Olivier Gibaud Talks to TOP25 Hotels

Olivier Gibaud Talks to TOP25 Hotels

General Manager at Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts

Olivier Gibaud General Manager at Twinpalms Luxury Hotels PhuketOlivier enjoyed time with Mandarin Oriental in Thailand and Indonesia, Regent and Four Season in Thailand and for almost 20 years now, develop and lead the Twinpalms Hotels and Resorts Group. Lover of fast cars and beautiful watches. Proud father of two beautiful grown-up children and husband of their Mum.

Practicing daily meditation and enjoying life to the fullest in the most respectful way; knowing that everything that arises passes away, ever so fortunate to simply be now.

What motivated you to go into the hotel industry?

School wasn’t my favourite place whilst growing up, however I loved my Mum kitchen, after a few years, having completed my formal Chef’s training, I choose to further my education and management skills attending EHL known as l’Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne… Ever since I am feeling at home in this beautiful industry…hospitality… feeling privileged to do what I do.

At work, what puts a smile on your face?

At work? It is not work for me, it is where I like to be, doing what I like to do, surrounded by eager colleagues and supportive owners, all dedicated to delight guests…anyone smiling puts a smile on my face too.

How did you start your hotel career?

In Geneva, Switzerland where I had the privilege to grow up, in the kitchens of the then Hotel du Rhône, today Mandarin Oriental Geneva.

What are the skills needed to run a successful hotel?

Hmmm, a combination of common sense… respect and teamwork, with those key skills, you likely will surround yourself with equally passionate individuals that excel in what they do, a team it is the best recipe for success.

What does a “typical day” look like as General Manager of a luxury resort or hotel?

Very much the same as an Orchestra Conductor, in the best of way possible, practicing, practicing, practicing, and tuning the overall play so that the guest experience is the greatest possible, nothing to loud, nothing to subdued, just excellent balance, days after days.

What’s your idea of luxury?

A moment or experience that is uniquely thought of, balanced, delivered beautifully within a cared for space by dedicated individuals, not the easiest thing to do…less so when repeated endlessly.

What are you offering in your hotel that Airbnb can’t?

Let me return the question, what is Airbnb offering that we can’t? Simply different products, needed and enjoyed at different times, possibly by the same customers

What practices do you implement to uphold cleanliness within your hotel?

Hire individuals who’s utter desires are to keep the environment in which they live immaculately clean, challenging and rewarding them daily.

What sustainable practices have you implemented at your hotel?

Using common sense and inspiring ourselves from other achievements, water saving, single use plastic eradication, energy management amongst others for now, each day brings us new opportunities, those practices are shared with guests, so they are aware, value and participate in the efforts made by our organisation.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges the hospitality industry faces today?

Lesser and lesser owners and operators value, preach and truly practice “hospitality”, for most it is first and foremost a business with never ending growing expectations, often profit driven, as such the true meaning of hospitality is harder and harder to upkeep.

What advice would you give to a prospective general manager?

I’ll refer again to the Orchestra Conductor, the only reason a Conductor is there is that he believes he can enrich the individual performance of each musician so the overall music is as beautiful as it can be. So it is in hospitality and equally a General Manager must feel that he can enrich the performance of his team for the benefit the players, the listeners or the owners, in fact, for the benefit of all.

What’s your favourite hotel in the world and why?

I don’t have a favourite but here are few venues which I continue to have the privilege to visit where one can clearly feel “hospitality” being the focus, The Oriental in Bangkok, The Olden in Gstaad, Aman-i-Khas in Rajasthan, One Aldwych in London…oh I wish I had more time to visit the world and experience true hospitality.

What’s the one question you were hoping I wouldn’t ask?

There isn’t, asking is caring, answering is sharing, dare I say sharing is loving.

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