Exclusive Interview: Vincent Pauchon, GM of St. Regis Maldives

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 29 August 2023
Exclusive Interview: Vincent Pauchon, GM of St. Regis Maldives

With travel reaching pre-pandemic numbers, we had the opportunity to interview Vincent Pauchon is the General Manager at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, a veteran in the hospitality industry, where he leads all aspects of the resort’s operations including guest services, resort administration and overseeing marketing, sales and reservations initiatives.

With more than 16 years of experience overseeing five-star properties, Pauchon brings his wealth of academic and luxury hospitality management experience to The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. In May 2019, Pauchon stepped into this position following his time as Director of Operations at Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand where he focused on critical components of operations which fostered an anticipatory culture that drove exemplary guest service and met desired financial goals.
Prior to that, he served as Director of Sales & Marketing at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali, and was responsible for generating a sustainable and profitable revenue growth, executing high-impact marketing campaigns and establishing an elevated network within the luxury leisure, wedding and groups segment. During his tenure at Mandapa, Pauchon delivered consistent growth in room revenue, occupancy and RevPar year-over-year. Pauchon’s preceding experience includes time at Laucala Island Resort in Fiji, The Legian and The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah in Bali, Le Meridien

Post-pandemic, how has The St. Regis Maldives Resort evolved to meet guests' expectations?

We have implemented several significant changes to meet guests' expectations and ensure their safety and well-being. Firstly, the resort has adopted comprehensive health and safety measures, including enhanced cleaning protocols and regular sanitization of high-touch areas. These measures align with international guidelines and help provide a safe environment for guests to enjoy their stay.

We also provide digital services and contactless experiences to promote seamless and accommodating processes for our visitors. Additionally, in-room dining orders can be placed through in-villa ipad, and virtual concierge services are available to aid remotely. These technological advancements have improved convenience and prioritised guest safety and convenience during their stay.

The St. Regis Maldives is known for its personalized services starting with their "Butler" service. How does St. Regis innovate its personalization experiences to serve the most demanding of its clientele?

We take great pride in delivering exceptional personalised services through our renowned Butler service. To cater to guests with a refined palate for luxury, we continuously innovate our personalised services. Our Butlers undergo extensive training to undergo extensive training to anticipate and fulfil our guests' needs. With these trainings they can harness the skill it takes to provide customised services and meet every guest’s preference and requirement.

In addition to our well-trained Butlers, we leverage advanced guest recognition technology. This technology enables the resort to gather and store guest preferences and information, such as preferred room temperature, pillow choices, dietary restrictions, and preferred activities. Moreover, we are pleased to announce an upcoming upgrade of software to be more user-friendly and faster, impacting systems such as Digivalet, Infrasys, and GPNS. By harnessing the capabilities of this improved software, coupled with the insightful data collected, the resort is empowered to craft meticulously tailored experiences that genuinely resonate with each guest.

Furthermore, The St. Regis Maldives Resort offers exclusive accommodations such as the John Jacob Astor and Caroline Astor estates. These private estates provide unparalleled luxury, privacy, and personalized service for the most discerning guests. These innovations in personalization ensure that the resort meets and exceeds the expectations of its demanding clientele.

Sustainability and environmental care are becoming clear demands of guests. Can you share the principles of St. Regis?

We have a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental care, and the principles guiding our practices reflect this dedication. We focus on responsible resource management, aiming to minimize waste and conserve resources wherever possible. This includes implementing recycling programs, managing water consumption, and optimizing energy usage to reduce the carbon footprint.

We also actively support local communities and initiatives. We’ve engaged in partnerships with local organizations and businesses to promote economic growth and enhance the well-being of the surrounding communities. By sourcing local products and services, we’ve contributed to the local economy and created a positive impact in the Maldives.

When it comes to protecting marine ecosystems, we’ve partnered with Reefscapers, a marine environmental consultancy, to launch a coral propagation program. Through this initiative, we actively restore and conserve the coral reefs surrounding the resort. By engaging guests in educational activities and raising awareness about the importance of marine conservation, we aim to make a positive environmental impact and inspire others to do the same.

What type of experiences are you offering to guests? Do you have a feedback mechanism that helps you cater to returning guests?

