Spotlight on Edouard Grosmangin
Spotlight on Edouard Grosmangin, General Manager of Six Senses Zil Pasyon (Seychelles)
The Six Senses Zil Pasyon is expected to open in 2015 on the private island of Félicité. Designed to blend effortlessly into its environment, with a backdrop of dramatic granite boulders and a tranquil shoreline, the resort will offer guests a personal sanctuary in the midst of nature. Edouard tells us about future projects, how technology needs to be non-invasive, and creating crafted experiences.
Will we be seeing any new and exciting developments with your brand in the near future?
Yes, we have many exciting new projects underway. In addition to the opening of Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles in 2015, Six Senses will open properties in China at the base of Qing Cheng Mountain outside Chengdu and a fabulous resort in Portugal in the wine region of Douro Valley. Six Senses Spas are also slated to open in Oman at Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Resort in Muscat; Greece at The Belvedere in Mykonos; India at Lodha Belmondo in Pune and Spain at Puente Romano Beach Resort in Marbella.
What key trends are you paying attention to during 2015?
Trends that are key for Six Senses are the importance of wellness and sustainability. Next year we will augment our Yogic Programs with a Sleep Program as well as super foods initiative and nutritional guidelines to ensure we deliver an amazing dining program at all resorts.
How do you motivate your team?
I trust them! I share my passion and commitment for excellence with an emotional and yet genuine attitude, and I empower them to work together and use our different strengths to achieve our goals.
Guest service has evolved the last few years. What has been your biggest challenge keeping up with guest expectations?
In my opinion, guest service has not really evolved. Service excellence delivered with emotion has always existed – at Six Senses we call it emotional hospitality and it is one of our values. However, some companies have realized the importance of the human factor and that the customer now has the choice to be loyal to a brand and not necessary to a destination. Customers can now share “live” their opinions through social media and that aspect of the service experience is evolving and making all businesses more responsive and focused on building lasting relationships.
How important a role does technology play in improving the quality of guest service?
Technology changes daily and our needs are also changing. Technology has to remain user friendly and convenient; not invasive. At Six Senses Zil Pasyon here in the Seychelles we are offering an app that will allow guests to operate lighting, room temperature and other systems right on their smartphone. The technology is there for people who want it and at the same time not mandatory for people who are not inclined.
Has the interest in experience-based travel had an impact on your hotel brand?
It is all about experiences at Six Senses, so yes! Another of our values in crafted experiences. We spend a lot of time thinking about interesting and personalized activities that will make for memorable experiences. We strive to offer activities that are unique and special to the destination. From paragliding into the resort at Six Senses Zighy Bay, an open-air cinema under the stars at Six Senses Yoi Noi, to amazing dinners in special settings like our wine cave at Six Senses Nihn Van Bay which is located inside a natural stone cave on the property – we are always looking to deliver the out of the ordinary.
What new skills or personality traits are you looking for when recruiting a new team member?
I am more interested in finding the right fit for a team than to find a singular champion. I personally believe in trust and passion more than anything else.
How has social media influenced the way you interact with customers?
Social media has dramatically impacted the way we communicate with customers, we very much believe in social media and using the various platforms to engage and build relationships with existing and future customers. Six Senses has dedicated Facebook pages for all resorts and spas and also has a presence on Twitter, Instagram and others.
What are your goals for the next year?
To lead a team of talented people from different cultures who embrace our Six Senses values in order to successfully launch a very special and beautiful private island resort. We want to delight our guests and I firmly believe we will do that by keeping our hosts engaged, challenged and happy.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to make the shift into the luxury hotel industry?
Think twice! It is much more than just a job. But for anyone who is passionate about travel and enjoys dealing with people, food & beverage, design, sustainability and wellness – it is a magical and