Caring, as always

Interview with Philippos Arghirides, General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Huaqiao-Kunshan

Q: As the first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Eastern China market, what is the benefit of being situated in Huaqiao, Kunshan?

A: I think every single area has its own benefits. Kunshan, I think, has a very distinguishing attribute which is its situation just outside of Shanghai, not within Shanghai, but just close enough. It is also close to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport, which is a major advantage for both international and local tourists and travelers. Also, it is close to Suzhou and other water towns, so in that respect it’s unique in the way you are able to accommodate a variety of different segments of the market. You can do leisure, incentive, tour groups and you can do business. Within the facility, we have a conference center behind us. There is also an auto museum behind us , so it’s a very interesting combination of different categories. Added to that is the fact that it is growing as an area in its own right.


Q: What positive impact has this unique location brought to your MICE sector business?

A: Our hotel has 400 rooms, 2 ballrooms and 7 function rooms, which make it an ideal balance between rooms and function capacity to accommodate the growing demand for MICE business. As I mentioned earlier, this is a fast developing area. This area is also very key because it combines leisure between all the water towns around this area, Suzhou and Wuxi, also very close to Shanghai. And we have seen a growing demand for locations like that. We are competitive with our rates. We provide five-star services. Our team is welcoming all kinds of guests. And I believe that with the situation that you see in the big cities, there is demand from Chinese companies to go to secondary locations for meetings. Our location and our hotel are actually ideally situated for that.


Q: Any special offers to mark the 5th anniversary of your hotel?

A: Yes, we have a unique package which is just designed for our hotel’s celebration of 5 years in operation. This is a package that offers a variety of different attributes in benefits to our guest depending on their needs. We have constructed this package in a way that, depending on MICE requests and depending on the size of the business or requirements of the guests, we are able to accommodate them. So you can get free rooms, you can get brunch, you can get a number of benefits and each one can be tailor-made for the specific needs of each company and their organizers. So for our MICE sector business, our location is great, and people can get more on this fifth anniversary occasion.


Q: What other unique attributes does your hotel have compared with other Hilton hotels?

A: Besides the location I mentioned which I believe is a key attribute, I have to say that without putting down other sister hotels, our team here is a big attribute of the hotel. They are a team which is very professional and at the same time they are very friendly, approachable and caring. It’s something that I realized when I first joined this hotel. The service level is not just because we’re a five-star hotel, it’s because people care. And we have experience with dealing with local guests, international guests and big events. So we have managed over the last five years to grow and adjust to develop ourselves to be able to cater to the growing demand of Chinese as well as for international travelers.