Management Style with Edouard Grosmangin

SPEAKING EXCLUSIVELY TO VHQ, SIX SENSES CON DAO GENERAL MANAGER, EDOUARD GROSMANGIN, SHARES HIS PASSION FOR GETTING TO KNOW HIS GUESTS AS WELL AS HIS WEEKLY MID – NIGHT EXCURSIONS.

How long have you been General Manager at the hotel?
Two years

If you could sum up the resort in three words, what would they be?
Sustainable / Hidden / Relaxing

The accommodation at the resort is stunning; could you tell us a bit about the style of the property, and where that inspiration came from?  What changes took place during your two years at the property?
35 one bedroom villas as well as 10 multiple rooms villa, each with a private infinity pool. Our largest villa, "The Residence" has 4 bedrooms and a 25 meter lap pool.
The contemporary architecture has been designed to blend in with the beautiful natural surroundings and built following Six Senses total commitment to the environment with natural, reclaimed and sustainable materials. The 50 private pool villas offer space and privacy along with an uncompromised standard of luxury, supporting Six Senses theme of ‘Redefining Experiences’. The whole area has been protected as a nature and marine reserve for decades and its unspoilt beauty is home to many endangered and indigenous species. The heart of the resort has been designed to resemble a traditional Vietnamese fishing village and market place. Much reclaimed teak has been used in the empathetic design, including over a thousand antique wooden panels.
We will continue to increase the amount of on-site activities for guests. So far since opening we have introduced the boulodrome (petanque court); Herb'ivore (an extensive, organic fruit and vegetable garden); and Sense of Cosmology, the only celestial observatory in the south of Vietnam.

Do you get to know the guests that come and stay with you at the hotel?
It is important to me that I meet all guests as many times during their stay as they like; at the bare minimum on arrival and departure.
As this is one of the job perks I most enjoy, I like to catch the opportunity to start a discussion, share an experience or give a recommendation, rather than flit around the restaurant and impose myself.
We do organize a weekly management gathering and invite all our guests for snacks and drinks - it is a great shared moment.

What is your favorite spot for dinning at the resort?  Do you have a favorite dish?
Definitely the chef’s table: a private room with its own terrace, located just a couple of steps from the waves,and overlooking the team in the kitchen through a large window. The menus are bespoke, and the chefs enter straight from the kitchen to the table to serve the guests.
Con Dao is famous for its fresh seafood… and the Con Dao slipper lobster or the shovel nose lobster are better than any other crustacean anywhere else on earth!

Do you tend to have a lot of repeat guests coming back to the hotel every year?
Despite the young age of the resort (3 years), yes! In particularfrom Vietnam, as well as abroad. There is a great "at home" feeling here. It's both comforting, but still evokes a true holiday memory without the feeling of a hotel. Guests often comment that they want to return here, to their new home.

Con Dao is famous for its history.  You have a full moon “Sense of eerie” excursion that extends to mid-night.  You must have a few stories to tell.
Con Dao's history is plagued by the prisons here, but a more fascinating story is that of the martyr Vo Thi Sau. I like to go weekly at night to the cemetery by escorting guests to share this unique experience. The place is mystical.
Incense, songs, fire, candles, monks, prayers, and darkness: sense of eerie! It is the kind of place that you do not describe;it is a location that must be felt, and should be shared with like-minded, curious travelers.

Finally – would you say the hotel is more suited to couples or families?
Most definitely for both, and without affecting the other's enjoyment.Rare are resorts or hotels with this right balance in between small and large villas. The outstanding beach leaves more than enough room to play or walk without bumping into another person.

Edouard Grosmangin - General Manager of Six Senses Con Dao

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