Topics: Hotel, Branding, Hotel chains Pages: 5 (1113 words) Published: December 11, 2014
Abogadie Maria Glady H.
Tour 122
Prof. Evangeline Ortiz
December 12, 2014

Shangrila Hotels, A Fusion of Asianness and Luxury

When the namesake “Shangrila” was taken from James Hilton’s legendary novel “Lost Horizon” it became a brand of world-reknowned hotel chains, and everything else was history. Shangrila Hotels’ tourism planning, strategy and marketing all revolve around this brand image of a lost paradise, with an Asian setting, and a trademark of luxury. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts was founded in 1971 by the Malaysian-Chinese tycoon Robert Kuok and managed by Westin until January 1983. The Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts were established in 1982. Located at the hub of Ortigas Center, near EDSA, The Shangrila Hotel offers a posh and luxurious haven in the midst of the bustle and hustle of Metro Manila. It stays true to its brand’s maxim, “There’s no greater act of hospitality than to embrace a stranger as one’s own.” Shang aims to provide a sense of “Asian-ness” and hospitality by giving luxury services. These, among other helpful information, were presented to us during our Out-of-the-classroom learning activity at Shangrila EDSA, Ortigas on October 26-27, 2014. The hotel’s executive staff themselves presented the UP AIT students an overview of the basic operations of the Shangrila Hotel: Room Services and bedmaking; the back-of-the-house, which included the kitchen, laundry and ironing area; and their marketing strategy. Surrounded by a lush Asian tropical garden, the marbled pavement and lobby entrance offers a luxurious and high-ceiling facade that truly depicts a five-star hotel. Every hall is accentuated by elegant Asian-themed interior pieces. Crystal glass chandeliers, wooden artwork, paintings by renowned Asian artists and painters glamorize the interior. Hotel service ranges from good to excellent. At the lobby, hotel staff are dressed in Asian Kimono or clothes for women, and suit for men. They exuded a sense of friendliness and warmth, and were very accommodating to customer’s concerns such as directions, dining, events information and check-in and check out. With a marketing stance driven by its reputable brand image, it is known as Asia’s leading hotel group with over 70 hotels under four brands in Asia, the Middle East, Canada and Europe. Shangri-la Hotels mainly target corporate clients, business travelers, and families and groups in the upper segments of the market. A Shangrila experience for a guest might be equated to prestige and high social status. Such experience translated to me what I only heard in theory: the hub and clustering of a tourism entity, the operations, the execution and the strategizing of tourism management and plans. Interestingly, the praxis was much more complex than the theories. As stated on the origin of the brand name, it best defines what the Shangrila brand is all about—embracing a traveler as its own, a traditional Asian brand of hospitality; and how this giant hotel name is adhering to their image and brand perception. From this image, they built a network of hotel chains around the world, primarily in prime locations—mostly gateways and hubs. From this brand image, emanate all the core values, and the basis for their day-to-day operations. Franchising has been a great tool for the Shangrila Hotels in establishing their global market presence. They aim to provide the same standard of service and high-quality facilities such as spas, resort facilities, gyms, pubs and fine-dining, to every country location, due to the brand expectations and trust that it gains from customers. Customer loyalty and brand positioning is relevant to its roots, the Asian setting and culture. With this luxury brand perception, there is a strict and high mandate to teach and train their employees to know their company values masterfully. Employees are considered their intangible assets. For example, managerial employees are...
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