The Singapore HR Awards 2011 – CEO Michael Sengol


Michael Sengol, Chief Executive Officer of Meritus Hotels & Resorts, was conferred the prestigious Leading CEO Award at The Singapore HR Awards 2011 presentation gala held at The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore. The event was attended by key executives and Human Resource champions from prominent organisations in Singapore.

Michael Sengol (second from right) with the Meritus team
Organised yearly by the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI), The Singapore HR Awards is the first recognition framework introduced in Singapore to mark successes and accomplishments in the HR arena. On top of awards that honour organisations and HR professionals across both the public and private sectors, individual HR Awards are bestowed on individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contribution to the HR needs of an organisation’s business, profession, employees, industry, and in essence, the nation – in that the creation of a vibrant human capital industry is critical for determining Singapore’s economic progress.
Michael Sengol was selected for the distinction by SHRI’s illustrious panel of judges after a rigorous 4-month long judging process that included workplace assessments. Amongst the key criteria for Leading CEO Award is the clear illustration of the CEO’s ability to support, champion and endorse effective and innovative HR and people management practices as an important business outcome. The CEO should also exemplify personal leadership and integrity in driving diversity and flexibility in the organisation.
“I am truly grateful for this honour,” said Michael. “It is particularly gratifying given that the distinction comes as we at Meritus continue to grow our iconic hospitality brand to a global level and bringing with it all that is proudly Singaporean – the best talent, delivering at world-class standards.”
Always championing the fundamental mindset that PEOPLE are an organisation’s greatest asset and that their effective management is the surest way to cultivate organisational excellence, Michael was brought in to head Meritus Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality division of Mainboard-listed Overseas Union Enterprise Limited, in early 2010. In the short time since then, he has continued to drive the organisation to unprecedented employee and customer satisfaction ratings, and excellent financial performance.
In April this year, Michael was also recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asian Gastronomic Awards of Excellence 2011 for his exceptional vision and significant contribution to the promotion and growth of excellence in the industry.
SHRI’s Leading CEO Award is yet another testament to the seasoned hotelier’s dedication to people development, a passion he has faithfully pursued in his more than 30 years in hospitality.

The Macallan At Tiffany

Tiffany’s New York Bar introduces the fashionable and contemporary way of whisky drinking experience by The Macallan Perfect Serve to discerning single malt whisky lovers.

Inspired by the Japanese tradition of serving hand-carved ice with premium spirits, the flawless ice ball, created as The Macallan Perfect Serve, brings you the unique and sophisticated whisky experience by cooling the spirits quickly and evenly, while its integrity is maintained.

Take a sip on the rich, full-bodied yet ultra smooth finish of the single malt whisky serving with the perfect sphere of ice to refresh the evening. A collection of over 100 delicate and exceptional single malt Scotch whiskies including: 

•    Highland Single Malts
•    Lowland Single Malts
•    Islay Single Malts
•    Island Single Malts
•    Speyside Single Malts

Available until further notice.

To enjoy the impeccable whisky experience at Tiffany’s New York Bar, please dial (852) 2721 5161 extension 2545 for reservations.


‘Prince of the Piano’ Yundi in World Debut Performance of ‘Red Piano’ at ‘The House of Dancing Water’ Anniversary Show

First-ever performance of Chinese repertoire in Macau caps an extraordinary year for the world’s largest and most spectacular water-based extravaganza
City of Dreams, an integrated entertainment resort in Macau, today announced that Yundi Li, known as the prince of the piano, will present the world debut of his new album, ‘Red Piano’, at the anniversary show of ‘The House of Dancing Water’, on Friday September 16, 2011.
‘The House of Dancing Water’ Anniversary Show will be Yundi’s first-ever performance of Chinese repertoire in Macau and will cap a resoundingly successful year for ‘The House of Dancing Water’. Since its grand opening in September 2010, this spectacular extravaganza has become a phenomenal attraction and has earned plaudits from audiences and critics alike. With 340 shows in 10 months, ‘The House of Dancing Water’ has recorded over 90% occupancy and has amazed over 600,000 spectators from all over the world.

