Interview: Vincent Mercurio, Conrad Bangkok08 August 2012
US-born Vincent Mercurio was appointed General Manager at the Conrad Bangkok last year, one of Bangkok's leading hotels. Here he talks about some of the challenges facing the hotel in the current economic environment, and the changes made under his tenure.
Hotel is a cyclical business; one that is very sensitive and susceptible to global economy. What are your views on the current European economy and its potential effect on tourism in Thailand or SE Asia in general for the next 6 month to 1 year?
The continuous lag on the European economic front will definitely impact travel traffic to SE Asia, both in business and leisure segments, but more on business than leisure. Thailand remains as a strong destination of interest, and value, for travelers and thus will remain competitive for this reason.
When it comes to new technology and innovative products, what 3 amenities would make a hotel stand out from its competitors?
Relevant and approachable technology offerings today is equally important as staging the right bath amenities and proving a comfortable sleeping experience! My picks would be large bathroom with ample vanity space, large enough work and desk space and ultra comfortable bedding!
As a leading hotel in Bangkok, without question, the Conrad has been keeping up its pace the guests needs and wants. What new equipment or technologies that have made it into your guestroom recently?
No current technology installed, but reviewing higher powered wireless internet speed and updated I-docking hardware.
Surely, various hotel suppliers and vendors try to sell you all sorts of products and services. What is the one product or solution that is on your wish list, but you have yet to come across?
A one stop power and function console that is easy enough for the international traveler to operate.
If money was no object, what would be the top three FF&E upgrades that you would do?
- Create a comfortable meeting point and convenient public area work space in a luxury style to cater to all tiers of our customers
- Provide the top technology solution for easy connection, amplification and power charging for the business road warriors
- Overhaul and innovation of bathroom concept.
With Bangkok market as competitive as it is, to keep Conrad at the very top, I am sure that you are always on the lookout to enrich your guests¹ experiences. Have you launched any new initiatives, services, or amenities that you could share with us?
We have recently initiated a pre-arrival guest amenity process that allows our guests to order a personally requested food and/or beverage item(s), a massage, special pillow or limousine service in advance so that all needs or special requests can be ready on arrival. We believe this extra step of service detail fits uniquely into the Conrad culture of “the luxury of being yourself”.