The resort offers truly unique and opulent experience for our guests for several factors. It is nestled on a private island. With breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and surrounded by lush rainforests and pristine beaches, it offers a truly unique and opulent experience for our guests.

The resort also has 77 exquisite accommodations, including overwater villas and beachfront estates, each with private pools and awe-inspiring views. The resort also offers an array of dining options including seven restaurants and bars with impeccable service from our international hosts.

Elevating our commitment to offering unparalleled dining experiences, our culinary landscape is enriched by the opening of T.Pan, a hidden gem where modern Japanese Kaiseki-style cuisine takes center stage.

Also, we're excited to introduce Elements—an upcoming organic garden dining experience situated amongst lush vegetation. This innovative addition will redefine the art of dining, allowing guests to indulge in the freshest flavors while surrounded by the natural beauty of our resort.

The luxurious Iridium Spa offers a wide range of treatments and wellness experiences. From ancient traditions to modern techniques, customers can unwind with spa therapies and find inner harmony.

For the adventure seekers we have ample activities to enjoy at the resort, from snorkeling, diving, and water sports activities. This allows everyone to explore the vibrant marine life and embark on thrilling excursions.

Fishing enthusiasts can embark on the Sea Star, the Big Game speed boat. With meticulous design, the Sea Star showcases an array of features, including generously shaded seating areas, specialized outrigger rods, and a dedicated fighting chair, all thoughtfully designed to ensure everyone’s comfort. Whether guests’ angling preferences lean towards trolling, jigging, or casting, the Sea Star seamlessly accommodates all techniques, embodying versatility at its finest. Bolstered by its dynamic dual 350 HP engines, this vessel redefines accessibility, making even the most remote fishing spots easily reachable and promising an indelible journey for every passionate fishing devotee.

Personalization and exceptional service are at the core of the resort's philosophy. We value guest satisfaction and actively seek feedback through surveys, reviews, and personalized follow-ups.

What makes the resort stand out from the many resorts that are competing for the attention of travelers from the GCC region?

We stand out from our competitors in several ways. Firstly, the resort's location on the private island of Vommuli in the Dhaalu Atoll provides a secluded and pristine environment. Guests can enjoy privacy and tranquility in an idyllic tropical setting, away from the crowds.

The luxurious accommodations offered by The St. Regis Maldives Resort further differentiate it from other resorts. The resort features iconic villas, such as the 3-bedroom overwater John Jacob Astor Estate and 3-bedroom Caroline Astor Estate located on the beach, which offer unparalleled levels of luxury, comfort, and privacy. These exclusive accommodations provide a truly indulgent and opulent experience for guests.

The personalized services, particularly the Butlers, are another standout aspect of The St. Regis Maldives Resort. The Butlers undergo extensive training to provide exceptional attention and care to guests, ensuring their every need is met. This high level of personalized service sets the resort apart and creates a memorable and tailored experience for each guest.

Moreover, The St. Regis Maldives Resort's commitment to sustainability and environmental care aligns with the increasing demands of guests. By partnering with Reefscapers for coral propagation and implementing eco-friendly practices, such as the integration of hydroponic vertical farming to produce daily green leaves for our restaurants, the resort showcases its dedication to preserving the natural beauty of the Maldives. This new approach not only enhances the freshness and quality of our culinary offerings but also minimizes our carbon footprint. This commitment to sustainability resonates with travelers who prioritize eco-friendly and responsible tourism.

How do you maintain a consistently high level of service? What are the innovative plans you have for the coming 3 years?

We maintain a consistently high level of service through a combination of rigorous training, guest feedback mechanisms, and continuous innovation. Firstly, we prioritise extensive training for our staff, including the Butlers, to ensure they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver exceptional service. This training encompasses not only technical aspects but also emphasizes the importance of anticipating and fulfilling guests' needs.

Guest feedback plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving the level of service. We actively collect and analyze our guest’s feedback through various channels, including surveys, guest reviews, and personalised follow-ups. This feedback mechanism enables the resort to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to ensure guest satisfaction.

In terms of innovation, The St. Regis Maldives Resort has exciting plans for the coming three years with a focus on continuously enhancing guest experience and always meeting their expectations to the higher standards.

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