厦门万豪酒店更是为员工准备了运动手环等实用运动辅助工具，照顾每一位同事的身心健康。
Starting tomorrow, I will be a happy person. Tending my horse, chopping up logs, and traveling all over the world. Starting tomorrow, I will care for crops and vegetables. I have a house; it faces the sea, and flowers bloom in the warmth of the spring. Starting tomorrow, I will contact all my relatives to tell them about my happiness. As that lightning bolt of happiness has told me, I will tell each and every person. Give every river and every mountain a warmhearted name. As for strangers, I wish you happiness too. I wish you a bright future! I wish you a lover who may one day become your spouse. I wish that you obtain happiness in this world. I wish only to face the sea, where flowers bloom in the warmth of spring.
When browsing through the materials of Xiamen Marriott Hotel and Conference Centre, the poem “Facing the Sea with Spring Flowers Blossoming” of Hai Zi recurs to my mind. Why is that? The answers may be found in this issue’s cover story, the exclusive interview with Desmond Wang, General Manager of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre and his executive leadership team.
Born in Yangzhou, an ancient and delicate Southern town in China, Desmond received his Bachelor’s Degree at home and pursued advanced study in Singapore. During his overseas education, he got acquainted with the hotel industry and found himself being deeply affected by this passionate and thoughtful industry. After coming back to China, he was determined to get into the hotel industry and stayed in Beijing for work, the political center of the country where international star hotels are ubiquitous. During this work, he continued improving himself by acquiring a Master’s Degree in Hotel Management of Cornell University. In 2015, Desmond joined Zhuhai Marriott Hotel and assumed the position of Resident Manager. In the past two years at the hotel, Desmond had led his team to accomplish a great deal of achievements. In July, 2017, he was appointed as the General Manager of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre.
Accompanied by such an outstanding and aspiring general manager, Grand Hotels Media was blessed with such an insightful view of the hotel’s background and characteristic within one impressive journey. Since the hotel is opening soon, we want to give readers a comprehensive overview of the hotel, so that interviews with Desmond’s seven EXCOM members including Resident Manager Martin, Financial Controller John, Director of Marketing Vicky, Director of Human Resources Sophy, Director of Rooms Lucia, Director of Food & Beverage KK and Director of Engineering Victor are done elaborately.
Desmond, as well as his seven EXCOM members, has assumed different yet significant posts in the hotel, which plays an indispensable role in coordinating various departments. Concluded by Resident Manager Martin, the whole team shares an identical goal, thinks in each other’s position, agrees to disagree and thus works better together. They have coordinated the overall development of the hotel, and paid great attention on every single detail to present the hotel’s characteristics. Through the dedication and cooperation of the whole team, the opening preparation of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre is processed in a smooth way.
As the first Marriott brand hotel in Fujian province, Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre is a key project of the hotel group in 2017. Located in the junction of Tong’an District and Jimei District of Xiamen city, the hotel enjoys a superior geographical position. It takes only 20 minutes to arrive in Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport. Xiamen Fangte Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Xiamen Kaikou Golf Club, Jimei School Village, Tong’an Film and Television Town and other scenery spots are all within the reach.
“Facing the Sea with Spring Flowers Blossoming” is the best depiction of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre. Vicky, the Director of Marketing introduced that the hotel is located in the coastal area of east Xiamen, the oriental Miami, boasting 5-kilometers of beautiful beaches, a 60-kilometer coastline, 50,000-sqm of mangrove park, a marathon runway and Fangte Magic Kingdom Theme Park, which are all selling points and competitive characteristics of the hotel. Lucia, the Director of Rooms supplemented that the hotel, designed by PLD Design Consultants Limited, is a perfect combination of Marriott value and local culture. Deep tea culture of Fujian, the elegance of Xiamen egret and ocean element of Tong’an Bay are all integrated into the hotel’s interior decoration. The grand sea view can be appreciated in the hotel’s 284 guest rooms, 16 suites, 13 villas and Grand Business Reception Centre. Utilizing the spacious terrace room, guests will be totally intoxicated by the view of the soothing water and gentle wind. Thus, simple happiness of “Facing the Sea with Spring Flowers Blossoming” wells up in mind.
