Tag Archives: hospitality

Grand Hyatt Shanghai: You eat in my hotel, I eat in yours~

Welcome hoteliers!

LinkedIn is such a powerful networking tool if you use it right. If you add everyone and never communicate with them, what’s the point?

When I listed my position on LinkedIn, I had many requests to connect, as well as requested to connect with others; Grand Hyatt was very popular in Shanghai. So I made some good contacts but my closet contact was with a man from Dubai. He was working as a Ritz executive club manager at the Ritz Carlton Pudong hotel next door to Grand Hyatt and boy was I salty. 

Ritz Carlton Pudong Club Lounge

Ritz Carlton is actually my favorite hotel chain.

Well, I love Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, Ritz Carlton & Four Seasons. So Ritz is one of my favorites let’s say that.

The Ritz Carlton Pudong was a bit more international than the staff at Grand Hyatt. The Front Office Manager at Grand Hyatt, a German guy, was leaving after being there for 3 years. Leaving me, and the interns who would also leave soon as the only expats in the front office. However the Ritz had a Director of Rooms who was a Hispanic woman, my friend from Dubai, an assistant front office manager who I didn’t meet but was international as well, more interns than us and more foreigner staff overall; Grand Hyatt only had around 8 foreign staff excluding interns.

Connections are very important, I always knew this, however the DOR (director of rooms) was a director in Dubai as well, her husband was from Dubai, they worked at a JW Marriott there, and my friend was also from Dubai, they worked with him and brought him to China after they settled there, that’s incredible to me because it isn’t easy to get in China trust me, I had luck + language + skills they needed that’s the only way I was getting in at my level.

So the club manager and myself became pretty good friends and he would invite me to meet up at the club lounge. And partake of some incredible incredible… one more time… incredible club food. So I introduced him to our club manager a few weeks later and he ate at our club. Of course this was rather under the table, and don’t even be shocked, all kinds of things like this happen in hotels.


Most times, staff can’t really get the opportunity to try the nice fancy stuff guests enjoy, although in new hotels this is changing. How can we recommend and describe the flavors in the food, comfort of the bed, views etc. without having tested it?

So it became quite often for me to go to Ritz for a meal before or after work, and for him likewise… until we got caught. Our DOR (director of rooms) noticed him from before and wanted to have a meal and see what was going on. After they chatted, it was fine, but he had to pay half the price and could only come by letting us know.


So yeah, he got caught and it became regulated, but what was surprising is that it was allowed to continue at all. Meanwhile I was sneaky to avoid detection at the Ritz ;D. In the end, I just paid each time to treat my buddy, since Ritz club food was way more expensive than our club. Friends over food are friends for life! 


Thanks for stopping by, and see you in the next article!

Best Regards,

Daniel Cooper

Have pride in your hotel!

Welcome hoteliers!

This article is something that even I have to remind myself to do at times! No one loves their job all of the time, it’s easy to criticize it, take it for granted, and even as ambitious as I am, I have to stop sometimes and think, why am I knocking my job?

Most people, usually leave bad managers, not bad jobs, but what makes people stay?

Grand Hyatt Shanghai has had some issues, okay, a ton of issues, and I will definitely spill, but what kept me there week after week?

Well… because it’s the Grand Hyatt!

Grand Hyatt Shanghai, night view

I love the hotel industry, and I think about what goes into a brand. Think about the Four Seasons for example and how it started, Father and Son building hotels from the ground up.

How about the design teams to design rooms, the companies designing programs to make the staff’s lives easier, the promotions online to make guests happy and keep them coming to keep us employed, the packages and cheap travel deals they offer employees.

There’s so much that goes into one hotel. Think about a brand, as a manager, or even front line agent, personally I wear my brand as a badge of honor. I had always coached the employees to have “pride in your hotel.”



Maybe the product isn’t perfect, maybe management isn’t perfect, but the work, dreams, and labor to build a magnificent property is why I think there is a certain pride to be an ambassador in this property.

I have this belief of a true sense of hospitality, something I feel most hotel employees are lacking these days, something that the industry is struggling with.

On Christmas, although I was working, I was coaching a staff member who was upset because a guest came to the desk to complain about the shower not working etc.

After the agent calmed down, I said imagine if you went to the a hotel overseas and you couldn’t shower after paying $600 a night; so the guest’s frustration is warranted. Rather than argue, let’s work to find a solution. But, it goes deeper than that, we are ambassadors not just of the individual hotel, but of the company, and not just that, but to international guests, we represent our country.



International guests, usually see the hotel staff as the representatives of the country. They’re usual interactions, if not visiting for business, are with the immigration at airports (nervous interaction.) taxi driver (hit or miss interaction,) and the hotel staff! So we should do our best to leave a fantastic impression!

My advice from this random article! 🙂
Working in a hotel is not just any old job, you need to have a sense of service and the desire to create experiences! That is true hospitality and I try to distill this to all staff at any property I work at; have pride in your hotel!


Best Regards,
Daniel Cooper