Logan Daley, the hotel manager of Cassia Phuket. This newly chic hotel is located in the heart of Laguna Phuket integrated resort complex. Cassia Phuket is the flagship property of this brand under the Banyan Tree Hotel and Resorts and currently has two operating hotels, one in Thailand, one in Bintan island, Indonesia with many more in the pipeline.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m originally from New Zealand, I’m the youngest of four children. My family all moved to Australia when I was about 16, when I finished studying and started my first job in a hotel. Since then I’ve been working around the world in different countries and with different companies. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to join Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts in Indonesia and now here I am today.
What motivated you to go into the hotel industry?
For me, I actually love this question. And I remember when I got my first job, I used to touch the walls and touch the furniture, suspecting that this was just a dream and of course, as the years go by the dream has never left because we get to create experiences and be involved in people’s lives. If it’s positive or negative, we still get to make a difference in our community with the things we create through the experiences and the memories that we give to our guests.
What are your strengths? What are you really good at?
Maybe one of my strengths is inspiring people in a hotel. We need to have everyone working together and everyone going towards the same goal so of course as the leader, you really need to inspire this magic in everyone to always want to do better, always want to exceed guests’ expectations and of course like any businesses always drive revenue in different ways.
What are the most challenging issues you face in your current job?
Cassia is a new concept for Phuket and is not within the norms of traditional hotel so if I guess that really what is the most challenging is finding people who can work with us. During the interviewing process we invite candidates to look at their talent and their personality to deliver on the Cassia brand promises. We all know that traditional hotel schools teach students about the formalities of hotels and about five-star service, six-star service and giving luxury experiences so for us we almost have the opposite; we want to have fun and share a memorable experience so finding the right people that will fit into our mold and then still have the right experience to operate finance, front office, housekeeping, food and beverage and then of course making sure everyone can work together is important.
At work, what puts a smile on your face?
Like any hotel managers, I love to see returning guests, I love to see great guest comments but what really puts a smile on my face here at Cassia is when I walk around the hotel and I see our Cassia staff interacting with guests, playing games with them, dancing around and really enjoying what they do. So obviously for me that really means that we have imparted our brand values into our team members and then they are imparting it in to the guests and really living up to what Cassia really is.
Teamwork is the key for success. How does teamwork drive a hotel to successful results?
In a hotel, it’s not possible to be successful as an individual, everyone needs to achieve together as a team so just like a car cannot operate if it loses one wheel, it’s the same in a hotel. If one team member is not performing, we cannot achieve what we are supposed to so of course a very open communication and good teamwork is vital to the success of a hotel.
What do you do when you’re not working?
For me when I’m not at work, I like to experience new things whether it be things in Phuket or traveling around Asia, trying different food, trying different hotels, seeing different culture and of course really starting to understand what the world has to offer and then taking some of these things back obviously into our hotel and trying to deliver different experiences.
What are you most looking forward to in Cassia?
I’m excited about the expansion of Cassia, we currently have two hotels, the mothership in Phuket, the second hotel in Indonesia with a few more in pipeline. I’m looking forward to seeing Cassia up there with the international lifestyle brand and really sharing our service philosophy and our culture. We have some great touch point, some great experiences and great concepts.
We have a great concept in Cassia which is housekeeping in every second day, this is our commitment to saving the environment for reducing water consumption and also reducing chemicals. In even this concept, we now seen in some other hotels in the US and Europe offering it to their guests as option so we really see the service and concept of Cassia is obviously going to be a real game-changer in the industry.
What advice would you offer to those who aspire to become a HM in the hotel industry?
The best advice I can give anyone is to ask questions. When I first joined the industry, I asked questions of everyone whether it was a waiter, someone in the front office, in finance, even my general manager. You need to know what they know and once you have the knowledge you then have to share that with everyone. In our industry, there’s a lot of stigma about age. People figure that you need to be a specific age for a specific position but of course this is not correct. It’s all about ambition and knowledge and wanting to show everyone else that you can do it differently or you can do it better.