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Sofitel, the French Elegance in Chengdu 当法式优雅遇上蓉城闲适 ——访成都索菲特万达大饭店总经理许寒松

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By Vicco Wu

Sofitel Wanda Chengdu is familiar to the people who know Chengdu, however few people know the person who always runs around the Jinjiang River is Sofitel’s general manager — Hansong Xu.
Hansong Xu worked in various hotel brands, and in Year 2013, Sofitel Wanda Hotel achieved success under Xu’s lead. Xu has worked in Shangri-La Group for 16 years before joining in Sofitel. So he has deep understanding of different hotel cultures. “The target business of Shangri-La is based on Asia-Pacific area, however, Sofitel, as a French brand, its business runs all over the world.”Meanwhile, Xu thinks that every hotel has its own unique culture and position in hotel market.
At the first couple of months, Xu barely has private time. However, he got used to this cozy city when he realizes more local cultures. “Chengdu is a nice place for living”, in his eyes, Chengdu is fashionable, relaxed, cozy and developing.
Unlike the freshman at the first time, Xu starts to admire Sanxingdui Museum, Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage and other Ba-Shu cultures, while the lifestyle of “slow” is comprehended. “My life concept is changing during the understanding procedure.” After working, Xu like listening some music to ease the pressure. “You will get rid of trifles during the half hour in music world.”

熟悉成都的人,或许都知道已经有10年历史的成都索菲特万达大饭店;但人们或许不知道,那个经常会出现在酒店前方锦江,绕河晨跑的,正是酒店的总经理许寒松。Exterior2
思维缜密、语音磁性的许寒松,曾服务于多家国际酒管理公司,在他的带领下,成都索菲特万达大饭店在过去的2013年,取得了不俗的成绩。在进入索菲特之前,许寒松曾在香格里拉酒店集团工作过16年。因此,他深谙各个酒店品牌文化背景的不同,“相对于以包括中国、东南亚在内的亚太地区为主攻区域的香格里拉,源于法国的索菲特品牌则在全球生根开花”,同时,许寒松还强调各个品牌均有各自的特色,并争取到属于自己的市场份额。
刚到成都来的两三个月,许寒松忙得几乎没有私人时间。然而,随着他越来越多地接触当地人及当地文化,他开始渐渐享受起成都的闲适,“它非常适合居住、生活、养老”。他用四个词来概括自己眼中的成都——时尚、休闲、轻松、发展。
从无法理解,到另眼相看,许寒松不仅有感于三星堆、杜甫草堂、三国等巴蜀文化创造的灿烂文明,更开始体悟到千百年来积累的“慢”生活态度,“我的观念正在发生一些变化,希望将来能够融入这种生活节奏和生活态度”。因此,喜欢阅读的许寒松开始关心起养生方面的知识。工
作之余,他还会通过音乐来释放自己的压力,同时伴随着舒缓的音乐,做一些撑筋运动,“只要半个小时,自己就会松弛下来,慢慢地从烦心琐事中抽离出来”。

What is the characteristic of Sofitel Wanda Chengdu?

Sofitel Wanda Chengdu has more than 10 years history, this is incomparable.

Sofitel Wanda Chengdu Luxury Hotel is ideally located in the centre of the city on the picturesque Jinjiang River. The 262 Luxury Rooms and Suites accommodate guests in French elegance with a subtle Chinese touch. Every detail has been attended to for an extraordinary experience from the indulgent Sofitel “MyBed” to fragrance lighting entertainment and technology.

The main guests are business customers, tourists also included. Sofitel Wanda Chengdu puts the Ba-Shu culture of three thousand years and French lifestyle into catering and services.

There are some local hotel brands in Mainland China, what are the advantages of Sofitel?

Firstly, Sofitel is a global brand, so we have branches all over the world.

Secondly, Sofitel has an international leadership team, while the leading management is able to supply in every Sofitel hotels.

Thirdly, Sofitel has a long history in hotel industry. We have already established the credibility and maturity.

Sofitel is the luxury branch in Accor, what are the representatives of luxury?

Happiness, excellent, openness are the brand spirits of Sofitel. We have designed ten brand features to show the french romance. The greeting of Sofitel ambassadors of the French art de recevoir, unique aroma, Sofitel “My Bed”, French manner, the cleaning ceremony, French, the ceremony of candle night, theme music, French dining manner and theme plant.

The luxury of Sofitel is not only about the facilities, but also our brand culture. Customers have an overall understanding and trust of Sofitel, because of the best services with our traditional culture. These are Sofitel’s brand power.

What were the achievements of Sofitel Wanda Chengdu in Year 2013, and what are the targets of this year?

We have gained more market share during the last year, from No.3 to No.2 in Chengdu hotel industry; and we have gotten very good feedback for promoting our reputation; last but not least, our team is stronger than ever.

This year, we are going to keep our market share and improve the advantage, and then strengthen the relationship with customers and reputation. At last, we aim to achieve our market plan.

What is the shortcoming of Sofitel Wanda Chengdu?

The car parking area of this hotel which has been built for almost 10 years, is not enough for present situation, and we are trying to solve this problem. Another problem is that the banquet hall needs to extend for the increasing demand of MICE market. The original hall will be rebuilt to a 1000 m2 grand hall for various requirements.

According to the date, it shows that hotel industry has some serious problems at present. What are your opinions?

It is not optimistic for China’s hotel industry, due to the economy and policy problems. Of course, Sofitel Wanda Chengdu is also under pressure. We are trying to reduce the lost via several ways. For example, we offer targeted special packages for getting potential customers, and we also show more interests on retail customers than before.

