The Hotelier Edit: Anne Golden, VP Operations - UK & North America and General Manager of Pan Pacific London, winner of the AA Hotel of the Year - London 2022
The Independent Hotel Show collaborated with our partner, AA Media and interviewed Anne Golden, VP Operations - UK & North America and General Manager of Pan Pacific London, winner of the AA Hotel of the Year - London 2022. Pan Pacific London is a luxurious hotel located in the heart of the City of London, close to Liverpool Street Station and many of London's most popular attractions, including the Tower of London, the British Museum, and St. Paul's Cathedral. The hotel features spacious rooms and suites, all of which are decorated in a modern and elegant style. Pan Pacific London also has a number of dining and drinking options, including a signature restaurant serving South East Asian cuisine, two lively cocktail bars, and an entire floor dedicated to SENSORY wellbeing.
Call you tell us a little about the history of Pan Pacific London?
Pan Pacific London is Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s first London/European hotel and their luxury flagship property, and we opened in September 2021 after an 11 month delay due to the pandemic challenges. Despite this, and also the fact that the pre-opening team only moved on site in June 2021, we were able to fully open all areas of the hotel, including our dedicated SENSORY wellbeing floor, which gave us a great sense of pride at this not insignificant achievement.
In spite of numerous supply chain issues and restrictions placed on meetings and international travel, the hotel got off to a winning start, achieving Forbes Five-Star accreditation only 3 months after opening.
The hotel design has a muted palette which allows for many small touches representing South East Asia and London which have proven to be extremely successful with our international and local guests.
What does great customer experience look like at Pan Pacific London, and what makes it unique?
Guests experience warm, genuine, South East Asian hospitality delivered from the heart.
Our Pan Pacific Family were recruited based on Kindness, Humility, Attention to Detail, and Passion - these are the attributes that we believe make our guests feel completely at home and without them, it is harder to maintain consistency in service. It is this gentle style that creates an ambiance of tranquillity and harmony throughout. In terms of uniqueness, we bring a little slice of Singapore to London through our service culture, cuisine and design & service touch points.
One example of this is that on your day of departure, as a guest, you are welcome to keep using the hotel facilities until such time as you need to leave to go home. We don’t just look after your bags after a noon check-out, we look after YOU as well. At Pan Pacific London you never stop being our guest. We like to think that this contributes to our exceptionally high repeat guest ratio, and we love welcoming back so many familiar faces.
We also offer amazing meeting spaces for our banqueting and event guests, including our Pacific Ballroom, one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the City of London, which benefits from its own private entrance from the Plaza directly to the Ballroom via a glass lift or elevator, creating a unique arrival experience.
How do you approach sustainability?
We believe that the best in us – and our surroundings – brings out the best in others and through the collective efforts of our associates, guests, partners and owners, we can meaningfully and positively impact our communities and the environments in which we operate.
We are committed to working responsibly and ethically to improve our sustainability and to reduce our impact on the environment. Through this commitment, we strive to help our communities and invite our guests and hotel team alike to join in our efforts. To ensure our contributing efforts are transparent, we have signed up to the EarthCheck Certification Programme, a third-party reporting environmental and social practices. As we grow as a hotel, we will continue to put in practices and initiatives to help us strive to be a more sustainable property in London in the future.
We continually strive towards minimising our footprint on the environment by implementing sustainable initiatives and comply with all relevant legislation and regulations, in order to achieve international best practices. Wherever possible, sustainable products and services are sourced locally in accordance with Fair Trade principles.
We encourage associates to demonstrate our commitment to environmental and social sustainability to all key stakeholders including guests, suppliers, and contractors.
How do you approach creating your menus and sourcing food & drink suppliers?
Our food and beverage destinations form an integral part of what makes our drinking and dining options unique and memorable. We offer a flexible approach to menu development and as part of our Singaporean heritage, we have curated a selection of menus for both Straits Kitchen restaurant and banqueting that include authentic South East Asian dishes, using local suppliers to grow Asian ingredients in a sustainable manner and reduce our carbon footprint.
We have three bars which each offer unique experiences. Straits Bar pays homage to the traditional flavours of South East Asia, creating beautiful mocktails & cocktails with yuzu and spices. Ginger Lily on the ground floor is home to over 150 mouth-watering rums which are made into refreshing rum cocktails. Silverleaf was named in the World’s 50 Best Bars a mere 9 months after opening, and the team have curated a mesmerising menu and stewardship style service culture which has won many plaudits. It also benefits from a secret bar within the bar, Alba, where guests can enjoy an intimate cocktail experience or a tasting with our resident experts. We also opened our own patisserie, SHIOK!, offering delicious sweet and savoury pastries and great coffee.
We also have some great brand partnerships which have been so important in supporting various events and pop-ups across the hotel and offering even more choice to our guests.
Are there any innovative products or services implemented that you would recommend to other hoteliers?
We have created a bar within a bar, with the introduction of Alba into our Silverleaf cocktail bar. Bonpoint has partnered with our SENSORY wellbeing floor to introduce children’s treatments and we are the only UK hotel, and second in the world next to Paris, to have benefitted from this partnership; we were also the first hotel to offer the luxurious Diptique brand as an in-room amenity collection.
We are many things including a family hotel and have created a special treasure hunt with reward programme for our younger guests – Singa the Lion is a very popular addition, with a bespoke wardrobe created by our in-house team and additional outfits available for subsequent visits. As part of the “whole” family welcome, we also have our Paws at Pan Pacific programme, with separate brochure, dining menu and pets are welcome across the hotel, with the exception of the SENSORY wellbeing floor, in Ginger Lily, and during Afternoon Tea service in The Orchid Lounge.
The 2023 AA Hospitality Awards are taking place on Monday 25 September.
To find out more, visit the AA Hospitality Awards site.