Fabrice Collot, a French native is a veteran senior management executive with over 27 years of experience in government administration and hospitality industry across four continents. He started his career with French Consulate General in Jerusalem, and joined hospitality industry in United States nine years later. He also garnered invaluable experience working with international hospitality brands such as Kempinski, and was a Hotel Manager with Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts from year 2009 to year 2011.
What’s the most challenging in running your hotel? Or what do you think would be challenging for you in running Banyan Tree Macau?
The most challenging part of running Banyan Tree Macau is to adapt very fast to an always evolving situation regarding clientele mix. We have very short notice and lead time to fill up the FIT room allotment and maximize the occupancy of the hotel.
What have you benefited from working in a government agency and have applied to the hotel world?
I learnt how to manage large scale events with very highly ranked officials in attendance, which I feel has helped me grasp the operational aspects of running a hotel as well as with guest relations. There really is little room for improvisation and preparation is key, as there are very strict timelines. All the pieces of the puzzle need to fit perfectly at the right moment or consequences can go far beyond imagination.
What was your darkest moment in your career as an hotelier?
I had a very demanding and quite difficult General Manager when I was Director of Food and Beverage in Russia. We had a fully booked restaurant on Valentine’s Day 2006, and he had date with a young lady, who stood him up at the last minute. Probably very frustrated, he chose to pick a fight with me, and actually ended up firing me right then and there.
I called my girlfriend (now my wife) who was at the time at the hair salon getting ready for the evening, to announce that we had to cancel our plans as I was not in a mood to celebrate Valentine ’s Day anymore. At around midnight my GM sent me an apology SMS and asked me to come back to work the next day, which I did.
What are the differences between Asian hospitality and American/European hospitality?
I don’t think we can define the hotel industry by continent; in my opinion, this is too broad, as service is very much dependant on the country and sometimes even the city where you are located.
Hotel industry and service in general in Thailand is more mature than in China or Vietnam, hence, you’ll find more professional staff and greater attention to detail. Europe and America both also have a mature industry structure supported by very good hospitality schools but the service tends to be more dispassionate and less heartfelt than in Asia.
Macau and Hong Kong are similarly very different from Mainland China. I would almost compare them to Dubai, as employees tend to come from varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds making the teams very diverse. This is my preferred type of environment, as we can always learn from each other.
What is your hotel offering differently to guests?
Banyan Tree Macau is the epitome of what makes a great hotel. Large and beautifully appointed Suites with relaxation pools, one, two or three bedroom Pool Villas, an incredible Spa, Forbes 5- star rated restaurant, Belon, access to the private Banyan Tree pool and Cabanas and a culturally diverse, well trained and dedicated workforce.
No other hotel in Macau is able to offer such a tranquil and beautiful environment. We want our guests to be able to relax from the second they walk into the lobby, which is why we circulate a “scent of the day” throughout the lobby, accompanied by the sound of a Thai Kheem player. The smile and genuine dedication of our associates will have our guests returning again and again.
Visit him at Banyan Tree Macau