Daniel Simon is a former Commissioned Lieutenant in the Swedish Army reserves and had served as a Battalion Quartermaster. Outside of the military, he has three decades of luxury hospitality experience under his belt, having worked with prestigious hotel brands and cruise ships around the globe.

Daniel began his career with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts where he spent twenty years working in North America and Asia, including General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.

His career changed course when he joined Celebrity Cruises as Hotel Director, sailing across Asia, Alaska, Caribbean, Baltic and the Mediterranean. In 2015 he returned to shore as General Manager of W Koh Samui, Thailand, from where he joined Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas.

Daniel graduated from the University of Houston - Conrad N. Hilton College with a bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 2002.

What's the most important element a hotel should have right now?

Genuine hospitality that is paired with health and safety measures to make people feel safe during these unprecedented times as they long for a sense of normality and stability.

How does being an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel help your business?

We are honoured to assist the Government, medical authorities and residents of Thailand on their journey of repatriation to the Kingdom and, combined with our business shift to cater to the domestic market segment, our ASQ business is keeping the lights on and our colleagues employed. But the economic benefit of having business in-house goes far beyond just brick and mortar in an industry that supports suppliers from fishermen and farmers to tour guides and small businesses.

How do you motivate your team during this trying time?what's the skill you think hoteliers need in order to work effectively?

I have always been an avid advocate of leading from the front and a hotelier's job has always called for flexibility and mental agility, and even more so now during these unprecedented times.

We need to be more alert and practical to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our guests and colleagues, all whilst managing, yielding and adapting proactively to the ever changing business milieu during times of crisis when no one really knows what’s happening.

You have many F&B outlets in your hotels, how do you stay competitive?

All the hotel's restaurants are operational, and our market segment focus has been redirected to the domestic market through enhanced food and beverage offerings and value-for-money promotions.

We strongly believe that our guests step into our restaurants to experience a sense of normality for a while or perhaps a brief escape from reality, and therefore we strive to continue to offer both the expected an unexpected like, for instance, our annual popular World Gourmet Festival event that will take place from 4th to 8th November despite our inability to bring international Michelin-starred chefs to Bangkok this year. We are also upping our social media game to attract and engage with consumers through exciting campaigns that meet their aspirations and lifestyle.

More about Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel here