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 Mövenpick 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 Mӧvenpick in 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.