“Best of Awards of Excellence” 2011

WINE SPECTATOR Honours Three of InterContinental Hong Kong's Celebrated Restaurants with "Best of Awards of Excellence" 2011

Three of InterContinental Hong Kong’s celebrated restaurants have been honoured by the prestigious Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) with the “Best of Award of Excellence” in its 30th annual “Restaurant Awards” issue, which comes out on August 31, 2011. (
The 1-Michelin star SPOON by Alain Ducasse, the 1-Michelin star Yan Toh Heen and The STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill are three of the 19 restaurants in Hong Kong recognized by Wine Spectator for their exceptional wine lists.
This is the 6th consecutive year that SPOON by Alain Ducasse has won this award and the 4th year that THE STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill has received this accolade. In 2010 Yan Toh Heen was the first and only Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong to be honoured by Wine Spectator for its outstanding wine list.
As per InterContinental Hong Kong’s Director of Food & Beverage Bryan Chiu,”We are delighted that three of our five restaurants have received this prestigious award. Our hotel is acclaimed for the exceptional diversity and quality of its restaurants. Now, we are delighted that our hotel’s restaurants are also recognized for their exceptional wine selections. With Hong Kong now recognized as the wine hub for Asia, we are thrilled to have our restaurants honoured for having some of the very top wine offerings in the city.
SPOON by Alain Ducasse
Wine Strengths (as per Wine Spectator): France, Australia, Italy
Cuisine: Contemporary French
Sommelier: Nicolas Deneux
The SPOON wine cellar, headed by Nicolas Deneux, is dramatically showcased within the restaurant. It includes approximately 6000 bottles with 650 different vintages, with approximately 70% French wines and the remainder from the rest of the world.
SPOON also showcases a range of exclusive international Magnum and Jeroboam (double magnum) wines by the glass, served in individual 25cl decanters designed especially for SPOON by Gerard Margeon, Chef Sommelier for Alain Ducasse’s restaurants globally.
  THE STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill
Wine Strengths (as per Wine Spectator): France, Australia, Italy?Cuisine: Steak house
Sommelier: NG Tit Fai
?The intimate THE STEAK HOUSE winebar features over 550 labels and 4.500 bottles of superb international wines, including a large selection of US wines. Its wine collection from Washington State is the most extensive in Hong Kong.  It is also named one of the “Best for Wine Lovers” in the Hong Kong & Macau Best Restaurants 2011 Guidebook.
THE STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill has recently introduced big format wines (3L Double Magnums, 5L Jeroboams. and 6L Imperials) with the largest selection of big format wines available in the city (with 20 different big format wines available on a rotating basis.)
Sommelier NG Tit Fai is showcasing both New and Old World wines by 500 ml carafe and 750 ml carafe. Guests can now enjoy this unique opportunity to try top quality wines, in these oversized formats which are made from only the best vintages and also age better due to the larger volume size of the bottles.
Yan Toh Heen
Wine Strengths (as per Wine Spectator): Bordeaux?Cuisine: Chinese
Sommelier: Andy Au
The Yan Toh Heen wine list features a large selection of international wines ranging from Old World style fine wines from France, Italy and Spain, to New World Wines from New Zealand, Argentina, Australia & Chile. The list also includes a selection of famous Chinese Spirits.
The Yan Toh Heen wine collection showcases over 480 Labels and approximately 2000 bottles, with 68% Old World wines, 29% New World wines and 3% Chinese Spirits
Under the direction of Sommelier Andy Au, in 2010 Yan Toh Heen was the first Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong to receive Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Award of Excellence”.  Now the restaurant is proud to receive the “Best of Award of Excellence” in 2011.
For further information and reservations, please contact our Restaurant Reservations Hot Line at 2313 2323.

Website: /
InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Tibet’s First Airline Begins Service

Tibet now boasts the highest airline in the world, with its fleet of one Airbus A319 based at an altitude of 2,438 meters (7,998 feet).

While starting out modestly with domestic services, the airline plans to offer direct flights to Tibet from Europe within 4 to 5 years.  Such a service would have a major impact on the tourism industry in Tibet as people could come for much shorter trips since they won’t need to transit.

Tibet has also had an upgrade to its major highways in the past decade and road work continues.    Thus the region is in the position to handle an increase in foreign and domestic visitors.

The China Guide regularly organizes private tours to Tibet for its guests.  This can be part of a complete China itinerary.  For more information please contact The China Guide, our English, French, German and Spanish speaking staff can advise you on the best options for your trip.


Emirates Opens New First Class Lounge at Dubai Airport

Emirates has opened its second dedicated First Class Lounge at Terminal 3 – Dubai International Airport, making it the fourth dedicated premium Emirates Lounge in Dubai.

The new Emirates Lounge, located at Concourse 1 in front of the Business Class Lounge, will facilitate easy and seamless travel for First Class passengers who may be departing from any of the 14 gates located in Concourse 1. Passengers now have an additional choice and can access a lounge more conveniently located to their departure gates.

