Langham Hospitality Group is a global hotel company that operates 24 properties under The Langham and Cordis brands. Here, RLI speaks to Stefan Leser, CEO of Langham Hospitality Group about the company and what the future has in store. The hospitality arm of Great Eagle Holdings, one of Hong Kong’s leading property development companies that was founded in 1963, Langham Hospitality Group enjoys a legendary heritage that dates back to 1865, when The Langham, London originally opened as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’.
As the flagship brand of Langham Hospitality Group, The Langham Hotels and Resorts represent the epitome of luxury with a portfolio of luxury Hotels in prime destinations. Committed to delivering exceptional experiences, each of the hotels are defined by sophisticated and gracious hospitality reflecting elegance in design, innovation in hospitality, sincere service and captivation of the senses across all its properties.
Langham Hospitality Group also operates Cordis Hotels and Resorts, an upscale hotel brand whose holistic concept focuses on the core pillars of intuitive service, sophistication and a sense of community in the best locations in the world. The Group currently operates 24 properties under The Langham and Cordis brands. The Langham brand represents 16 hotels spread throughout four continents; currently they are in Boston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles in the US, London in the UK, Munich in Germany, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, Haining, Hefei and Haikou in China, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Hong Kong. Over the next five years the company plans to open six to eight hotels under The Langham banner and eight to ten under the Cordis banner.
Soon to open is The Langham hotel in Jakarta, which is due next year, and The Langham Nymphenburg Residence in Munich which opens in the final quarter of this year. As for Cordis, locations will open in Hangzhou and Shanghai in the next 12 months. “Our goal is to have The Langham hotels in key capital and gateway cities around the world, but we are very measured and we focus on the pace of our growth,” explains Stefan Leser, CEO of Langham Hospitality Group. “The key priority is to be in the best location in these cities and as we will not compromise on this detail, we’d rather take our time than lend our brand name at a subpar location.”
To help keep the properties attractive and exciting, the Group has been asking its guests over the past year what they really want from their luxury hotel experience. What they have learned from this is that guests come to The Langham to remember. They go to these properties for special occasions, whether they are big or small. “The Langham hotels are indelibly linked in all our guests’ memories to the most joyful of their celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, births, promotions and engagements. We are there for the romances, the nightcaps and the laughter,” says Leser.
Despite its first hotel being more than 150 years old, The Langham is still a relatively young brand as they only really began to grow in 2004. Leser believes that the essence of The Langham and the consistency of service is what distinguish them from the crowded hotel sector. He goes onto say that the backbone of The Langham has and always will be the personalised service, where the needs of its guests are put above all else. So what does Leser consider to be the key drivers behind the company’s success to date?
“Our people are our greatest asset. Our colleagues are the key drivers behind the company’s success to date. Our strategy calls for us to remain focused and not scale up just to increase our footprint. It is more important to focus on quality before quantity.” Moving forward the company is putting a big focus on e-commerce and online retailing on social media channels. In addition to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, in China, WeChat is an important and key platform for online retail which Langham Hospitality Group has invested in and focused on this in the last 12 months, setting up a structure to support content, engagement and online retail.
Leser feels that the ethos of The Langham properties is that they are classic and timeless with a British heritage that is passionate about service, whilst Cordis is genuine, friendly and family inclusive, locally connected at the heart of the communities in which they are situated. “In the future, we will be focusing on increasing brand awareness and rolling out our new global campaign,” explains Leser. “Finally as CEO of Langham Hospitality Group, I am very honoured to have the opportunity to make people happy which gives me a lot of energy and positive influence over people’s lives, be they clients, guests or colleagues.”