‘Intensive investments in Indian market shows our belief in potential of this market’

Interview: Daniel Muhor, General Manager, Sheraton Phu Quoc, Vietnam
/ New Delhi
Daniel Muhor
‘Intensive investments in Indian market shows our belief in potential of this market’

All ocean-facing rooms, suites & villas have been given an upgrade, with a clean, soothing colour palette, says Muhor

One of the leading resorts in the upscale island destination of Phu Quoc in Vietnam, Sheraton Phu Quoc has undergone a massive renovation. In an interview with India Outbound, Daniel Muhor, General Manager, says that new, completely upgraded accommodation is not the only thing awaiting Indian customers. He also has deployed a full-time Indian chef to cater to Indian palates and the hotel has made significant investments in developing the Indian market.
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Daniel Muhor

Daniel Muhor

What have been the key additions and changes in the hotel following the renovation?

The resort’s compelling new look blends subtle tropical accents with modern simplicity and international feel. With its functional décor and focus on comfort and residential aesthetics, the refreshed lobby area serves as an intimate communal hub and a gathering space for guests to mingle or conduct business. 

Decorated with rugs and custom-made furniture upholstered in muted tropical tones, the space feels lived-in and encourages guests to linger over a cup of coffee or a nightcap at the adjacent & More by Sheraton, a new, smartly designed space where guests can gather alongside the locals and immerse themselves in an inviting, warm and inclusive setting.

A specialty coffee concept with light bites by day and a lively bar with creative cocktails after dark, &More promises to be the new focal point of the resort. Here, guests can work from a communal-style hardwood table or sink into a comfortable, mid-century-inspired armchair. A long, dining-height oak table with personal drawers and integrated technology, Sheraton’s Community Table blends comfort and productivity to serve as a gathering point for the local community. 

What kind of accommodation does the hotel offer now? 

All ocean-facing rooms, suites and villas have been given an upgrade, with a clean, soothing colour palette providing a comforting backdrop for guests to relax and unwind. Unique pieces and furniture were carefully selected to instill a sense of peace and belonging, whether guests are staying in a room or a villa. 

During the day, the spaces are flooded with natural light, with perfectly framed sparkling ocean vistas, parquet floors in blond wood, thick cream rugs and dove-grey walls all contributing towards creating a harmonious, modern look. Meanwhile, discreet blackout curtains promise uninterrupted sleep. The resort also offers sumptuously appointed two- to four-bedroom villas, which, range from 190 to 360 sqm and come with a private pool, fully equipped kitchen and living space offering views of the ocean or the garden.

For which segment of travellers is this hotel the best suited?

At this point of time the demand is mainly from the FIT traveller. But there is significant potential from MICE and Weddings that we are tapping into. The destination has something for every age group as well as for different segments, just outside the resort a world of exhilarating experiences is available for the entire family.

VinWonders, the largest theme park in Vietnam, is a water wonderland of rollercoasters and daily shows, while Vinpearl Safari with almost 200 different species and a total of 3,000 animals offers an insight into local flora and fauna. 

For shopping and additional dining options, holidaymakers can explore the numerous offerings at Grand World, an entertainment complex located just a five-minute free shuttle drive from the resort and offering a kaleidoscope of themed restaurants, seafood streets, night markets, BBQ gardens, and diverse beach clubs. Golf aficionados, meanwhile, can practise their swing at the 18-hole Vinpearl Golf course with unique terrain in the middle of a primaeval forest, right next door to the property, while punters can try their luck in the 24-hour Corona Casino.

How important is the Indian market for you? What is the current share of Indian guests in your total customer mix?

Indian is currently one of our top key international source market and continues to grow. Our investment in manpower and infrastructure to cater to the Indian traveller is a testimonial of our belief in the potential of this market. To cater to the requirements of our Indian guests we have an Indian Chef at the Sheraton Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, who was transferred from the St Regis Mumbai. Apart from having an A la Carte Indian Menu at our restaurant, our daily buffet breakfast has a live Indian station that serves authentic Indian dishes ranging from dosas to parathas and pav bhajis. Not to forget that Masala Chai is always available as well.

We are currently the only hotel on the island with full-time Indian Chef with an Indian live station for breakfast. Needless to mention we can also cater to the Indian vegetarian palate including Jain-compliant dishes. With the growing number of Indian tourists, we have also hired Guest Relation Executives and restaurant hostess from India who can connect better with Indian travellers as they would understand their preferences and requirements.

What brings Indian travellers to your hotel? What is the profile of these travellers?

As a destination Phu Quoc presents the ideal holiday destination for an Indian traveller. The island offers more than just a beach holiday but has a combination of a lot of other activities that can be done on the island. Indian travellers look for itineraries and Phu Quoc is spoilt for choices be it amusement parks, safari, entertainment at Grand World, the excitement of casino, the breathtaking cable car ride across the ocean or the bustling night market, all topped with scenic beaches of the island. The ease of travelling to Vietnam and the connectivity to Phu Quoc makes the destination even more attractive. Also, as Indians can travel to Phu Quoc without a visa,  it will make this the go to destination for Indian travellers.

From which parts of India do they hail?

Main cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, but we are also seeing travellers from Kolkata, Hyderabad and Gujarat.

What is your marketing strategy for India?

We have partnered with key travel agencies in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata to promote our packages in the Indian Market. In addition to this we have also partnered with wedding planners and organisers in India to market Phu Quoc as a wedding destination.

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