The lounge design is modern and in keeping with Emirates’ multi-award winning First Class Lounge in Concourse 2, embodying the airline’s dedication to providing its passengers with superior service and quality. With a contemporary design aesthetic, and a timeless colour palette that has evolved from Emirates’ international lounge design, the new lounge is an oasis of luxury and comfort

“The opening of the new Emirates First Class Lounge allows us to provide our customers with a consistent, high-quality Emirates experience both on the ground and in the air, starting from their exclusive chauffeur drive airport transfer and dedicated airport check-in counters, to luxurious lounge facilities and then our award-winning service onboard,” said Mohammed H. Mattar, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates Airport Services. “Lounges are an integral part of the Emirates experience, and reaffirm our dedication to offering the very best to our customers.”

The 1058 Emirates lounge boasts a wide array of passenger amenities including a quiet zone with eight recliners, two 55 and 65 inch LED TVs, plush leather armchairs, a choice of formal or relaxed seating, two dining areas, shower facilities, a business centre with four individual work stations, wireless LAN connectivity within the lounge, a water feature, contemporary artwork, a smoking area and the hallmark courteous service from dedicated lounge staff that completes the distinctive experience.

Passengers can enjoy an a-la-carte service from an extensive menu of complimentary hot and cold gourmet dishes having the choice of formal or informal seating in the dining area, accompanied by a full bar service including premium beverages.

The new lounge facilities are available to all Emirates’ First Class passengers and features Italian marble flooring, high-quality leather sourced from Europe, and gold-plated Rolex wall clocks from Geneva. The lounge also offers a custom-made Braille/tactile signage for the visually-impaired.

With the opening of the new First Class Lounge, Emirates now operates 29 dedicated lounges around its six-continent network including lounges in Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Brisbane, four lounges in Dubai, Delhi, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Munich, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York – JFK, Paris – Charles de Gaulle, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai and Zurich.

Award of Excellence Given As Recognition for Fourth Consecutive Year

Morton’s The Steakhouse Receives Top Honors from Wine Spectator Magazine for all 77 Worldwide Locations
Wine Spectator Magazine recently announced Morton’s The Steakhouse has once again received the prestigious “Award of Excellence” at all 77 worldwide locations including Hong Kong, marking the fourth consecutive year the restaurant has been recognized with this accolade in the magazine’s Restaurant Awards issue.
The Restaurant Awards issue of Wine Spectator recognizes restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections that are well suited to their cuisine and appeal to a diverse group of wine enthusiasts. The designation of an “Award of Excellence” is achieved by restaurants whose wine lists offer a carefully chosen selection of the finest quality wines that is a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Additionally, the menu of restaurants that receive an “Award of Excellence” must offer at least 100 different wine selections.
“We are pleased to be among the prestigious restaurants honored by Wine Spectator for the fourth consecutive year,” said Tylor Field III, Morton’s Vice President of Wine & Spirits. “Morton’s is constantly striving to raise the bar with its Wine & Spirits program and is extremely proud of the newly appointed Sommelier Team, headed by Certified Sommelier Sara Fasolino and  comprised of 12 handpicked passionate and highly knowledgeable sommeliers from within the company who are committed to the field.”
Additionally, Morton’s unveiled this year a new “Sommelier Selections” section of the wine lists that provides boutique and “Rare Gems” including Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain 2005) and Fremark Abbey Cabernet (Napa 2002) available only at Morton’s domestic locations.

New Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards, Marriott® International’s award-winning guest loyalty program, is giving a free-night’s stay to new members who enroll in the program at the front desk of 97 participating hotels in Asia Pacific.  New members only need to make two stays within 120 days of enrolling in Marriott Rewards.  The first stay must be made at a hotel in Asia Pacific, and the second stay may be made at any of the more than 3,400 participating Marriott hotels around the world.
Members who join Marriott Rewards by December 31, 2011, and complete their stays within the 120-day stay period will receive a free night certificate good at any of 2,800 Category 1-4 participating hotels worldwide.  The stay period begins immediately upon enrollment.
Participating Marriott brands include JW Marriott®, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott® hotels in Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
Marriott Rewards has no blackout dates and is free to join. Members can earn and redeem points at more than 3,400 hotels in 70 countries.  In addition to free hotel stays, points can be redeemed for frequent flier miles, merchandise, cruises, car rentals and more. Marriott Rewards won the 2011 and 2010 Frequent Travel Award and the 2009 Freddie Award for “Best Hotel Rewards Program.” It has been named best hotel rewards program by the readers of, Business Traveler, Global Traveler, Executive Travel and BusinessWeek magazines.
To make a reservation, call  60 3 2688 8080 in Asia Pacific;  852 800 938 968 in Mainland China; 800 938 968 in Hong Kong; 61 2 8298 5250 in Australia

Singapore Reigns As Asia’s Top Convention City For The Ninth Consecutive Year

Singapore has retained its position as Asia's Top Convention City for close to a decade, according to the latest Global Rankings by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). In addition, Singapore has?maintained its spot as one of the Top Five Convention Cities alongside Vienna, Barcelona, Paris and Berlin.

