A TripAdvisor search for hotels in Bangkok currently brings up more than 774 results. That’s 774 hotels all trying to find that unique selling point to stand out from the crowd. Many will follow the tried and tested approach of offering innovative design, outstanding facilities or superior service levels, but the Grand Swiss Hotel has embarked upon an entirely different strategy.
The Executive Vice President of Compass Hospitality wanted something to differentiate the group’s city center property from the competition, and came up with a novel idea. After discussing the plan with bankers, the owner, and authorities, the Grand Swiss Hotel Sukhumvit duly became Bangkok’s first all-female operated hotel.
The General Manager, Noppamassiri Ruanpech, explained that most of the current staff had been with the hotel from the beginning and they were very happy to be a part of this unique project. Surprisingly, she also revealed that contrary to what stereotypes would have you believe, there is actually less gossip and drama in this all-female workplace than in ‘normal’ hotels.
“There are no love affairs, no one feels the need to impress the opposite sex, and everyone focuses on their own thing – we could talk about fashion, style, work and everything else openly,” she added.
Patchareewan, one of hotel’s guest service staff, agreed that working in the female-only environment made it easy for staff to get along, and that also made the work easier when everyone had a clear understanding of each other.
We then asked Noppamassiri about the other pros and cons of having an all-female staff. “I could definitely think of more pros than cons about the concept,” she answered. “It brings in a beautiful environment and cheerful attitude from all the ladies who possess a big smile on their faces all day long. Being a lady manager it makes it easy to talk openly with your work mates in terms of sense of style and dress.”
“From what I observe, I have also noticed that discipline is definitely well maintained and the work tends to be done much faster. All the ladies also put a lot of efforts into their work, which involves a lot of physical strength. Also, female power brings a lot of team spirit in terms of helping out with work related to different departments.”
Operating with only female staff in an entertainment area like lower Sukhumvit does also have its potential challenges, but the Grand Swiss is aware of this and makes staff safety an absolute priority. One precaution is that after 8 pm the staff are always accompanied by security when they have to show guests to their rooms.
When asked if any inappropriate incidents had ever occurred, Noppamassiri replied, “We’ve never had any bad incident where guests misbehave. There are cases where guests want to test the water, but we make sure our staff stay on message and handle it professionally.”
Although the Grand Swiss Hotel clearly has a great team of ladies who keep things running smoothly, they do however admit that occasionally they need a little male help from time to time – and that’s why there are two gentlemen employed in the hotel to take care of those tasks which still require a masculine touch. With all the bases covered, it’s no surprise then that the hotel’s performance is excellent, and the last time we checked they were running at 100% occupancy. Good work, ladies!