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April 29, 2011

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An inspiration to guests

TRAVEL should be inspiring. And it's this inspiration that Silvio Rosenberger, general manager of Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel, hopes to deliver to his guests just as every Renaissance hotel around the world does to make itself a bit different from the rest of the lodging brands under the bigger Marriott family.

Over the past week, more than a dozen paintings by an Austrian artist have been displayed in the hotel's lobby, and the new idea of holding interesting events in this space on a weekly basis, such as live concerts, is one of the latest endeavors the hotel has made to stimulate its guests' appetites for discovery.

"Renaissance is more about becoming a lifestyle brand and we are always committed to discovering something wonderfully new every day for our guests," says Rosenberger, a German native who has been living in Shanghai for almost six years. "It is our wish to create something dynamic and make every guest feel part of the hotel."

A 20-year veteran with Marriott, Rosenberger has grown into a strong advocate of the belief that associates are hotels' greatest assets, which is also one of the core values that has been guiding Marriott's worldwide growth for more than 80 years.

"The hospitality business is all about people and the key to our success is that we really take care of each other," he says. "If you take good care of your associates, your associates will then take good care of your guests. At Marriott, we train our associates and we look after them."

And his two-decade-long career spanning three countries - Germany, Vietnam and China - and various hotel positions has simply made it natural for him to treat his associates with mutual respect. Being involved in almost every segment of hotel operation including food and beverage, front office and finance, the general manager is really entitled to claim he understands how mentally and physically challenging a hotel job can be.

However, with his all-time personal belief that "Positive attitude equals positive results," Rosenberger would rarely call something a "challenge" while "opportunity" seems to be the word he is more likely to turn to.

"Is the glass half empty or half full? The situation may be seen in different ways depending on one's point of view," he says. "To me, I prefer to think that every challenge has an opportunity."

And that's how Rosenberger looks at competition from his industry counterparts in Pudong, which, as an increasingly important business hub for Shanghai, has been witnessing more openings of hotels over the past few years.

"We need competition for better MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions) opportunities," he says. "Shanghai aims to be a MICE destination and you can only be a MICE destination if you have enough room supply. You need to offer customers enough options otherwise organizers of big conferences and events may simply go elsewhere like Hong Kong or Singapore."

A pure corporate hotel, more than 90 percent of guests received by Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel are business travelers, according to Rosenberger.

That has also made the hotel less vulnerable under certain changing dynamics.

While working in an increasingly dynamic business district in Shanghai, Rosenberger says he enjoys very much living on the other side of the river because it has a much stronger flavor of old Shanghai.

"I have been here for almost six years but it seems that I still haven't seen enough of Shanghai," he says. "There are simply so many things to explore in the city which I guess, may easily take me another few years."

A sports lover, Rosenberger likes going to the gym and cycling while he also enjoys music, reading and gardening, and relaxing in restaurants in the city at the weekend with his wife and two children.

Best Deals

Located on the fringe of the dynamic new business district of Pudong, the Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel is the ideal setting for conventions, meetings, banquets and other events. A short drive from the Pudong International Airport and only five minutes from the Shanghai New International Expo Center, the Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel is a thoughtful blend of traditional Chinese decor and contemporary Western ambience - a truly modern hotel with a distinct flavor of old Shanghai: the ideal urban retreat, where tranquility and peace of mind reign supreme. Underlooked Perks

The Renaissance Pudong Shanghai Hotel is ideally equipped for handling small to large-scale events, banquets and specialist outside catering. The hotel boasts 1,500 square meters of banqueting space, including a 545-meter ballroom, together with 10 other function rooms - complete with the latest audio-visual technology. For extra convenience, all function rooms are located on the same floor, with the added drama of natural lighting. In addition, its attentive Banquet Service Team will be on hand to ensure that your event runs perfectly smoothly; while its experienced Event Management Team provide total events solutions - from assistance on venue decoration, setup of equipment, agenda of events, to advice on menus. Favorite Dish

From May 19 to 30, don't miss the hotel's special two-week Thai promotion every evening in the Brasserie Restaurant, with sensational signature dishes from Thailand, including a variety of curries and noodles, Thai shrimp and other seafood dishes, and spicy soups such as Tom Yum Talay. Authentic decorations by the Thailand Consulate General as well as traditional music and costumes will add to the atmosphere. Reizenya Japanese Recipe will also present its new dish of Yellow-tail Tataki from May 11.

2010~currentGeneral manager of Renaissance Shanghai Pudong, Shanghai, China

2009~2010General manager of Courtyard by Marriott Xujiahui, Shanghai, China

2008Acting general manager of Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel


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