Ask a group of travellers to choose their favourite hotel from a list and you’re likely to get different choices for lots of different reasons. What makes one five-star hotel better than another?
Is it the décor and the quality of furnishings? Or is the feeling you’re being treated like royalty as you wander around the hotel? Perhaps it’s the combination of a stunning swimming pool and impressive spa. Or is might be something as simple as the pink rubber duck sitting on the rim of your bathtub.
A top hotel experience is a combination of several things. Whatever it is that makes a luxury hotel stay special for you, I’m sure you’ll agree that the experience is always more memorable because of the people who work hard to deliver service behind the scenes.
China’s hospitality sector is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. The country’s first national recognition for professionals working in the hotel industry has an Unsung Heroes category, which recognises the people who make the wheels go round in the background.
Here are the nominees for the award and the luxury experiences available at the hotels they work at.
Lazio Zuo, Food and Beverage Manager | The Langham Xintiandi, Shanghai
When it comes to Chinese fine dining, Langham has built quite a reputation for itself. So the role of food and beverage manager is crucial to the hotel group’s success.
Located in Shanghai’s vibrant Xintiandi district, the 24-storey The Langham, Xintiandi has plenty of good food on offer at T’ang Court Chinese restaurant, Cachet and lifestyle bar XTD elevated.
The Lobby Lounge dishes up a delectable afternoon tea while the Martini Bar is the spot for evening drinks.
Chuan Spa offers pampering and healing based on traditional Chinese medicine. There’s an indoor pool and 24-hour Health Club.
Wang Haibo, Driver | Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing
The hotel has 595 rooms and suites, 14 restaurants and bars, two spas, a private marina, the tranquil Yanqi Pagoda and manicured gardens.
As this is a large hotel, it’s great for families, offering recreational and fitness facilities and a Kids Club.
If you’re planning on visiting the Great Wall, ask for Wang Haibo to drive you there.
Linda Zhao, HC Cleaner | Hilton, Beijing
Located in Beijing’s Chaoyang business and diplomatic district, near Beijing International Airport, this is a contemporary hotel with a cool designer glass-ceilinged swimming pool with a Jacuzzi.
The sporting facilities are impressive and include the Jacuzzi, sauna room, steam room and squash court.
Evan Wang, Duty Manager | The Ritz-Carlton Portman, Shanghai
Check into the Ritz-Carlton Portman Shanghai and you might possibly be warmly welcomed by the manager on duty, Evan Wang.
Situated right in the heart of bustling Nanjing Road, the 610-room Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is right there in the commercial, shopping and entertainment district of the city.
There are three restaurants and lounges serving Chinese and Western food. And an extensive health club with swimming pool, gym, and squash court.
Colin Li, Sous Chef Associate Dining Kitchen | The Westin Pazhou, Guangzhou
As cities go, Guangzhou may not be as sexy as Shanghai or as buzzy as Beijing. But regular visitors to China will know that Guangzhou is the country’s rising star, with luxury hotels popping up everywhere.
The Westin Pazhou’s offers pampering in its Heavenly Spa by Westin™, a tennis court on the roof and an alluring pool. It’s also the only hotel with direct access via a sky walk to The Canton Fair Complex.
To find out the top nominees for all 15 categories visit www.hotelierawards.com. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on 11 December 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong.