The Best Friend – Raymond Teo

It’s been nearly a year since Shangri-La Hotel, Shenyang’s General Manager Raymond Teo joined the hotel. We spoke with him about his career with the group and being a hotelier in China.

Raymond Teo - Cover Image

You have been operating hotels in China for several years now. What is the biggest challenge here as compared to your experience in other Southeast Asia countries?

The hotel industry everywhere is a very volatile one. We are affected by political situations, government policies, air travel prices, bad weather conditions, and even volcanic ash in the air. There will always be challenges when we are working in a hotel.

Over the past 10 years, the growth of supply in China has surpassed the growth of demand. Given the increased competition, the biggest challenge is to maintain our superior competitive edge. The customer today knows that he or she has a variety of choices in any city in China, and with the Internet and social media, pricing is very transparent. We need to focus on providing our guests a consistently high overall stay experience, each and every time. This is the reason why Shangri-La has been rated the leading hotel company in China time after time.

You started as a Management Trainee and your career with Shangri-La spans over two decades. What makes you so attached to the company?

When I was presented my 20th Anniversary certificate, I told my team in Shenyang, “I cannot remember why I joined the hotel industry 20 years ago, but I am very glad that it was with Shangri-La.” Shangri-La is a company which is growing and with that comes ample opportunities. Many of my peers today have also become Corporate Officers or General Managers in Shangri-La. I suppose when all your friends work together for so long, and you form a strong support network, there is simply no reason to look elsewhere. Shangri-La’s philosophy – “Hire for Attitude – Train for Skills” has always been my criteria when I am interviewing others as well. The end result is a company filled with great colleagues who do a great job.

 How have you and the company changed over the years?

I have been given many opportunities over the past 20 years, and with every new position I have learnt new things. I am grateful for the chance that was given to me and now I try to give many of our colleagues opportunities to grow as well. Over the past 30 years in China, Shangri-La has evolved along with the times while still maintaining the high standards that many have come to expect. “Think Global, Act Local.”  Shangri-La has managed to respect the local cultures in every city which we operate. Over the last 20 years in the Company (and maybe I am getting older), I have come to appreciate all the simple things in life, like having lunch in our Colleague Restaurant.

If you had to name one most memorable moment in your career so far, what would it be?

The most memorable time in my career must be 2003, when I was in Beijing during the outbreak of SARS. The hotel occupancy dropped to single digits and that made me realize how vulnerable we all were. Today, we are better prepared for any crisis that may come along. Of course, Beijing was also my first posting overseas, and that was also the first time I drank “Bai Jiu”(white wine). That was memorable, but for obvious reasons I cannot remember much of the dinner where I was introduced to that drink!

What advice would you give to the younger generations who are pursuing a career in our industry?

I believe that it is always possible to carve out a successful career in any industry, and it is the same in the hotel industry. This is an exciting and rewarding industry, where you will never have a dull moment. It is also the same reason that the friends you made while working for a hotel will stick with you for life. My advice to all youngsters who want to give hospitality a try:  (1) be patient, (2) learn to enjoy your work and (3) make lots of friends.


Wall Painting at Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

The back office wall at Shangri-La Hotel, Paris was being painted by our colleagues. With everyone contributed to the painting, it is a masterpiece of teamwork.

They painted the Shangri-La values on the wall so as to remind everyone of our spirit. We hope to make the office a more friendly and harmonious place for our colleagues to work at.

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2016 marks a monumental milestone for the Shangri-La group as we open the 100th hotel by the end of the year.So this milestone goes out to all our colleagues (past or present); we invite you to be a part of this celebration by sharing with us your 100 fondest memories with Shangri-La!

Find out more | Read Our Memories

[Part 2] Mercy Mission Team at Shangri-La’s Fiji Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island

Peli KeteI joined the CSR Mercy Mission to Taveuni.

I was privileged to be part of the CSR Mercy Mission Team that embarked on relief efforts to our 2 Estates, Salialevu and Ura, on the Island of Taveuni from the 29 February to 7th March. These  were 2 of the worst affected areas by the Tropical Cyclone Winston that hit the Fiji Islands on the 20th February 2016. I was part of a group of 12 volunteers, mainly made up of Engineering staff led by our Resident Manager, Mr Udo. Accompanying us on this mission was Ms Tara Hammond, our Shangri-La International Hotel Management CSR Area Manager. We took with us aid provided by the resort including mattresses, linen and bath towels, food supplies, cartons of water, and hardware for repair works.  Our team of 12 was divided into 2 groups, one would focus on Ura Estate and the other on Salialevu. I was in the Salialevu group, which was more affected than Ura. Continue reading “[Part 2] Mercy Mission Team at Shangri-La’s Fiji Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island”

004 memory – Manny Perez

I started my career at Edsa Shangri-La, Manila on April 24, 1991 as part of the Pre-Opening Team. I’m now celebrating my Silver Anniversary in this hotel, the first Shangri-La Hotel in the Philippines. I’m very thankful to the people who helped me in my journey – Sir Vic Alcuaz, Ma’am Grace Vallarta, Ma’am Weng Raroque, Ma’am Peggy Angeles and Ma’am Tess Tirona. And I’d like to also say a big thank you to Ma’am Wilma Estaura. Thank You Edsa Shangri-La, Manila.