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Hotel Corner

Christo Diamandopoulos, General Manager at the Regal Kowloon Hotel

I grew up in Adelaide, Australia and, my parents being Greek immigrants, we had to work hard. So I got a job at a hotel while attending university and ended up liking the hospitality business more than my studies. I then had a fantastic opportunity to go to a Cordon Bleu program run by a hotel school sponsored by the state government. I have been in this business ever since. 
 
I’ve worked in many countries, especially in Asia: in Malaysia I managed resorts, which are very different from hotels; in Dubai, where I was an owner’s rep for a larger group during its building craze; in China; and in Russia. And I have managed different types of properties and worked in different functions and from different perspectives.
 
As a General Manager, I would describe myself as a “Jack of all trades and master of none” type. I think this serves me well as it allows me space to have the persona and leadership that means guests, work associates, owners and the community recognise me as master of the hotel.
 
My favourite part of the job is working with our associates: interacting with them, guiding and mentoring them, then help them set agreed values and goals, and then seeing all that translated in improved skills which lead ultimately to more guest satisfaction – I really enjoy that!
 
Our hotel is blessed with an excellent location in Tsim Sha Tsui that allows us to serve both leisure and business guests. Location aside, in this business, service is still most important. Our biggest advantage compared with others is our associates’ warmness, genuine care and sincerity, as borne out by our social media feedback. We continue to focus on the human touch and putting “hospitality” back in to hospitality business again.
 
Hotel guests and travellers in general are getting savvier because of social media reviews, the proliferation of lifestyle and travel TV programmes, and ready access to information on the web. We have to continually find ways to meet our guests’ expectation and niche needs.
 
There are many things to like about Hong Kong, my favourite is the plethora of dining and drinking options available in the city, for all occasions and at any time of the day or night. The quality and quantity on offer is truly amazing.
 
My three recommendations for tourists to do in Hong Kong are; 1. Visit Sai Kung in the northeast New territories: it’s a great out-of-the cityand-into-nature experience where you can also eat, drink, and play. 2. The Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill, an oasis in the midst of the urban jungle, really beautiful and tranquil. 3. If you haven’t experienced it, the Dragon Boat races that takes place in June as part of the Dragon Boat Festival, are a must to watch at least once in your life.

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