Rainy Chan, Regional Vice President, The Peninsula Hotels
From Hawaii to Hong Kong, Rainy Chan is one of the most passionate and beloved hoteliers in the business. A winner of Virtuoso’s coveted “Hotelier of the Year” award in 2014, she has been with Peninsula Hotels for over two decades and is definitely the person you want to know in Hong Kong for shopping tips!
ETI: What is your official title and how long have you been in this role. What did you do before this current position?
RC: I serve as Regional Vice President, The Peninsula Hotels (since 2013) and General Manager, The Peninsula Hong Kong (since 2007) Prior to taking the helm at our group’s flagship property in Hong Kong, I was the General Manager of The Peninsula Bangkok from 2004 – 2007.
ETI: What do you enjoy most about your day to day experiences in this role?
RC: I love the people connection, and the fact that there is a daily routine, yet everything is unpredictable.
ETI: Where did you start your career? What was the most unexpected aspect of your career path?
RC: I started my career in Hawaii, and moved to Hong Kong to start my career with The Peninsula in 1994. I never expected to stay in the same company for 22 years.
ETI: If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what direction do you think you would have followed?
RC: I would probably still stay in the service industry as I love how we’re able to create magic for people from all walks of life.
ETI: As someone who travels frequently, tell us three things you cannot travel without?
RC: My iPad, a black dress and my favourite skincare product: the Extra Rich Firming Mask by Margy’s Monte Carlo.
ETI: Most exciting/memorable thing that has happened to you while traveling?
RC: Taking a front row seat to experience the power of nature: In Kenya, I witnessed two lions hunting down a warthog while I was only 10 feet away!
ETI: What to you constitutes a true luxury hotel experience?
RC: A hotel stay that leaves you with a feeling of sadness and that you already miss the hotel before you have even left, so you’ll do everything you can to make sure your travel plans include this hotel in the near future.
ETI: Where in the world (other than at your own hotel) have you experienced the absolute best hotel stay of your life and why?
RC: I was deeply impressed by the warm welcome I received at The Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our group arrived at 2:00 am after a long flight, and I was expecting an empty, quiet lobby at that hour of the night. I was surprised to find the hotel’s entire Guest Relations team welcoming us, who walked the extra mile to make sure we settled in and had everything that we needed to rest well.
ETI: What are your travel/hotel pet peeves?
RC: As a hotelier, it’s almost impossible to list all my pet peeves, but the basics are cleanliness, good lighting that can be adjusted to your needs, and complete privacy in tandem with efficient service.
ETI: Favorite places to shop and dine around the globe?
RC: I get very excited when I can shop and dine in Paris and Bangkok because I have many great friends in these two destinations, so I’m taken to authentic places and can experience the city like a local.
ETI: Words of advice for jet-setting travelers who might consider a Hong Kong visit soon?
RC: Look beyond the surface. There are amazing local attractions that reflects the best of Hong Kong’s culture, heritage, and craftsmanship, including handicrafts and custom-made jewelery, dresses and suits. I highly recommend jet-setting travelers to explore the city with a local friend or even a hotel staff to gain access to insider’s tips.