Tell us more about the hotel positioning – USP’s, comp set
Mondrian Duxton Singapore is scheduled to open March 2023. With our flair for the unexpected and bold design Mondrian will offer guests a distinctly different hotel experience in Singapore.
Mondrian is known for being slightly provocative so you will have to wait and see, but some of the highlights will include our Shophouse Suites, the rooftop pool, cabanas and bar which takes you back to 1970s Hollywood and the sensational view of the Singapore skyline.
In terms of the comp set, today at Mondrian we are bringing back the joy and glamour to hospitality. In a saturated market like Singapore with lots of wealthy clients, how can you create a guest experience for them? You need to forge true authentic relationships and engagement. Any hotel is only as good as the people who bring it to life and Mondrian has given me the freedom to do something truly innovative and really cast the net wide in taking a new approach to assembling a team. Sometimes it is the simple things that are luxury or ultra luxury.
What is the guest profile you are anticipating?
I want Mondrian to be a catalyst to forge connections with like-minded people, innovators and the wild at heart. We want it to be somewhere for both locals and tourists, everybody is welcome.
To what extent you are seeking to attract locals? Non-residing guests
Each Mondrian hotel is always at the heart of the cultural scene of the property locations, the original hotel is in LA and we will bring some of that energy to Singapore. We will very much be a destination for locals and will bring art, glamour and culinary flair with our fantastic collection of bars and restaurants.
You made headlines with a daring new Human Resources strategy
We have been overwhelmed by the worldwide positive response to our “unexpected talents” recruitment strategy. What makes us different is our people, that is what our guests will remember.
Mondrian as a brand always wanted to be a bit controversial, we are elevating this to another level. This is exemplified by our hiring, we give opportunities to people who may not have found their place under the sun yet. We have a great mix; from very seasoned, experienced hoteliers to people who have never worked in hotels. We are creating our own Mondrian Singapore Duxton DNA. We are provocateurs in this sense.
My motto is chase talent, don’t wait. From tattoo conventions to alternative gigs, from art happenings to theatre and sport, it’s about casting the net wide and knowing true talent when you see it. This will be the essence of what we are bringing to the market at Mondrian Singapore Duxton.
Do you anticipate any challenges?
Not directly challenges, other establishments will definitely target our people, and have done so already. Of course we want to retain people but equally we have to be realistic, and we take the fact that other businesses are chasing our talent as a compliment.
Is this novel approach applicable in any other market?
I believe this is unique to us but I’m sure will be emulated by others. With this approach you have to look at your business’ DNA and the market you operate in, any market with slight variations could adopt a similar approach.
How would you define the brand DNA?
Mondrian is more than a hotel: it’s a way of travel. It’s about surprising, provoking, art, glamour and flair. Mondrian is always located in the most vibrant cultural scenes in the world and design is at the centre of the Mondrian experience with hotels designed by some of the world’s most famous architects and designers, including Philippe Starck, Marcel Wanders and Robbyn Carter.
Tell us more about how your F&B and wellness are conceived?
We are looking forward to launching our eclectic collection of bars and restaurants, these include Bottega di Carna, a modern Italian eatery by Dario Cecchini who the New York Times called the “Greatest Butcher in the World” and Jungle Ballroom, a decadent tropical cocktail bar accessed by a secret tunnel. Canyon Club on the rooftop transports you straight to the glitz and glamour of 1970s Hollywood surrounded by the sweeping views of the glittering Singapore skyline. Finally Christina’s is a great all day spot for cocktails, natural wine and the best coffee in the city.
In terms of the conception, at Mondrian we are fortunate to work with Ennismore’s own in house F&B studio Carte Blanched who have a team of the best creative, culinary and mixology talents in the business worldwide. Our designer Robbyn Carter of Studio Carter based in LA has created some truly spectacular spaces for our bars and restaurants.
Which are your top 5 off-the-beaten track tips in Singapore?
My hobby is photography and I like to explore the offbeat areas in Singapore with my camera, these are the places where I discover the most about the country, the people, the culture and the history.
Some of my favourite spots I have discovered since I moved here last summer are the Rail Corridor, Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice which is worth the queue, No Sleep Club on Keong Saik and more generally the Duxton area where Mondrian is located which has such a rich history and today it is the most dynamic neighbourhoods in Singapore. We couldn’t ask for a better location and we are really looking forward to showing our guests everything it has to offer. We are surrounded by the best bars, restaurants, nightlife, boutiques and galleries in the city.
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