Q&A Winnie Chiu of Dorsett Hotels

  • Winnie Chiu at the Dorsett Kwun Tong.

    Winnie Chiu at the Dorsett Kwun Tong.

  • Chiu volunteering at Malaysia's National Heart Institute.

    Chiu volunteering at Malaysia's National Heart Institute.

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Since its founding just seven years ago, Hong Kong–based hotel group Dorsett Hospitality International has grown to 19 properties, with almost a dozen more in the pipe-line. Overseeing the company’s rapid expansion is its 33-year-old president and executive director, Winnie Chiu, whom DestinAsian caught up with to discuss the hospitality business and what guests can look forward to at her forthcoming property in London.

What are today’s biggest hotel trends?
Travelers today are very savvy and cost-conscious, seeking more value from their hotel stays rather than cutting back on holidays. Free Wi-Fi and instant connectivity are now commonplace, and we have seen iPod docks taking a more permanent place in guest rooms. Other sought-after services include flexible 24-hour check-in and checkout, which we now offer at three of our Hong Kong hotels.

Describe your perfect hotel room.
One that is totally functional and comfortable—with, of course, a good bed, not to mention sufficient power sockets, as most of us travel with more than one gadget.

Do you have a favorite Dorsett hotel?
The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart, as this is the first property that I was very involved in after joining Dorsett. And across the harbor in Kowloon, the Silka Seaview was the first Hong Kong hotel purchased by our group, in 2007. It was also the first property that we managed ourselves. That marked a major turning point for the company. I’m also very excited about the Dorsett Shepherds Bush in West London; when it opens later this spring, it will mark the group’s first hotel outside Asia.

How will your London property reflect Dorsett’s Asian roots?
Guests can expect little touches such as turndown service with pineapple cookies instead of chocolates, breakfast options like congee and noodles, and a fine selection of Chinese tea, to name a few. And all of this is complemented by Asian standards of customer service, which is internationally known as being warm, sincere, and courteous. –Christi Hang

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2014 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Leading Lady”).

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