LATTE chats to Sydney Pierre, Head of Worldwide Sales at LUX* Resorts & Hotels, about his secrets to success and the company’s vision and growth.
- What sparked your desire to develop a career in the travel industry?
I’d never been in a hotel until my first interview to work in one. I was 18 years old and the place was so stunning. I’d never seen such beauty before. I knew that this was the place where I wanted to work.
- How have you seen the luxury travel industry change?
I feel that there hasn’t been much change in luxury travel over the last two or three decades and that for many guests the experience has become quite routine. Luxury travellers today are now looking for more simple, fresh and sensory experiences.
- What distinguishes LUX* Resorts and Hotels from other luxury resorts around the world?
At LUX* we constantly keep innovating and looking for ways to make each moment matter, celebrate life and to create precious memories that our guests that they can keep forever. We realise that service is an essential part of this and that we need to stay on top of our game. What was ‘great’ during the first stay for a guest will be ‘expected’ during at the next visit. Thus we are constantly renewing and refining our experiences to ensure that we are always engaged.
- The end of this year will see the $26 million relaunch of your flagship resort in the Maldives. What sort of refurbishments and technological changes can we expect to see?
The entire resort at LUX* South Ari Atoll has been redesigned into stunning beach house chic all based on state-of-the-art technology. From innovative nautical architecture, to six new restaurants and five bars, a Zen-inspired LUX* Me spa, gym with all the latest equipment and rooms that are completely digitised including the guest directory, these are of course a highlight. More importantly, however, guests will experience world class service from a really passionate team.
- LUX* Resorts has opened six brand-new properties, including Dianshan Lake in China, Bodrum in Turkey and Phu Quoc in Vietnam. What does that mean for the future of the company?
Our unique brand philosophy of delivering a lighter, brighter experience and also our expansion plans, allows us to bring the ‘Light of LUX*’ far from our shores. Developing new destinations is an invitation to our guests to discover both new cultures and new flavours.
- LUX* has recently launched the ‘new reasons to go LUX*’ collection. How imperative is maintaining a healthy market mix within the resort business?
We have different expectations as a guest. There is, however, one constant: we are all looking for new experiences regardless of what part of the world we come from. Our guests and partners participate in these innovations, listen to them and respond. The fusion of the destination and these new reasons to go LUX* means we always exceed our guests’ expectations and it is what we call luxury travel.
- Mauritius is your home. How has the travel industry, particularly LUX*, played a role in the country’s growth and transformation over the years?
The transformation of the whole industry in Mauritius since our rebrand to LUX* has been impressive. New experiences are now being offered and concepts being revisited. The whole hospitality industry has been inspired and has realised that luxury travellers no longer want to see the same old, same old.
- Where would you most like to the see the LUX* trademark next?
LUX* is a small and dynamic company, already moving at a very fast pace. Soon we will be managing more than 10 hotels in the next two years in Asia, one in the Middle East and in Europe! We are looking at Africa, USA and why not Australia? The brand has been recognised by our guests worldwide, but what matters most is that our guests continue to feel that they are the most important part of our development and that they join us on the journey of discovery.
- Recently, you have been acknowledged for your 27 years of travel and tourism experience, by receiving the award of Silver Medal by “La Ligue Universelle du Bien Public”. What qualities do you hold accountable for personal accomplishments, such as this? What are your success secrets?
I recently read a quote, that at the time was considered to be bad career advice: “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”. I must say though that this has worked for me. The luxury travel industry is the best I can think of and connects people around the world. Serving people, living for others in a genuine way, giving without expecting something in return, is the best way one could live this life. A great man once said, “Eternal Life is living for others”. Do what you love, do it with passion, invest yourself in it and don’t wait for the return. It comes automatically. This is the secret to success.
- Finally, LATTE’s signature question: Where and what was the best coffee you’ve ever had?
At my best friend’s place. The making was long though, but it was the best coffee. I believe that you can only enjoy a good latte in good company. Coffee is one of those things that I consider very important in my daily life.