Creating a hotel full of happiness is Desmond’s ideal. Just as J.W. Marriott, JR. the founder of the hotel group said, "If you take care of the associate, the associate will take care of the guests and the guests will come back.” From Desmond’s perspective, hospitality means welcoming and serving people as if you were welcoming them into your home. It means starting with that warm invitation to our associates. Happiness is what links employee, guest, owner and the hotel. Sophy, the Director of Human Resources also thinks in the same way. She mentioned that Marriott makes a commitment to make the workplace an environment where employees’ emotional, physical and financial needs matter, an environment where each one of the employees feels like a valued member of a team. The theme activity, Go be Happy is launched to teach employees how to eat healthy and do sports. Practical tools including sport bracelets are also prepared by Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre to take employees’ physical and mental health into account.
As a hotel characterized by its meeting service, Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities in its meeting sector. The meeting and banquet venue of the hotel is up to 4000 square meters, including two ballrooms and eight function meeting rooms, to cater the various needs of banquet, meeting and event. The 1,280-sqm Marriott Grand Ballroom, located on the 3rd floor of the hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows, pillar-free design and giant HD LED screen, can be flexibly divided into three separate ballrooms. The 600-sqm Foyer provides a swift access to a gorgeous garden landscape through its big window. The 680-sqm pillar-free Xiamen Ballroom is located on the 1st floor, which is suitable for different middle-sized conferences. The rest eight function rooms range from 65 to 580 square meters, offering smart options for organizing small-sized meetings. Grand Business Reception Centre is a gather place for inspiration by its four different-sized meeting rooms, three Chinese-style private rooms and one VIP room.
Meanwhile, Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre is also dedicated to building itself into an integrated hotel with business and leisure functions, presenting the most unique Marriott service concept and complete supporting facilities, providing a more splendid experience to creative and energetic young individuals. KK, the Director of Food & Beverage introduced with great confidence that dining in the hotel is definitely a luxurious treat. No matter the Chinese Restaurant where overlooking vast ocean scape is available, the Western Restaurant with distinct outlooks differing between day and night, or the Japanese Restaurant, Pool Bar and the Sweet Shop, Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre is your ideal selection. In addition, guests can also appreciate stunningly beautiful scenery in the open-air barbecue bar, or enjoy intimate personal space in Red Wine House and Cigar Bar. KK also creates unique catering characteristics for the hotel by integrating the local culture into it.
Worth mentioning is the hotel also has a number of relaxing and entertainment facilities such as billiards room, tennis room, bowling room, card room, private cinema, three outdoor swimming pools, one indoor heated swimming pool, fitness centre and kid’s club. Spa Centre is also a good choice for guests who want to enjoy a visual feast of the garden scenery during the body care.
To ensure the operation of the above facilities is the responsibility of Victor, the Director of Engineering. Victor confessed that the preparation process of the hotel is not an easy task. Taking account of the overall process of the project as well as every single detail of each part is of great necessity. Guaranteeing the project time and quality at the same time is also essential. In Victor’s point of view, a reliable and superior engineering team is vital since it matters the hotel’s construction quality as well as daily maintenance. Team building and training can not only inspire an employee’s potential, but also yield twice the results with half the effort.
In addition to excellent hardware facilities, personal ability of a leader is also significant for running a hotel. As the General Manager of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre, Desmond has the seasoned experience and extraordinary management skills. Speaking of how to build such a featured hotel, Desmond replied with a penetrating yet impressive answer. First of all, he hopes every member of the team could have the right attitudes towards work and life. He believes that attitude is all. Only with the right attitude can one perform his or her best. Secondly, he hopes everyone in the team could be confident with their ability and talent. He wishes the whole team the passion that he has. Age should never be an excuse for working without great enthusiasm. John, the Financial Controller can’t agree more in this aspect. He also expressed his viewpoint about eight things a good team should accomplish, good moral character, harmonious team spirit, rigorous work style, proactive work attitude, excellent professional knowledge, organizing and coordinating desire, strong resilient strength, hardship bearing ability and work-completion on time.
In the end, Desmond expressed his great expectation towards the opening of Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre, an integrated hotel with business and leisure, a hotel characterized by meeting services and a hotel full of happiness. Along with his team, Desmond will be dedicated to creating more amazing vacation and meeting programs, making every effort to provide guests with a home away from home.