Interview with Mr. Sunil Narang, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Shenzhen
Born and raised in Amritsar, India, Mr. Sunil Narang was certain of his career in hospitality from a young age. Right after graduating from high school, he moved to Switzerland to attend the prestigious Hotel Management School at Les Roches where he also honed his linguistic skills. Today Sunil is fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi, German and French.
Sunil began his 20-year Four Seasons career journey in Boston. An instant success as a Front Desk receptionist, he moved through different departments within the Rooms Division. His blossoming career took him to Four Seasons in Maldives, Toronto and Scottsdale, with a promotion to Director of Rooms in 2006. In that role, he relocated to Maui.
Sunil’s next step to Hotel Manager didn’t take long. After three years at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, in 2014 he transferred to Singapore, taking a leading role in the region’s Rooms council. Throughout 20 years with Four Seasons, Sunil has excelled with his passion for service. His outgoing personality and a great sense of humour, high adaptability to a variety of cultures have become his trademarks.
Sunil is a big sports fan and also a “foodie” as well as a Rooms expert. He loves to cook meals for family and friends using recipes from wherever he’s travelled to or lived at.
You have worked and lived in many countries and cities, what’s your impression of Shenzhen?
Shenzhen is a fascinating city, changing by the minute, and already well-known to the hi-tech, electronics industries and the banking and financial world, plus fans of contemporary design, gourmands and cultural explorers. This modern powerhouse city is more accessible than ever before. International business travelers know it well and increasingly, it is emerging as one of the country’s most exciting leisure destinations.
What percent of the hotel guests use your spa facilities? What are the key factors?
Shenzhen primarily is a hub for business travelers but growing in leisure seekers on weekends and public holidays. The Spa was opened in April last year and already we see a 60-70% in house guests capture due to today’s lifestyle focus on “wellness”. Additionally we see growing interest in the local residents to utilize our treatments as we have the unique “Eaglewood Treatment” known for its medicinal value.
How do you see the lifestyle of the local Chinese, especially the Cantonese?
People here are open, friendly and really know how to enjoy the good life with the best of what’s available. There are many choices for good Cantonese food in Shenzhen, of course, so we wanted to take this traditional cuisine to a higher level and showcase the very finest ingredients prepared to perfection and served in an elegant atmosphere. I know Shenzhen is a diversified city in which you can discover all kinds of cuisine. Shenzhen definitely would be among my most enjoyable and unforgettable journeys in my career.
How do you see the importance of a spa facility in a five-star hotel?
The spa is an essential part for any luxury hotel and resort because the spa represents healthy living and well-being, which are important features for global travelers and local residents. The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Shenzhen offers seven treatment rooms, indulges and relaxes guests in a holistic mélange of East and West, embodying a quiet, simple luxury. The Spa provides a serene natural setting far removed from the roar and chatter of the city, allowing you to focus on physical and mental regeneration.
What is your favorite spa treatment in your Spa, and why do you like it?
If I could only recommend one, I would definitely say “Eaglewood Wellness Treatment”. It begins with a heated compress and lymphatic massage and uses gentle stretching to release tension in the neck and shoulders and awaken tired senses. The Eaglewood can help the body to adjust, and slow down health issues of modern day ailments such as high blood pressure, insomnia etc. Eaglewood treatment is considered a “must try” when next visiting Shenzhen. It is 90 minutes, RMB2580+15% Service Charge.
Does China still have potential to grow in terms of the hotel spa business?
China is the largest country in the world in population which means there is still a lot of potential to build more and more beautiful hotels for international or local guests. People are focusing on health levels and well-being, hence the Spa industry is still one of the key factors to drive and help guests enhance their health condition.