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Behind the Scenes: Opening the InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
At IHG, in case you didn’t know, we have very special teams dedicated to new hotel openings. Pretty cool right? Well not everyone knows about these teams and what we consider to be their special powers. At the end of the day, where would IHG be without the dedicated teams behind them working hard to get them open on time, and up to IHG standard!
With a presence that spans 6 continents this role can take you anywhere in the world, working behind the scenes and getting all our great hotels off to a winning start.
We caught up with Paul Rumpff at InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay to find out what exactly goes on behind the scenes from the lens of a Chief Concierge.
What does being a Chief Concierge entail in the New Hotel Opening Team?
I focus my expertise on three key areas – seeking the right talent for the new Concierge team, curating tailored experiences for hotel guests and establishing new relations and contacts on behalf of the hotel.
I constantly look at ways to set our hotel offerings apart from what is typically offered. This includes going out on walking tours to experience and explore the city, before putting together bespoke tour itineraries, trying out chic bicycles that our guests would enjoy, drinking myself through a list of must-visit bars, or even seeking out fitness routes within the hotel precinct.
What has been your most memorable experience with the New Hotel Opening Team?
As part of the pre-opening team we have an ongoing Friday ‘TGIF’ wind-down session each week. Progress updates are shared by senior management, and everyone in the team plays a part in food and beverage tasting thereafter – which includes anything from teas and wines to cookies, pastries and other confectionary.
As a people person, this one hour I spent at my first session not only made me feel more than included in the team, but it also served up opportunities to engage with and to get to know my colleagues on a deeper level.
Tell us about your transition from Melbourne to member of the Les Clefs d'Or® International in Singapore
I can honestly say the transition was smooth - I spent hours researching about the country, living conditions, and of course, work culture and environment. Being equipped with the knowledge of what I was about to get myself into, helped in the smooth transition.
Culture shock was what I was faced with upon arrival. I used to think that Australia was one of the most cosmopolitan countries around. But coming to Singapore and seeing the various races and people of different nationalities live so harmoniously together, really opened my eyes to new perspectives.
It isn’t easy for a foreigner like myself to take on the role of a ‘local-voice’. But I look forward to this exciting journey ahead, with support from colleagues in my team.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Luxury & Lifestyle property group at IHG?
It offers a sanctuary flecked with service and familiarity that make guests feel right at home. Beyond the offering of room features that make a difference to every stay, it is also anticipating the needs of each guest and creating customised service that inspires the discerning traveller. It is about honouring the old world values of travel and hospitality, amidst a new age of practicality and personalisation.
What kind of stuff do you get up to outside of work?
My role in Concierge has always been more of a hobby than a job to me. So in my down time, I am usually armed with my Nikon camera, and out trying a new restaurant or bar, walking, talking or exploring. Singapore is a new playground for me to do all this at.
What are your Future aspirations?
Quoting a recent documentary released about members of the Les Clefs d’Or – “A concierge wants to be a concierge all his life.” As I continue to grow myself in the role of Chief Concierge for the luxury InterContinental brand, I hope to one day experience a similar role in another lifestyle brand within the IHG portfolio of hotels.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be a top-class concierge like Paul? If you’re feeling inspired, then don’t delay, click here to search our latest opportunities. Start your search to find your dream job today!