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Adam Hipp, General Manager of Novotel Century Hong Kong

We talked to Adam Hipp, General Manager of Novotel Century Hong Kong, about his career in the hospitality industry

I grew up in Budapest in Hungary. My parents were not hoteliers, but I was around their friends who were. I started working at a restaurant at 14, washing dishes and flipping pancakes. I went to a vocational school, then a hotel college in Budapest. I spent some time in the U.S. at the Broadmoor in Colorado, as part of my study. I really liked it and decided to work in the hotel industry as a career.
 

I started working for the Intercontinental in Budapest. I then joined the Accor Hotel Group, working in Hungary for eight years and when asked if we wanted to work abroad, I put my name up since I was married but did not have any children, and we wanted to explore abroad.
 

A job opened in Hong Kong and my profile fitted the requirements. So for three years I managed IBIS here. Then I had three years in Shenzhen, and now back to Hong Kong to take on my current position, my fifth GM role.
 

I am proud of the renovations we undertook at this hotel. We completely redid the rooms which went smoothly. We’ve just finished the lobby which now has a more open, natural feel for a new arrival experience. The lobby design took its inspiration from Hong Kong’s beautiful parks and outdoors. Many visitors are surprised that Hong Kong is mostly green and has great outdoors.
 

Novotel is a full-service hotel and our location is excellent as Wanchai is in the middle of Hong Kong Island. The infrastructure is excellent and it’s super easy to go everywhere. The Convention Centre is also close by, so we are an ideal business hotel, but lots of leisure visitors like to stay with us too. And since we’ve been here for over 25 years we have great knowledge of the market and understand the needs of our guests very well.
 

Many good things are happening in the city as it transitions from being a shopping paradise to a centre for large events. The Wine and Dine Festival and the Formula E are examples that come to mind. This can only be good for the city and the hotel industry.
 

Social media and the internet have really changed the hotel industry – everything is much more transparent. Feedback from the travel website and social media is an integral part of our daily job. We also use a Whatsapp group for internal communication which I find highly convenient.
 

I believe the key to being a good general manager is the ability to communicate effectively with your colleagues, especially in a multicultural environment with team members from different countries and backgrounds.
 

Hong Kong is an amazing city. What goes unnoticed is just how safe it is, something that I really appreciate. And, of course, there are so many things to do here, especially, as I mentioned, increasing numbers of events.
 

My recommendations for visitors are: visit a dai pai dong or cooked food market and try the excellent food; take the Star Ferry to view the beautiful harbour, and finally, go on a hike along the Dragon’s Back or walk around the Peak Circle and you’ll appreciate just how pretty and green the city is.

 

 

(Edited on 1 Dec 2017)

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