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人间天堂并不遥远——专访苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店总经理蒲克南先生

(2008-04-07 13:44:51)
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分类: 酒店老总成功路
 
人间天堂并不遥远——专访苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店总经理蒲克南先生
 
人间天堂并不遥远
——专访苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店总经理蒲克南先生
Kempinski Hotel Suzhou: An Earthly Paradise
Feature Interview with Achim Brueckner, Hotel General Manager
 
Interview: Cherry Li  Chinese Version: Clara  English Version: Cici 
Photos: by Kempinski Hotel Suzhou & Zhu Xiaoci
 
    苏州古城座落在水网之中,街道依河而建,水陆并行;建筑临水而造,前巷后河,形成“小桥、流水、人家”的独特风貌。而今天的苏州,随着经济的快速发展,高楼大厦比比皆是,成为了拥有众多国际酒店集团的入驻的经济型都市。正因为其古典又现代的特质,更多的顶级酒店集团涌入苏州,德国凯宾斯基就是其中的一个。
 
    苏州工业园区具有十分优越的区位优势,它地处长江三角洲中心腹地,位于中国沿海经济开放区与长江经济发展带的交汇处,距上海仅80公里。园区的发展目标是建设一个高新技术为先导、现代工业为主体、第三产业和社会公益事业相配套的国际化现代化工业园区。苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店是德国凯宾斯基集团旗下苏州工业园区内最大的豪华五星级酒店,座落于美丽的金鸡湖和独墅湖间,酒店被27洞金鸡湖高尔夫球场,5栋别墅组成的金鸡湖大酒店及两湖环绕其中,与万顷碧波的湖面相映生辉,毋庸置疑,苏州凯宾斯基的设计风格将会完全符合追求时尚与奢华品质生活的高端人士的品位。
 
    苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店传承了凯宾斯基酒店管理集团奢华迷人的气质,该集团是欧洲最古老的豪华酒店管理集团,有着110年悠久历史,旗下众多的酒店都有着独自的个性和魅力,表现着各自的文化和传统。怀着期待的心情,笔者有幸采访了下个月即将开业的苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店总经理蒲克南先生,一起来倾听由他讲述的关于酒店的点点滴滴。
 
    蒲克南先生说:“作为一个德国人,我深深了解到凯宾斯基酒店品牌深厚的文化底蕴,我非常荣幸能够成为其中的一员,并相信她会有更好的发展。凯宾斯基正在茁壮成长,两年半后,我们在中国的酒店数将从现在的八家上升到二十家。”从他的言语中,我们不难体会出他的自豪感。蒲克南先生拥有丰富的酒店管理经验,并熟练掌握多国语言,这对于他的工作无疑起到了推波助澜的作用。
 
    谈到苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店,“酒店的建设百分之九十已经完成,客房的布置也进入尾声,在开业前的两个月中,一切都将准备就绪。对此,我很有信心,酒店计划在五月十八日举行开幕仪式,我们也将正式开门迎接来自五湖四海的客人。”蒲克南先生说,“酒店能有今天的这样一个成果,我感到很高兴,就像看着一个小孩在健康快速成长”。
 
   苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店的大量设施不仅可以满足人们的商务需要,还可以作为人们的休闲胜地。主要设施如客房、餐厅、宴会厅等将首先开放,酒店附属建筑物上设有6000平方米的全套豪华健身设施,包括大型室内游泳池,室内壁球室及网球场,各式健身中心和有氧操馆,以及世界知名水疗服务品牌馆,将会陆续对外开放。
 
    作为一家顶级商务度假酒店,苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店在餐饮方面花费了大量的心思。酒店有五家餐厅,在富有德国特色的普拉那啤酒屋,客人们可以享受到醇正的德国鲜酿啤酒与巴伐利亚式菜肴,与之相映成辉的是酒店的全景雪茄坊,两者给酒店带来了来自西方的古典和奢华。而在顶级中餐厅里,则会有来自香港的经验丰富的著名厨师,给客人带来口味纯正的粤菜,加上日式料理店,这样的完美组合会为宾客们奉上的富有浓郁东方色彩的亚洲美食。
 
  “酒店为客人提供了多种的选择,可以让他们尽情享用。我们的主厨来自德国,来中国已多年,他除了负责整个厨房的工作以外,还拥有一支约两百余人的庞大专业团队。”蒲克南说道,“我们还拥有可供1500人同时享用的华丽宴会厅及先进的宴会会议设施,该宴会厅层高有十五米,面积高达1850平方米,同时还有许多精美的装饰,我相信这会为宾客提供完美的宴会享受。”蒲克南的介绍让我们不禁对酒店的餐饮有了更多的期待,毕竟,餐饮是一家酒店成功与否的重要因素。
 
