With over 25 years' experience in the hospitality industry, Brendan Daly has spent majority of the time working in Australia and Asia for many international hotel companies including Starwood, Accor and Onyx Hospitality in both pre-opening and operating capacities.
What’s the most challenging aspect in running your hotel?
The most challenging aspects of running YOTEL Singapore would be ensuring that we stay ahead of the hospitality industry to meet the needs of our guests. Technology is one of the ways that allows us to do so. As firm believers of adopting technology, we are constantly on the lookout for new ways we can improve YOTEL to enhance the stay of our guests.
One of the ways we’ve have demonstrated this is through the introduction of Yoshi and Yolanda, our in-house amenities robots. Ensuring that each and every guest of YOTEL Singapore enjoys their stay is not an easy task, but through the introduction of the robots, we have seen how technology can beautifully complement our day-to-day operations.
Yoshi and Yolanda are the world’s first multi-point hotel delivery robots, and are also the first in the world to be equipped with Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) technology, which allows them to navigate around YOTEL Singapore, all on their own. They are able to seamlessly interface with the elevator, call your cabin upon arrival at your door and are even smartly engineered to speak and detect obstacles or people in their way.
What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced in your role?
YOTEL Singapore is actually the first YOTEL property to be launched in Asia, and that was quite a challenge. Our other properties are mainly located in Europe and the United States, and we see our Singapore property as a gateway to expansion in Asia. Singapore is a small country, with a large number of hospitality players already in operation, and it was definitely challenging launching the brand locally, and differentiating ourselves from other hotels.
Along with the launch also came logistical challenges, such as meeting pre-opening deadlines and recruitment of crew members. When YOTEL Singapore was finally launched in October 2017, the sense of fulfilment I felt was unprecedented.
What's the essence of 'hospitality'?
There are four great essentials that build the foundation for a great hotel experience - a great arrival and check-in experience, having a blissful sleep, enjoying a great shower, and a focus on technology. YOTEL Singapore is proud to be able to meet all of them, with fast self-check-in kiosks, signature SmartBed™, invigotating rainshower, and the in-room Technowall. Not forgetting the modern traveller’s technological needs, YOTEL also offers super-fast and reliable WiFi, media hub, and plenty of accessible power points.
What are your preferred sources when it comes to learning about hotels?
Hotelintel of course! Apart from that, definitely trade publications such as TTG Asia, Travel Weekly News, eHotelier and Hospitality Asia. Not forgetting the daily newspapers, The Straits Times, The Business Times and TODAY as well – they do share interesting stories about what other hotels are up to, albeit with a lifestyle-twist to it.
What kind of marketing tools you find to be effective in PR & Marketing in the hotel world today?
If we had to choose just one, it would definitely be social media. Technology has greatly impacted the way we communicate with each other, making the world has become ‘smaller’. Digital marketing, through platforms such as social media, have proven great success for us as a brand, as we are able to connect with individuals virtually across geographical boundaries.
What book are you currently reading or wish to read?
I’ve just started to read Slingshot by Gabor George Burt.
It’s about empowering organizations and individuals alike to stay relevant by continuously re-imagine boundaries, rethink and reinvent what they do. Great read!