Having completed major transformation across all areas, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong continues its invincible track record of hosting international dignitaries and Heads of State, celebrities and high society.
As the hotel continues to sweep awards and accolades across different regions, Richard Greaves, hotel General Manager and Area Vice President, has more than just one reason to celebrate the hotel’s 30th anniversary next year.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There is never a boring day at the hotel. Some days we host week-long investor conferences for bankers and fund managers; some days we are the temporary home for a Saudi Arabian prince and his entourage.
I mean, Hong Kong is a fascinating city. Last year, the world’s most expensive pink diamond was sold for $71.2m at Sotheby’s auction. This year, the most expensive painting in the city grabbed $35m at Art Basel. Both events happened right next door to our hotel.
How did it all start for you?
I was studying and working in the UK, and was intrigued by Asian culture. The next thing I knew, I was on a plane to become Hyatt’s Assistant Banquet Services Manager in Macau.
This is your second time working at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. What makes this hotel special?
Looking out onto Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline, I dare say that we are front-row witnesses to the city’s evolution.
I still remember the day when Hong Kong changed sovereignty in 1997. We watched the British delegation arriving with the Royal Navy in front of our hotel, before we hosted the celebratory dinner at our restaurant with vintage bubbly. Twenty years on, our hotel hosted the Handover anniversary gala dinner.
What keeps you going after all these years?
Knowing that we transform guests’ dreams into reality. With our hotel being a place for celebrations, we are always facilitating some romantic getaway, family reunion, company gala or industry-wide conference.
If you were to explain your job to a ten-year-old, what would you say?
I help the team create happy memories for our guests.
What is your secret to success?
Empathy and care. These are very crucial in a lot of things I do. I care for our employees so that they can perform at their best. We care for our guests, so we strive to understand their needs from their perspective.
Very simple things come from a world of understanding – like anticipating in advance the need for Halal dishes or Qibla pointers for some; or baby-care amenities for others.
Advice for young aspiring leaders?
Hard work, dedication. A passion for creating a caring environment where the team and their leaders trust each other 100%.
What is the single most important factor that sets your hotel apart?
Service that comes with a loyal team who listen with their hearts.
Where do you see the hotel in five years?
I know our hotel will continue to be a place where happy moments happen, where lavish events take place and a place that heads of state and celebrities choose as their home away from home.
When the hotel was conceived, the architects and designers envisioned a luxurious cruise liner from the Art Deco period. Next year, when we celebrate our 30th anniversary, I will be very proud to say that the continuous renovation and refreshing of products will enable us to maintain our legacy while moving forward, ensuring smooth sailing for years to come.
Finish this sentence: “The world would be a happier place if…”
People showed care in everything they did.
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