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Hotel Corner

Meet Kenneth Lau, General Manager of Gloucester Hotel

Hong Kong native Kenneth Lau took a big leap from a 20-year stint at the JW Marriott Hotel to build the new Gloucester Hotel from ground-up on Causeway Bay’s waterfront. He talks to CityLife about his daring move as well as the upcoming grand opening

 

                                                      View from Gloucester Hotel

 

I feel like I’m about to see my newborn baby – that’s the only way I can describe the approaching grand opening.  I was involved in every brick and mortar of this hotel, from page one. It’s been a rough two years and I’ve learned a great deal.

 

I thought about going back to accounting, which was my original career, but I realised after a while everything changes and you have no choice but to go forward. The world never stops moving and it compels you to keep abreast of the changes all around you. 

 

The biggest changes I have seen over the last two decades have to do not only with the types of visitors but also their growing demand for quality service. Guests today have become more knowledgeable about hotel operations and know how to ask for more.

 

Seeking the right people is the most crucial thing in this industry. I appreciate the help from my team and they are also my good friends.

 

One of the things I’ll always keep from JW Marriott is the way they treat their staff as valuable assets. Staff motivation and passion is what keeps our guests coming back. I also apply their remuneration scheme for better staff retention.

 

Comments are the most crucial factor in making decisions. It is not only customers’ comments that I take seriously but also the staffs’ as well because they are the ones who understand customers’ needs.

 

I do not believe in intuition.  You should always think twice before making decisions. If you don’t have a solid rationale to support your action, the move might not be appropriate and you should think again.

 

I am working very hard to make Gloucester one of the leading hotels in Hong Kong.  It is now at its early stages but I know I am heading towards the goal.

 

It’s not easy to get time off these days but I’m hoping to hit the slopes for some skiing as I usually do every year. I also enjoy having drinks with my friends.

 

  

                                                                Interior of Gloucester Hotel

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