Island Boy, André Brulhart
Interview by?KRIZETTE CHU with VIANCA GAMBOA
Portrait by MANNY LLANES
If there’s anything?André?Brulhart?knows?like the?back of his hand, it’s managing hotels.?The Swiss general manager of?M?venpick?Resort?and?Spa Boracay?has?worked with?various?hospitality?brands?for
the last three?decades.
Not?new to tropical paradise after spending?more than 20 years running leading?hotels from Thailand’s
top tourist spots like Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya, André?brings his expertise to M?venpick in Boracay.
Movenpick Resorts and Spa Boracay
ON?MANAGING A HOTEL?IN THE PHILIPPINES
I was looking forward to come to the Philippines because the Filipinos?are?known for their?hospitality, which comes naturally to them.?I know because 12 of my employees back in Pattaya, Thailand are Filipinos.?The fact that this hospitality is coupled with?good?English knowledge?makes it easier to run a hotel. It’s not something?that you constantly have to teach them because it’s second nature to?them, and I think?that’s the?beauty of the?workforce in the Philippines.
ON HAVING MENTORS
When I was in?hotel school,?we had to do three internships.?For?the last internship, I chose to go to Hong Kong and?stayed?there for six months.?That’s where I realized?I?like working in big hotels.?I worked at?Hong Kong Hilton?where?I met its vice president who eventually became my mentor. The?president in the hotel I’ve worked at in Thailand also became my mentor. You know, you always need these kinds of people. Having mentors helped me in many ways that a hotel school?couldn’t. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who would make sure I wouldn’t make a lot of mistakes.
ON TRAINING STAFF
Since?we have reopened the hotel, we get?compliments?about our staff on a daily basis.?Of course, we still do a lot of training for?them?so they?can?become?artists from the heart—with?the right training?and?right
We are still in in the process of?developing a fully sustainable hotel?but the last?project we have?is to shun water bottles provided in every room. What we have in mind is to either?have?our own water purification system?and fill glasses instead or?to buy water in sustainable bottles.
ON MARKET CHANGES
I?don’t think?the market has?exactly?changed?and while we do welcome a lot of influencers or bloggers and even hashtags to maximize our reach,?majority?of our business still comes from the traditional way of doing business.
Tags: André Brulhart, Krizette Chu, M?venpick Resort and Spa Boracay