?On this win, ICCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Martin Sirk congratulated Singapore on hosting the most rotating association meetings amongst all Asia-Pacific destinations in 2010. “Singapore has been proactively targeting this sector as part of a clear strategy for many years, and was probably the first destination in the world to so closely align this meetings strategy with the economic development goals of the country.”

?Given that the ICCA Global Rankings focuses on meetings that rotate regularly between at least three countries, this accolade serves to intensify Singapore’s appeal as a destination for not only new but also returning events. According to this qualifying criterion, 136 rotating events were held in Singapore in 2010, representing more than 14 per cent growth over the events that qualified in 2009. Notable events that contributed to these numbers include the 20th Annual Conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, World Conference on Continuing Engineering Education 2010, International Conference of the International Bartenders Association 2010, 77th World Congress of the UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, World Congress of Biomechanics 2010, World Congress of Bioethics 2010, RoboCup 2010 and the World Green Building Council International Congress 2010.
According to Mr. Martin Sirk, “it’s no great surprise to me to see this continued success, since this is a sector where long-term vision and consistency are required. But it still takes great marketing effort in what are becoming ever-more competitive regional and global marketplaces, and the continued investment in great new facilities and human capital, so I applaud the hard work and creativity of all our Singaporean members.”?
“The ICCA Global Rankings have always been a well regarded industry indicator and this continued win underscores Singapore’s strong track record as the business destination of choice. Our success is in no small part due to our sound business fundamentals, ease of doing business and the relentless commitment of our MICE industry partners,” commented Ms. Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Development (II) Group, Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

?“What’s more, our constant re-invention and ever-changing skyline make for compelling reasons to return to Singapore and experience the richness we have to offer both as a business and leisure destination. Looking ahead, the future is replete with many exciting developments such as the lush new Gardens by the Bay, the International Cruise Terminal and the world’s first River Safari.”

?In 2010, Singapore attracted 3.1 million business travellers, which accounted for 27 per cent of all visitors to Singapore, spending about $ 5.4 billion Singapore dollars. This signifies growths where it matters most – 19.2 per cent and 28.6 per cent respectively over 2009.1 Singapore’s Business Travel, and Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry looks set for greater heights as evidenced by more event wins. Within the first half of 2011 alone, there were 12 new World Congresses secured to add to Singapore’s line up of events from 2012 to 2016 – in comparison, 14 were secured within the whole of 2010. Spanning across a vast array of industries such as Lifestyle, Business and Trade, Social, Infrastructure, and Healthcare,?these new association meeting wins include the 52nd ACI World Congress in 2013, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations Congress 2013, the 36th World Diamond Congress in 2014 and the International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2015.

?Also playing a part in our success is STB’s Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP). Launched in 2006, the CAP identifies, rewards and galvanizes non-professional conference organisers who are experts and? influential opinion leaders in Singapore’s key economic sectors. These “ambassadors” represent Singapore in bidding for international business events and have facilitated in securing countless events such as the Internet?Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Meeting 2011, ASEAN Congress of Cardiology (ACC) 2012 and 22nd World Congress for Sexual Health 2015.

?Said Ms. Ow, “Singapore is committed to fostering partnerships in the industry and will continue to leverage opportunities presented in this dynamic Asian climate to constantly create even more reasons for organisers to stage their events here. We encourage both local and international players to work together and hold their events in Singapore.”
For more information on winning bids of significance, please refer to Annex 1.
?For more information on the ICCA Global Rankings, please refer to ?

Malcolm Zancanaro Appointed General Manager of Grand Hyatt Beijing

Malcolm Zancanaro Appointed General Manager of Grand Hyatt Beijing

Grand Hyatt Beijing has announced the appointment of Malcolm Zancanaro as General Manager effective 1 August 2011.

Malcolm has been with Hyatt for over 20 years, his career includes more than 10 years in senior management positions in Hyatt properties.

Most recently Malcolm was General Manager at Hyatt Regency Qingdao where he was preparing for the opening of the property.  Prior to this Malcolm was Hotel Manager of Grand Hyatt Beijing, which he and his team have successfully positioned as the best hotel in the city. Prior to Beijing Malcolm was Director of Food and Beverage – Asia Pacific based in Hyatt’s Divisional Office in Hong Kong.

Commenting on his appointment, Malcolm said, “I feel privileged to be General Manager of this contemporary luxury hotel in Beijing. I look forward to working with a truly dynamic team in one of the most vibrant cities of the world.” He continued, “I am confident that I can further strengthen the hotel’s position by continuing to provide unanticipated luxuries and authentic hospitality service for all guests.”