    整个采访过程中,蒲克南不仅一次强调了酒店的优越地理位置。“从上海驱车到苏州只需一个半小时,两个城市靠得很近。”他说,“我们处在一个巨大的公园的中央,是真正的坐拥大自然。酒店的客人在早晨醒来后,在享受了美味的早餐的同时,可以感受到大自然的气息,而不会想到那拥挤的交通和匆忙的人群。与此同时,酒店到市区仅需十五分钟,这是我们的优势。”
 
    在谈到对中国的印象的时候,蒲克南说,我之前在泰国寇立艾美海滩水疗度假酒店,很喜欢那个国家,有大海,有沙滩。在来中国的第一个城市成都工作之前,我甚至没有听说过她的名字,更不知道在哪里,到中国后,才发现这个国家是如此现代化,高楼林立,人们热情周到,尤其到了苏州,江南水乡的古典和现代,让我看到了中国如此多面而迷人的文化。
 
    如今的蒲克南每天忙于酒店的开张事宜,工作对他来说就是挑战,他风趣地说:“在酒店中来回穿梭视察工作,对我来说就是最好的运动。”他认为,管理一家酒店并不是一直高高在上,总经理必须融入到酒店的方方面面中去,与员工互动。如今中国的酒店业正处在一个前所未有的高度发展的阶段,团队显得尤为重要。他说:“凯宾斯基以其友善的待客之道以及奢华的设施而闻名,但事实上所有的五星级酒店都有豪华的设施,因此我们的团队就成了真正的特别之处,我们要让客人踏进酒店的那一刻,就开始全程体验来自凯宾斯基的专业服务。”
 
   作为总经理,蒲克南对工作总是充满热情,这得益于终身经营酒店业的父亲,“我的父亲总是说,酒店业是非常有意思的,首先你需要清楚了解厨房的动态,你只有在了解了厨房以后,才能对整个酒店有所了解。因此我在进入酒店业的最初,从事的是与餐饮有关的工作。”蒲克南这样介绍他踏入酒店业的初衷。
 
   2008年北京奥运会开幕在即,对于这样一个千载难逢的机会,蒲克南深感自己的幸运:“从长远来看,人们来到中国,想更多的领略中国的风采,奥运会对中国来说是一个良好的契机,不仅是北京多了标志性的建筑,很多人会借此机会游览中国的大好河山。当然酒店业也会从中获取不少良机,事实上,每个人都受益匪浅。”
 
   下个月,苏州金鸡湖凯宾斯基大酒店将在世人的瞩目下将揭开神秘的面纱,带来人间天堂的奢华,相信届时,她必将为美丽的江南再添浓墨重彩的一笔。
 
In the old town of Suzhou, streets and houses were built along the zigzag waterways to make up a unique scene of “bridges, running water and households”. Today’s Suzhou is in the process of a fast-paced economic development; high-rises crop up like mushrooms complemented by the opening of international hotels in the city. One such lineage is the renowned 〝Kempinski〞 originating from Germany which will soon open its doors to the public emanating classic elegance and contemporary chic.
 
Strategically located in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta, Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), 80km from Shanghai, is at the forefront of China’s open-up and economic development. SIP is designed and developed as a modern industrial park of international standards rooted in high-tech and manufacturing industries and benefiting from the tertiary industry and social welfare undertakings. By the Lake of Golden Rooster (Jinji Lake in Chinese) stands the 5-star Kempinski Hotel Suzhou, the biggest in SIP, operated by the prestigious Kempinski Hotels. Sitting between Jinji Lake and Dushu Lake, Kempinski Hotel Suzhou, the 27-hole Jinji Lake International Golf Course and Jinji Lake Grand Hotel (a State Guest House made up of five villas) constitute lovely lakeside views that can only be matched by the serene water. This exquisite hotel is planned and designed to cater for high-level corporate executives as well as tourists with refined tastes who are in constant pursuit of fashion, luxury and quality lifestyles. There can be no question about it.
 
Founded in Germany 111 years ago, ’Kempinski’ has long reflected the finest traditions of European hospitality. As one of the oldest hotel companies in Europe, Kempinski is synonymous with distinctive luxury, which comes in the shape of Kempinski Hotel Suzhou. Kempinski properties vary in characteristic and appeal, conveying the cultural heritage of their respective locations.
 
In anticipation, we met with the General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Suzhou (opening in May/June), Mr. Achim Brueckner who said, “As a German, I fully understand the depth of Kempinski culture. I feel blessed to be a member of Kempinski, and believe in its growth. Kempinski is now expanding globally. We currently have eight properties in China, and this figure will become twenty in two years’ time.” We can easily tell from his words that Mr. Brueckner is very proud to be associated with the brand. The General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Suzhou has evidently benefited a lot from his extensive managerial experience acquired during the past years and his proficiency in several languages other than German.
 
