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In Conversation with Andreas Kraemer

Andreas Kraemer  is the General Manager of InterContinental Singapore. He is responsible for driving the hotel’s strategic growth, overseeing operational excellence, and continuing to elevate the luxury positioning of this 403-room heritage hotel. Andreas is a highly-established hotelier with over 26 years of hospitality experience in both city hotels and resorts, Andreas joined IHG in 2016 at InterContinental Sanya Resort China, and most recently, at InterContinental Xiamen China. As General Manager, he was instrumental in driving revenue-generating programmes by identifying unique opportunities within key markets, delivering innovative guest experiences, and shaping and executing strong dining concepts for both properties.

InterContinental Singapore The Lobby

Prior to joining IHG, Andreas managed a diverse portfolio of luxury properties across key markets, starting his hospitality journey as Food & Beverage Manager at luxury hotels in Germany. Andreas led the team as Resort Manager at Six Senses in Koh Samui, before becoming General Manager at properties including KC Resort & Over Water Villas in Koh Samui, Thailand; Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa in Pune, India, where he oversaw the hotel’s pre-opening; and Wanda Realm in Harbin, China.

What makes Intercontinental Singapore stand out from other properties you’ve worked in?
InterContinental Singapore is a true heritage hotel in the heart of Singapore’s historic and cultural precinct. Elements of Peranakan culture are prevalent throughout key touch points of the guest journey inviting guests to Stay Singapore and Feel Singapore. 

Man Fu Yuan Treasure Box dim sum set

Who is your typical customer?

Singaporean and international travelers who enjoy the glamour and exhilaration of luxury travel, and seek unique local experiences and exciting dining options.

 If you could plan a one-day itinerary for guests looking to explore Singapore, where would you send them?

I would recommend exploring Kampong Glam which is a five-minute walk from the hotel, the area is home to exciting cafes, restaurants, shops and artist studios. Sentosa is a little island just off Singapore and is always an exciting option to explore with theme parks, stretches of beach, and historic sites such as Fort Siloso. 

InterContinental Singapore The Lobby Lounge Royal Heritage Afternoon Tea

 Building the right team is crucial for a property’s success. What are the key skills you look for when hiring new employees?

We recruit distinctive team members that show True Hospitality in the everyday interactions with guests and team members alike. True attitude is important and that certain confidence you must bring along to interact with the discerning guest and their expectations towards the InterContinental Singapore.

How important is it for a luxury hotel to have a solid gastronomic offering?

Exciting dining experiences are increasingly becoming a reason to travel, especially when it comes to a country like Singapore which prides itself as a dining destination. It is crucial that luxury hotels provide elevated gastronomic options that deliver to this essential aspect of the guests’ journey. With two of our Restaurants holding the Michelin Plate and boasting one of Singapore’s highest Colonial style ceiling in a Lobby Lounge, offering a well visited Champagne High Tea – InterContinental Singapore is well set up as a key culinary player.

InterContinental Singapore Heritage Suite

 What is the one dish that guests have to try when at your hotel?

Guests must stop by Man Fu Yuan, the hotel’s signature restaurant which has long been a stalwart in Singapore’s fine dining scene. Man Fu Yuan is the recipient of the Luxury Restaurants Awards, Singapore Tatler Dining Awards and is a Michelin-recommended restaurant. Man Fu Yuan’s menu is crafted by Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan, and draws inspiration from techniques and ingredients found along the Maritime Silk Route. A must try dish is the Poached Marble Goby with Sichuan Green Peppercorns, Dried Chili and Preserved Vegetable Broth.

2020 and 2021 were challenging years for the hospitality industry. In your opinion, how will travel trends change in 2022?

First and foremost I feel cleanliness and hygiene will be on top of everyone’s mind to feel secure when traveling. However, when staying with the InterContinental Singapore Luxury and service are to be expected to be high and we must combine these without neglecting either. This can be achieved by our teams attention to detail. IHG has also given us very clear guidance which we follow stringently und the IHG Way of Clean.

InterContinental Singapore Heritage Suite Living Area

 Was a career in hospitality something you always dreamt of?  What is your advice to aspiring hoteliers? 

I grew up in Sun City, South Africa, with my father helming the complex bakery, for nearly 9 years and my mother was a cost controller. Growing up in that environment it is difficult to imagine going into any other career. Don’t let the pandemic spook you. Hospitality is still the utmost diverse and exciting career. You meet the most interesting guests and have the pleasure to work with a very diverse set of team members with various cultures and backgrounds – one cannot find a more mind opening job I believe. The diversity gives me the energy and love to the career – it’s not a job, it’s a Lifestyle.

TWG tea infused cocktails

 Which Indian cities are your favourites for: 1) food 2) history 3) fashion?

Having lived in India and having made many friends I must say the people made the city and hence I always enjoyed my trips to Mumbai; here you could also see the fashionably dressed locals when experiencing the nightlife. The ultimate experience for me and my family was Udaipur; from the arrival, the stay and the history. It will always have a special place in our hearts.

Both in Delhi and Udaipur I very much enjoyed the flavours. The vegetable dishes paired the myriad of pickles were to die for and I have a very soft spot for Raan.

Having said that; where I spent most of my time, between Shillim and Mumbai; I nearly became a vegetarian; due to the amazing flavours created by the chef’s with herbs and spices.

What are some of the new measures your team has put into place to deal with the post-COVID-19 situation?

Our aim is to exceed guest expectations even with the current condensed manning which the industry is facing. Following the IHG Way of Clean we guarantee hygiene and cleanliness whilst not compromising on the guest experience.

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