China - Colin Young
Chargé de Missions Honoraire
General Manager, JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai
" a professional hotelier with more than 30 years of experience "

In January 2019 the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square was delighted to announce the appointment of Colin Young as General Manager to comprehensively oversee the hotel’s operation and management.

As a professional hotelier with more than 30 years of experience, Colin has served as General Manager and held a variety of key management positions in China, Hong Kong SAR China and Indonesia.

Colin joined the Chaîne in October 2012 as a Maître Hôtelier member of the Bailliage of China. It was not long afterwards that he was promoted to be a Bailli Provincial and three years (in 2016) was elevated to national office as a Chargé de Missions, albeit becoming Honoraire a year later due to a career move to Indonesia.

We posed several questions to Colin and here are his responses:

Did you always want to work in the hotel industry?
Originally I wanted to be a chef, as my family had a restaurant. However, I decided to broaden my experience in the hospitality industry and studied hotel management which ultimately led me away from a culinary career.

You have been working in the hotel industry for more than 30 years, what keeps you going?
Running a hotel is so interesting and diverse. Not only in the variety of areas that you need to be involved in, but also in how a career in the hotel industry can bring opportunities to work all over the world. What keeps me going is that my role allows me to test my creative abilities, strategic thinking and people skills every single day.
 
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge managing a luxury hotel in China?
China is leading the world in so many industries now and the hotel business is no exception. Luxury hotels need to constantly re-invent themselves, especially with our dining options to keep ahead of independent restaurants and other hotels. Chinese are well travelled and very discerning, they know quality and are familiar with the latest trends in food & style. If you do not meet or exceed their expectations, you will quickly fall behind. That’s why our biggest challenge is to stay ahead of our competitors and there are many of them.
 
In terms of leadership style, how would you describe yourself?
Being a hotel General Manager is very similar to being a parent. I need to be tough and firm to ensure standards and expectations are met, yet I also need to nurture many of our junior associates who may be entering the industry for the first time. It’s important to be flexible and I try to be adaptable to whatever situation presents itself.

About the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai
Ascending 60 stories high over Shanghai in downtown Puxi, the luxury JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square cultivates an enriching experience for the guests, especially with its 360 degree city views. The hotel is in a prime location close to the People’s Square. One of the most interesting hotel buildings in Shanghai, the spectacular exterior facade beholds the eye from all dimensions and perspectives.

Marie Jones
Managing Editor

With thanks to Fiona Zhang, Director of Communications at JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square, for her help in providing the necessary material for this article