With regard to Kempinski Hotel Suzhou, Mr. Brueckner noted, “90% of construction has been completed so far, and the preparation of guest rooms are coming to an end. There are only two months left before the opening. I’m sure that everything and everybody would be in place before that date. From May/June, we’ll be open to travellers from across China and the world.” The General Manager added, “I am glad to see Kempinski Hotel Suzhou as it is now. It is like watching a kid grow up quickly and healthily.”
 
Kempinski Hotel Suzhou features not only a full range of business facilities but also a variety of amenities with which guests can pass the off-work hours at leisure. Infrastructure such as guest rooms, restaurants and the grand ballroom will be the first to accommodate guests. A 6000-sqm well-appointed Health and Recreation center comprising a 50-meter indoor swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, exercise room, a Spa managed internationally and gym will be opened later.
 
As a top business hotel, Kempinski Hotel Suzhou has surely made lots of effort in its food and beverage. The hotel’s extensive dining options include the famous German-style Paulaner Bräuhaus where fresh brewed draught beer and authentic Bavarian food will be served, the Panorama Cigar and Wine Bar, Wang Hu Ge Chinese restaurant overseen by a talented Chef from Hong Kong and a Japanese specialty restaurant. While the first two represent the finest of western culinary traditions, options three and four offer Asian delights known for rich flavors and nuances.
 
“We offer a variety of options to cater for diners. Our Executive Chef, from Germany who is no stranger to China, manages the extensive kitchen set-up, including a big team consisting of more than two hundred cooks and kitchen hands.” Mr. Brueckner continued, “Conference facilities include a 1850-sqm Grand Ballroom for 1500 guests. As high as 15 meters and adorned with beautiful ornaments, the Grand Ballroom will ensure ultimate banquet experiences.” Such description heightens our expectations for the hotel’s dining service, which, after all, is the key to the success of a hotel.
 
Mr. Brueckner stressed more than once during the interview the importance of the hotel’s strategic location. “Shanghai and Suzhou are pretty close, within one-and-a-half-hour driving distance, to be more specific,”, he said. “Our hotel is in the middle of a huge park. That is to say, we’re in the embrace of nature. Guests will wake up every morning to inhale nature’s freshest air instead of hearing the noise of traffic jam and people hurrying for work. They will be able to enjoy fresh air while having breakfast. By the way, our guests can reach downtown Suzhou and all key locations in 15 minutes by car, which is one of our advantages.”
 
When speaking of his impression of China, Mr. Brueckner also fondly recollected his past experiences, first in Thailand, then in China. He shared, “When I was serving in Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort, I fell in love with Thailand, a country with vast blue sea and pristine sand beaches. Then when I arrived China, my first Chinese city where I worked was Chengdu. Before I was transferred to Chengdu, I’d never heard of this city, nor did I know where it was. I didn’t realize China is so modern until I arrived here. The cities are forested with tall buildings, and the Chinese people are friendly and cordial. Now in Suzhou, I find especially the industrial park a picturesque location surrounded by lakes, greenery with nicely designed offices, and shopping entertainment centres. And on the other hand, just 15 minutes drive will take us to the scenic and historical town centre of Suzhou. Everything just comes together very well. “
 
Mr. Brueckner is now engaging in the pre-opening preparations. Work to him is challenge, and he put it in a fairly humorous way, “Moving around the hotel is what I call sport.” He never thinks a General Manager should put himself above everything and everyone else. On the contrary, a General Manager must adopt a hands-on attitude, getting involved in every aspect of the hotel and interacting with the staff. Team work is of vital importance to China’s hospitality industry which has never been so fast developing as it is now. The General Manager observed, “Kempinski hotels are known for their hospitality and distinct luxury. But which five-star hotel is not? However, it is the committed team that makes us standout. It is our culture to make sure guests will be properly attended by a warm, hospitable and professional team from the moment they step in till after they check out.”
 
As the head of Kempinski Hotel Suzhou, Mr. Brueckner is always full of passion toward what he is doing, a virtue he inherits from his father who had been actively engaging in the hotel industry all his life. “My father always says, hospitality trade is very interesting, and your understanding of the entire hotel is based on your knowledge of the kitchen. That is why I chose a position in relation to hotel food and beverage when I first entered the trade.” Mr. Brueckner revealed his reason for selecting to be in the hospitality industry.
 
Mr. Brueckner thinks himself fortunate to manage a hotel in China at a time when Beijing hosts the Olympic Games 2008, which is a chance of a lifetime. He observed, “The Beijing Olympic Games offers an unprecedented opportunity to China. Its immediate effect is that the pre-game construction adds a string of new landmarks to the city’s impressive skyline, inducing domestic tourists to visit the capital city. In the long run, the number of international travellers will surely be on the rise. These combined will help contribute to the surge of the country’s hotel trade. I believe, everybody will benefit immensely from the Olympic Games 2008.”
 
The long-awaited Kempinski Hotel Suzhou will not raise its mysterious veil until sometime in May/June. We believe this outstanding property the will add to the appeal of this earthly heaven that is “Suzhou”.

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