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Home>Learn about sanya>The Leader in a Modern Paradise

The Leader in a Modern Paradise

An Interview with Mr. Knaust, the GM of Mandarin Oriental Sanya

Mandarin Oriental Sanya is located at Coral Bay near Dadonghai district and it is definitely a paradise in the modern city. To snuggle up to coral bay, the hotel is surrounded by lush vegetation and cover an area of 1.2km beach. The resort¡¯s luxurious villas are interspersed among landscaped gardens; all rooms look to the sea in serene environment. The villa¡¯s complex is constructed by tropical wood and stone and well designed with plants, pavilions, gazebos and pools, which create private spaces and a countryside-style atmosphere for every guest. In addition, many details have been thoughtfully considered during construction, such as the idea of grey roofs which were inspired from traditional Chinese architecture. All achievements have been achieved by one person: the leader of Mandarin Oriental Sanya- Mr.Gerd Knaust.

Creating a modern paradise rely on 25 years¡¯ professional experience
The best place to watch the setting sun in the hotel is ¡°Sunset Bar¡±, in where we met with Mr. Knaust, who comes from Germany. Like most Europeans, Mr. Knaust is tall and strong, but also a good talker with humorous. After the first greeting, he told us friendly that he had specially cancelled his regular golf course for today¡¯s interview. We felt his recognition and at once had a great esteem for his frank and open.

Mr. Knaust has 25 years¡¯ experience in hospitality and has left his footprints over both Asia and Europe, such as Mainland China, Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Germany. In 1994, he jointed Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and he was improved from an executive chef to general manager after 15 years¡¯ serving experience in same group, then he came to China again and become the leader of Mandarin Oriental, Sanya.

As the leader of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group¡¯s first property in China, Mr. Knaust threw himself into the preparation work, either external architectural design or interior decoration, he has been personally involver in all details. The hotel heavily emphasizes on local specialties in design, although many hotels has been done so before, Mandarin Oriental Sanya firstly adopted an original approach of Li and Miao style. Whether staff¡¯s uniform or bamboo ornaments, even decorations in rooms, everywhere shows minority culture.

The hotel is also proud of its spa services. The Traditional Chinese Medicine concept combines with Caring service from a highly trained doctor, add to international treatments by professional therapists. The SPA€ categories includes Thai massage, Aromatherapy massage, essential oils massage, Swedish hot oil massage, Hilot (ancient Filipino massage), unique facial treatments and the tailor-make ¡° Time Ritual¡±, all these methods will allow guests to totally recover and relax in the most comfortable environment.

However, the most pleasant surprise for guests is the resort¡¯s private environment. Dadonghai is one of the busiest areas in Sanya, but only Mandarin Oriental Sanya remains utterly peaceful, where tropical plants, stone and water features builds up the sense of silence, every visiting guest can feel a real sense of tranquility.
Team work is crucial to success, and distinctive management methods is the passport
One of the main challenges for every hotel is to establish high service standards. When Mr. Knaust just arrived, the biggest challenge for him was to find talents at local recruitment market. To solve this problem, he recruited top management team around the world, such as Malaysia, Singapore, for leaderships, while diverse nationalities also made the hotel hold the largest foreign management team among Sanya¡¯s hotels. At the same time, the hotel also sent the management team to Xi¡¯an, Guiyang, Dalian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao and other Chinese cities where personnel resources are more abundant. They recruited professional staff for middle and grass-roots level who were attracted by hotel¡¯s good reputation and advanced training system. Furthermore, in order to highlight considerate service standards, the hotel also specially recruited staffs from Russia, Japan, Korea and other major international source markets for satisfying guests from different nationalities.

Different interpretations of luxury
In Sanya, face to so many luxurious international hotels famous, and as a new hotel, how did Mandarin Oriental get a foothold in the market? Mr. Knaust believes that different brand hotels have its own strengths, just like two very noble gentlemen have very different characters. ¡°This is a good thing for the hotel industry, competition provides us greater progress.¡± he said. Mandarin Oriental has a very refined and high-end target customer group who like the real resorts. Recently and lately, the hotel focuses, such as golf tournaments sponsored by BMW and work on widely promotion with the aid of ¡°star¡± power.
At the same time, Mr. Knaust helps the catering department to plan the concepts and menus for the restaurants with the help of his experience. In the Chinese restaurant, the linen buckle made with jade utensils, the red stoneware SP in Qing-imperial shape. ¡°Fresh Restaurant¡± is situated near sea and has an open kitchen to let chefs prepare innovative and delicious food in front of guests. The unique feature of hotel is its wine cellar, which store nearly 200 different brands of wine and over 40kinds of imported single malt whisky; the wine cellar is next to Cigar Bar. The Phoenix Tea Shop is almost a museum of ancient teapot and precious tea, with the priceless yellow rosewood tea table, full of ancient style and charm. This stunning hotel is quite different from any others in Hainan, Mr. Knaust said: ¡°this is the essential aspect if ¡®luxury¡¯, because of that Oriental Sanya is much more realistic.¡±

Editor Notes
Looking around, this is a really amazing, absolutely a private paradise. There are landscaped gardens, pools, sea and nice food, also free Yoga and cookery classes; moreover a Chinese Kung Fu Master teaches Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes to give guests a unique cultural experience in nature. The interview finished at sunset, we said goodbye to Mr. Knaust after a glass of fresh cocktail, and then continue feeling the totally relaxation in such a beautiful modern paradise.


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