Every so often, I get the chance to discover amazing hotel brands that draw me into their unique brand vision. Capella Hotels is one of these. With brands including Solis Hotels and the destination spa brand Auriga in addition to Capella Hotels and Resorts, Capella is hoping to have as many as forty luxury hotels under management within two or three years. I present to you below my extraordinary interview with Nicholas Clayton, CEO of Capella Hotels.
What is the art of welcoming at Capella Hotels?
The art of welcoming at Capella Hotels starts with our personal assistants. We have a team of people at the hotel who will call our guests in advance of their stay to introduce themselves and find out how the guests would like to use the hotel: how they want to enjoy the local amenities, how they want to celebrate something special. These personal assistants take that information down, and then we plan our guests’ stay in advance so that every expectation can be met when they arrive. The personal assistant is there to help them throughout their stay, not just in the initial greeting and the warm welcome.
In the luxury space that we operate in, we have to come to understand that it does not take 100 hotels to make a successful brand. We’re in the midst of creating a growth strategy that takes us over the next three to five years that will establish Capella as a market leader in Asia Pacific. We intend to take that position and leverage it to grow into Europe and the Americas just as successfully over the years to come.
How do you manage your staff teams and motivate them to give the best of themselves?
Our business is really dependent on the quality of the people who work for Capella Hotel Group. One of the ways that we’re able to attract people to our company is the exclusive nature of our hotels and the success that they garner in their local marketplace. We have a special tool that we use to select our colleagues, and it’s a partnership with TalentPlus, which is a recruitment tool that tells us about the natural talents and gifts of the colleagues that we’re interviewing. We also have an extensive orientation program. We focus a lot on communication. And then we think it’s very important to provide rewards and recognition for our team when they do excellent work at a Capella Hotel.
How do you imagine luxury hotels in 3 to 5 years?
Our hotels are distinctively different in each location. The common thread that runs between the lines within the brand of Capella is really about the style of service, the focus on leisure customers, the quality of our guest rooms, how interesting and dynamic the food and beverage offerings are, etc. These are the components that make a Capella Hotel. What’s different is the sense of place, the respect and homage to the architecture in the local destination, and I think that the operating philosophy from continent to continent will be distinctive and different, and we will learn from each of the Capella Hotels. But there will not be a sameness amongst the hotels. It’s the uniqueness that really makes them special.
Known for his international expertise on luxury hotels through his magazine, Laurent Delporte shares his vision and experiences in the world of hotels on his site DELPORTE Hospitality. He decodes the behind-the-scenes action in the sector: from food and beverage facilities, accommodations, architecture, to the quality of services. He offers interviews, advice, and articles as pragmatic resources that industry professionals and private individuals can refer to in their search for information.