But I believe in the future of Chengdu. The numbers of business travelers are increasing these years, and the main countries and districts have the direct flights to Chengdu; meanwhile, Chengdu is important in domestic consumption, so the development of Chengdu is unlimited.

Based on the analysis, I think the occupancy will rise, but the price will decrease moderately. So this is pressure, but it is under control.

What are the most important things for a good hotel?

The first feature is reputation, which represents the whole hotel. The second feature is the double-side profit; it means service value for customers and the commercial profit for hotel.

What is the challenge during your management?

Talented person. Find them and keep them. The power of teamwork is much bigger than a person’s. So it is very important to create a fantastic team. Let the team members have confidence on you, this is the tip for keeping talented people. Sometimes, the value of brand influents more than the profit.

您觉得成都索菲特万达大饭店的特色是什么?

在成都,这家酒店已经有了10年的历史,10年的品牌沉淀,这是其他索菲特酒店所无法比拟的。

酒店地理位置非常优越,位于美丽的锦江河畔,占据成都市中心最繁华地段。23层的地标性建筑,以及262间精致华贵的豪华客房及套房,尽显法式优雅的浪漫设计与五星级的尊贵定制服务。每间客房均配有索菲特“My bed”概念卧具,浪凡(Lavin)高级洗浴用品,于每一个细节让人感受温馨细致的奢华。

酒店以商务客为主,同时兼顾旅游散客的需求,酒店把三千多年的巴蜀文化以及享誉世界的大熊猫,融入到酒店的餐饮与配套服务中去,为法式的优雅注入成都的闲适。

国内一些企业正在打造本土酒店管理品牌。您觉得相比之下,索菲特自身的品牌优势是什么?

第一,索菲特是一个国际化的品牌,索菲特的酒店在全球分布极广。

第二,它拥有国际化领导机构,令各个地方的酒店可以横向学习和交流。

第三,索菲特是一个拥有历史的品牌,无论是成熟度、可信度,都比那些新生的品牌,更具优势。

索菲特是雅高旗下最奢华的品牌,您觉得这种奢华体现在哪里?

快乐的精髓、追求卓越、开放的精神,是索菲特三大品牌价值观。为了展现索菲特的法式优雅格调,索菲特品牌设计了十个品牌放大镜,运用五大感官放大并提升客人的体验,这包括索菲特大使的法式问候、独特的品牌香薰、“My Bed我的床”概念卧具, 法式礼仪与形象、酒店店牌擦拭仪式、法式语言、夜晚的蜡烛仪式、品牌主题音乐、法式餐饮仪式、品牌主题植物——通过这些,索菲特的品牌价值得以凸显。

索菲特的奢华不仅体现在硬件设施上,更内化于品牌的软性文化上,顾客通过对这些软性文化的外在表现,体验感受品牌的特色,进而认可品牌的价值,自然会成为品牌的拥趸。这些软性实力,才是索菲特奢华的精髓。

2013年,成都索菲特万达大饭店做出了哪些成绩?今年的目标如何?

去年,总体上我们取得了三方面的成绩。首先是市场份额,从成都地区的第三跃升到第二;其次,在顾客回馈方面,也取得了进步,提升了酒店的声誉,形成了良好的口碑;第三,我们的核心团队非常稳定。

今年,我们将在去年的基础上,进行稳步提升,保持第二的市场份额,进一步提升顾客对酒店的美誉度,最后当然是全面完成利润和销售指标。

目前,酒店尚有哪些不足之处?

10年的酒店,有优势,有积淀,也势必会有先天的不足。这家酒店设计之初的50-70个停车位已经无法满足需要,因此正在同管理公司协商解决。同时,原本的宴会厅也无法满足MICE市场日益增长的需求,预计将在未来的一两年,酒店的宴会设施会改装成一个1000平米的大宴会厅以可以应对客人不同会议需求。

一些经济数据表明,酒店行业正在经受重大考验,您如何看待?

受经济形势、政策调整方面的影响,中国酒店行业整体业绩面对压力,这是一个普遍的现实问题。当然,成都索菲特万达大酒店也受到一定影响,因此我们积极拓展思路,通过综合的手段,减少损失。比如,我们在秉承品牌核心价值的同时,积极培育更多的潜在用户,有针对性地推出促销活动;同时,拓展旅游散客的比重,利用大众化的力量来提振业绩,成效显著。

但我个人对成都的未来相当看好。到成都的商旅客人逐年递增,主要国家和地区都针对成都开辟了直航航线;同时成都更是一个内需型城市,发展的潜力无穷无尽,它将是未来中国高速发展城市的一个典范。

经过一些研究分析,我觉得未来住房率还会有所增长,但价格会有适度下浮。因此,我们会有压力,但不用担心。

您觉得一个好的酒店,最重要的是什么?

最重要的有两点。第一是名誉,这也是它所代表品牌的名誉。第二是能不能创造价值,一方面是为客人创造服务价值,让客人觉得物有所值;另一方面,酒店通过客人的入住,产生商业价值,有利润,才有回报。

酒店管理中,您觉得最大的挑战是什么?

当然是人才。 一个是找人,另一个是怎么留住他们。一个人再有能力,也及不上团队的力量。因此,打造核心团队至关重要。让团队对自己产生信心,这样才能留住人。有时候,品牌的价值,比起利益的驱动更能够打动人。

 

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