Hospitality Icon Takes a Bow
Sydney’s hospitality history is complete only with a significant mention of the InterContinental Sydney – a hotel favoured by location, views, heritage and a level of service few compare with.
For business, at least you make a good choice when you pick the InterContinental Sydney. Blessed with location it sits in the cultural end of Sydney, just footsteps from the famous Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay ferry services and a short distance from iconic Sydney must-see’s such as Harry’s Café de Wheels, The Rocks precinct and Darling Harbour for high-end shopping and sightseeing.
The building itself is a jewel in the city’s architectural landscape offering more than 500 guest rooms and well appointed suites. A central feature remains its old elevators that house the charm of yesteryear. Otherwise, the hotel seems well in step with the times, making it a good choice for the business traveller.
Veteran hotelier Joerg Boeckeler is the hotel’s general manager. Upbeat on the hotel’s prospects for a growing market, he is also aware of the challenges ahead. “Customer demographics show the market is growing younger and more value-orientated. Then again you have increasing competition from new hotels offering attractive deals. Internet savvy customers are spoilt for choice and the only way forward is to offer unbeatable customer experience. You can’t afford to rest on your laurels and take market growth for granted. You have to work hard at expanding your market share and making your product more profitable.”
Boeckeler is spot on there. The hospitality landscape of Sydney is changing and the luxury market is under threat from trendy new brands that are less staid and serve up an enviable range of packages at competitive prices. Top tier Asian companies too are used to a certain type of personalized service that Australian hotels don’t traditionally offer. If luxury hotels are to thrive there is little choice but to exceed the expectations of their Asian customers.
Boeckler knows this of course but he also knows the constraints he is under. Yet, he is jolly. Happy to make the best of what he has he run his merry ship with admirable zeal. “I think, at the end of the day, the quality of service we offer is a reflection of our abilities. Hospitality is what the customer expects not what you can deliver.”
Life’s Like That
Check in is quick. The suite is clean, facing the harbor. A welcome note from the General Manager sits aside a small bowl of fruit. The sun’s beams light up the room and suggest a ride up to the rooftop restaurant to breakfast. If Sydney has to be enjoyed from a height few vantage points could be better. Breakfast is a lazy affair as I bask in the sun and take in the freshness of the breakfast spread. Staff seem courteous, helpful and welcoming and most discerning guests would find the morning treats far exceed expectations. A visit to the wellequipped gym is time well spent after which the hotel tour begins. Big brands are occupying the meeting rooms but one gets a good idea of how well the hotel’s facilities and staff meet the demands of the M.I.C.E market.
“We offer a one-stop-shop for our business customer,” says Boeckeler. “You have to be competitive in this market and today’s customer wants more than just a product. Our team brings to bear their rich and diverse experience of setting up events as well as a great ‘will-do’ attitude to ensure customers get the best value and the perfectly seamless execution of their event. That’s key. That’s what we excel at.”
Boeckeler and his team do offer a uniform quality of service though not with quite all the fuss that hotels in Asia are known for. The hotel itself is a blessing if time is of the essence and you need to achieve more with less. So, make the InterContinental Sydney your home, next time you visit Sydney and enjoy.
For additional information, please visit www.icsydney.com.au
Hong Kong’s Business Leaders share market and interest intelligence in the pages of HKMVC 2017
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